Love Language

According to Gary Chapman, PhD who authored a book I discovered many years ago entitled, Five Love Languages we embody these below languages with one or two being our primary language:

  • words of affirmation  (me)
  • physical touch (me)
  • acts of service/doer  (hubby)
  • quality time
  • gifts

When in elementary school, every year during the week in front of Valentine’s we made mailbox pouches from construction paper decorating with heartfelt hearts that said, happy v-day or, be mine. We students hung our red construction paper pouches under the long chalk board of our classroom’s wall and waited…waited for classmates to prove they like you, by placing a small card with a cute character of some sort, telling me,

You’re special, Valentine.

Words. My love language. I hung on to every word those cards would deliver to me. They mattered. Oh, how they mattered.

My heart was convinced that Valentines celebration was the time when you found out you were popular or not with your classmates. The peer pressure held me hostage for that excruciating time period that the pouches remained on the wall. I relished the number of Valentines I received, and duly noted any classmate that had not placed a card within my precious flat styled mailbox pouch that awaited all valentine votes. I told myself, I wasn’t unpopular, but certainly wondered why EVERYONE didn’t place a fond message in my valentine’s mailbox construction paper pouch. I was always very relieved when I opened the received votes, by way of cards and didn’t go into valentine depression.

One February in my early elementary school days I checked out from the library a book that provided a simple history of Valentine’s Day and how it came about. I can still see that hard back book in all its deep navy-blue color with a print title in vivid white, of which I can’t recall the title. What I remember about that thin not-so-many-pages book was that Valentine’s Day had nothing to do with a popularity contest in elementary school, but with Roman Gods. Cupid was a mystical God of the Romans representing love. Although there may have been some preferences to who Cupid directed his love arrows towards, a popularity contest wasn’t a major concern. Over many centuries the Greek God evolved and eventually became an established date to celebrate love.  

In my youth, and young adult years I rarely had a boyfriend around Valentines Day. Seems that kept the relationships easier, not having to expect anything extra special for a day that had way too much pressure associated with it with conversations that sounded like,

 What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Do you think you’ll get something special, like a ring?

And then for those of us watching with envy all the happy lovers participating in celebrating each other, it seemed to take on a competitive type nature: who’s getting the best gifts? Or who’s going to the most expensive restaurant? And for those who had heartaches through breakups or actually having their significant other die, well, Valentine’s kind of feels like it might be an assault on emotions.

Who needs that pressure? What is it about this day that we’ve come to expect a Hallmark movie kind of day? Over the last couple of days, I’ve been asked by most everyone I interact with, which during this pandemic isn’t that many people, but still—are you doing anything special for Valentines?


Well, a card to and from my hubby I expect will happen. But this celebration hasn’t really ever been all that exciting to me. Maybe it’s my childhood valentine peer pressure memories. But that is up for a psychological debate another day. The times my hubby and I did try to go to a restaurant for Valentine’s day, (sometimes involving the extra effort of a babysitter who might not have anything to do on said special day (ouch for that person)) so did everyone else in the free world. And the wait time, and busyness of the restaurant didn’t seem that romantic. Which I suspect romance was what was expected given we were going through these steps for this oh-so-special day. Have you heard the phrase, no expectations—no disappointment?  Just staying home with a cooked steak by my doer hubby who likes to cook, and me lighting a candle achieves more romance than a noisy restaurant—right?

I don’t know.


I guess I stopped being a young-in-love romantic somewhere along the way. I don’t ever watch Hallmark movies because they are too sappy-predicable-unrealistic. But I can tell you this, I get the most important vote of Valentine’s and how important I am to the man I’ve been married to for going on 34 years each day of our lives. Emphasis on

each day.

He is DOING for me which is his love language and being there for me as I try to communicate with him in my love-language of words and touch. I am balanced with those two languages and he does his best to communicate with me at my level with hugs and little worded messages on our kitchen’s message whiteboard. And I say words of endearment and write on our little message board that says, I love you (insert a heart drawn along with the words). And to satisfy his DOER language, I try to do things for him, like empty the trash, or put the toilet paper where it’s accessible in a crunch. You know, doer stuff.

Over the years, we have had to work at our relationship on an ongoing basis partly because our love language is very different. But more, because being with one person for many years, isn’t the easiest thing to stay committed to. But committed we have been. Never doubting that we were safe with each other. That we would be loyal to each other through sickness and in health. Through boredom and adventures. Through our only child’s middle school years and as empty nesters. When you have commitment, it really doesn’t matter how many other votes of popularity you get from your classmates, you have a firm foundation and Cupid has smiled fondly upon you.

Good luck out there with the busyness of celebrating but remember when you look over at your partner you are sharing this day with, don’t make too big of deal about it. Be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself and if that person happens to be just you and a good book, you may learn something important with a well-chosen book, like what Greek Gods represent.

As for me and my Valentine/Hubby, we’ll be staying home (the weather is a crappy-cold-rain so who wants to go out in that!) and he’ll do his excellent cooking of a well-prepared meal and I’ll tell him in my words and touch language with a hug, how lucky I am. Then he’ll hug me back and say something sweet, like, “I love you, Dear” and I’ll have to figure out what to do for him. 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

PS you can take a free simple love-language test at

2 thoughts on “Love Language

  1. We come from countries, Germany and Norway, where Valentine’s day was not important. Actually, when we were teens we didn’t know about it. It was not before we moved to Canada and later to England we got to know this tradition.
    But we suppose it’s like Mothers Day an invention of the shopkeepers. The language of love is expressed through gifts, typical of commodity society. This also shows our speechlessness in relation to love. If we look at Valentine cards, there are always the same, basically empty phrases.
    By the way, Cupid was a minor god only. Originally he played no role. It was Aphrodite who was responsible for love in the sense of Eros (actually for Philia and Agape as well).
    All the best
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. Hi Carol! Love this Love Language piece. Great food for thought and musings. ❤️

    On Sat, Feb 12, 2022 at 9:17 AM Matters of the Heart wrote:

    > matters of the heart posted: ” According to Gary Chapman, PhD who authored > a book I discovered many years ago entitled, Five Love Languages we embody > these below languages with one or two being our primary language: words of > affirmation (me)physical touch (me)acts of service/” >


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