How to Give the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Budget
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and with it comes the pressure not only to remember the date, but to wow your other half with something special. So, how does one lose the cliché and give their significant other a gift that will make them feel loved without breaking the bank? You need two things, to discover what is your partner’s love language and to use this knowledge to give them a Valentine’s Day gift they will never forget.
Contrary to general belief, tradition, and the Valentine’s Day industry; which is expecting to see Brits part with £1.3 billion of their hard-earned cash during the holiday, anthropologist Dr. Gary Chapman preaches that we demonstrate love in the same way we would understand someone as demonstrating love towards us. Simple? Not quite. According to Chapman, there are five Love Languages and different people might have a preference for different languages. The theory is that if you are showing love in a different language to your partner’s preferred love language, you might as well be talking Greek to an English speaker. The result is that, while you think you are lavishing your beloved with attention and affection, they feel neglected. So here are practical suggestions on how to do Valentine’s Day speaking your partner’s Love Language while sticking to your budget.
1. Words of Affirmation
For these lovebirds actions don’t speak louder than words. Unsolicited compliments and declaration of love as well as being told what you love about them means the world to them. On the other hand, harsh words and insults will leave them heartbroken and will not be forgotten easily. If you want to wow your partner:
On a budget: write them a love letter. Try talking about how important they are to you and how you felt when you first saw, met or kissed them. If you prefer short and sweet, leave little love notes for them to find all over the place… on the mirror, inside the fridge, on the car’s stirring wheel, inside their wallet, inside the book they are reading and so on.
Spend a little cash: a Magnetic Poetry set keeps your wallet healthy, but it’s fun and you can leave your other half a different message every day.
Lavish: Alternatively, Personalised Word Art will hang on the wall and remind them every day of what you love about them.
2. Physical Touch
Physical Touch people are the one type of valentine that you can easily spot. Think of someone that not only loves PDAs (public displays of affection), but they will hug or touch you for everything – when they are upset, worried, happy, excited… You get the picture. A little like Quality Time lovers, your accessibility and presence is the important factor. Your hugs make them feel protected and cared for. Neglect and abuse are unforgivable and very destructive to them.
On a budget: Give your loved one something to remember by lighting some candles and giving them a massage. If weather permits, take them for a stroll around a nice park while holding hands, lay on the grass to read them a book while you play with their hair, touch their face when you tell them you love them or practice Six Second Kissing. Yes, that is the advice of another G., Dr. John Gottman, who argues we should kiss our significant others for six seconds every day. That’s right people, therapists are telling us to have a good old-fashion snog every day.
Spend a little cash: Go for a nice massage oil, luxury moisturiser or a handheld massager, but make sure your massaging services are offered with the gift. You can add a little card that promises them a massage.
Lavish: If you want to add a little lavish to the occasion, go for a spa break or a try a couple dance class that allows you a lot of contact, something sultry and slow like Kizomba.
3. Acts of Service
For Acts of Service lovers actions do speak louder than words. Things like taking the rubbish out, helping with the kids and carrying the shopping bags translate as ‘I love you’ in this love language. Broken commitments, procrastination, laziness or creating more work for them translate as ‘you and your effort don’t matter.’ If there are any jobs you have been promising to do or anything you know they would like you to, you can kill two birds with one stone by doing them and impressing your partner. But beware, don’t start something that won’t be finished by the special day, it has to be accomplished, done and dusted. Don’t start refurbishing the bathroom as a Valentine’s Day present, that will not go down well.
On a budget: run your beloved a bath; tell them not to worry about dinner, because you are cooking or buying it; or go for the other side of the day and bring them breakfast in bed.
Spend a little cash: If you want to elaborate on the promise of service, make or buy them love vouchers or cheques that they can give you whenever they need you to do something. Be prepared to deliver on your end of the bargain, though, even if the cheque is banked just before next Valentine’s Day.
Lavish: If you have kids, organise a babysitter and tell your partner not to worry because you have it covered. Organise a date that reminds them of the first time you met and how your lives were before routine had its way and you both became busy with daily tasks.
4. Quality Time
What ‘Quality Time speakers’ like to hear is “I’m all yours.” Undivided attention is key. As cliché as this might sound, all they want for Valentine’s Day is you. The opposite – postponed dates, not paying attention or listening – can be particularly hurtful. While that means put the phone away and switch off the TV, it does not mean you have to stare into their eyes like a statue. They want more than your physical presence, they want to enjoy your company. They want to talk, laugh, have fun with you and hold your attention as they did the first time you met.
On a Budget: Cook a romantic meal and snuggle up in the sofa with a bottle of wine putting the world to right.
Spend a little cash: Take them to do something they really like to do. There are many events and attractions you can attend without paying a fortune or paying anything at all. Have a cultural day, but avoid the cinema. You are looking for something or somewhere where you can talk and exchange ideas.
Lavish: if you really want to lavish your partner with your attention, whizz them away for a city break then go explore! Make sure you are always talking and engaging with them, leave the phone and the social media broadcast for another time. Leaving your other half to stare at the back of your phone while you WhatsApp someone miles away would not be taken well.
Yes, for this type of valentine ignore first G’s advice, but don’t mistake this language for materialism. Lovebirds who speak the gift language not only enjoy receiving gifts, but they also enjoy giving them. Gifts to them are the representation of love, a token of affection and a physical memory. They thrive no only on the gift itself, but on the thought behind it. Every gift is a physical reminder of your love and appreciation. Forgetting a birthday or special occasion or a gift that has been an afterthought can be hurtful.
On a budget: Make something for them, a card, a photo album full of your best memories as a couple or put together a box of everything that makes you think about them, then go through every memory with them.
Spend a little cash: The gifts don’t need to be big, you can buy a series of little things they like or a star prize. Hide them around the house and do a treasure hunt or a hot and cold game.
Lavish: If you can and want to spend a little more, buy them something they can carry on their person. They will not only treasure it, they will tell and show it to everyone as the pièce de résistance.
Gifting your significant other according to their love language will not only make them feel loved, but will earn you some serious brownie points. And once you see the wonder and happiness in their face, we are sure you too will feel all warm and fuzzy. But the most important thing of all is that you don’t need to wait until Valentine’s Day. In today’s smartphone world of 24 hour accessibility and endless rat race, it’s easy to take for granted the people most important to you. Make every day Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to show you care.