Know your ‘Love Language’ for Valentine’s gifts that speak to the heart


Valentine’s Day is around the corner — are you fluent in your S.O.’s love language? According to Gary Chapman, bestselling author of “The 5 Love Languages,” it could mean the difference between a V-Day gift that falls flat and one that makes the heart sing.

In his book Chapman identifies five ways people give and receive love: through words, touch, acts of service, gifts and quality time together. For example, if your primary love language is time, hanging out together will mean more than getting something from Amazon (gifts), or unclogging the bathroom drain and weeding the garden (helpful service). No judgement.

To figure out your partner’s No. 1 love language (because, honestly, who doesn’t like each of the “languages” on some level), consider how she or he demonstrates love to you and others. Chapman believes that’s usually a clue as to what moves the needle on your partner’s own love seismograph. Of course, you could always just ask or take Chapman’s quiz on his website for an instant analysis.


This Valentine’s Day, we’ve created a love language gift guide aimed at translating your feelings to show your sweetheart that you care.

Words of affirmation

Use your words. Write down your feelings in books and letters designed with handy prompts to help get the words, and the love, flowing. Don’t forget a card for this romantic valentine, and a verbal profession of your love would be icing on the heart-shaped cake.



In love with someone who swoons at your touch? Cuddle up and hold hands at the movies or light a scented candle and give a massage. Or throw it back to an Academy Award winner — “Out of Africa” — where Robert Redford washes Meryl Streep’s hair on a sun-drenched afternoon by the river … while reciting poetry. It could happen.

Acts of service

Thoughtful gestures aimed at pampering your Valentine check the boxes on a love-filled honey-do list. Save taking out the trash and unloading the dishwasher for another day and surprise your partner with breakfast in bed on a new tray (This includes kitchen cleanup!). Pour a romantic bath with special tub bubbles or soaking salts, candles, music and a luxurious new robe; or slip a darling heart-shaped hot-water bottle into her side of the sheets before bedtime.



Shower your significant other with tokens of love and affection. Chocolates never go out of style, nor do heart-shaped symbols of your devotion.

Quality time

When time together is precious and so is your S.O., do and experience things in your area; get tickets to a concert, performance, sports event, theme park or zoo; wrap up a new board game; make reservations to dine out; rent a convertible and go for a drive; or grab a local guidebook and explore your own backyard. Look for deals at Money is no object? Consider a luxurious couples massage. Set your phone to do not disturb.

Bonnie McCarthy contributes to the Los Angeles Times as a home and lifestyle design writer. She enjoys scouting for directional trends and reporting on what’s new and next. Follow her on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome



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