"Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go straight to my lover’s heart for me.”
(Sam Cooke, 1961)
In classical mythology, Cupid, -or more aptly Eros- is considered to be the god of desire and love. The story goes that by piercing hearts with his bow and arrow, he caused mortals to swoon and fall deeply and passionately in love. And, he rarely missed his mark. When it comes to modern day relationships however, many couples fail to intuit their partner’s wishes and often fall flat, facing disappointment in each other’s unmet expectations, instead.
Expectations play a significant role in the health and happiness of our relationships. After all, who doesn’t want to be treated with kindness, love, loyalty and respect? Who doesn’t want to feel loved, yearned for, desired and needed? Consequently, said expectations can also run us into trouble, especially on Valentine’s Day and especially if they don’t meet our exact criteria as to what we hope for in our head. Moreover, this heart-filled holiday usually reminds us how we already love and also feel loved by our significant other. So, for those of us who feel genuinely good about our relationships, maybe the day doesn’t leave us feeling any more pressured to be any more romantic or any more loving. Maybe everything is on target. Maybe everybody walks away satiated and happy. On the other hand, for those of us who feel like we fall short somehow, the dreaded Feb 14th may seem like yet another ignored or missed connection, and not really cracked up to be what it’s supposed to be, leaving us feeling more lonely and wanting, perhaps further eroding our feelings of love for one another, too.
It’s Not Always Roses and Chocolates
For many, Valentine’s Day is considered to be a Hallmark holiday, with candy, flowers and romantic dinners as the expected way of celebrating the day. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of these gestures or gifts, but if we want our partner to feel the love we are trying to communicate, perhaps it’s best we learn to express it in their primary love language, and not ours. As the author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman says, “Everyone experiences love differently, and it’s easy to miss the mark when it comes to showing you care, but with a little bit of help, you can learn to identify the root of your conflicts, give and receive love in more meaningful ways, and grow even closer than ever.”
Chapman explains that there are five primary ways we express love in relationships: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving and giving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. What’s fun about knowing our love language is that it can help highlight the basic way we communicate in a relationship as well as help us recognize what we need to do to give and receive pleasure in a way that’s more meaningful, too. By considering the needs and wants of the other person first, and then adjusting our own behaviour -and not the other way around- is what really makes love work. And, this can be a surefire way to finding the key to your partner’s heart.
So, which example of expression of love -or desire- from your partner would make you feel most loved today? And, how about your partner from you?
Words of affirmation: A general or sexy compliment
Acts of Service: A home-cooked meal or satisfying a sexual desire
Gift giving or receiving: Chocolate or sexy underwear
Quality time: Talking together or mindful love-making
Physical touch: A kiss or a sexy massage
Knowing what we want or long for is crucial before knowing how to move forward. Knowing what it takes for your partner to feel loved -even more so! Communicating this with each other helps you not only understand if your expressions of love are different or similar, but it allows you to see whether you are loving your partner in your way or in the way they would like to be loved. At the heart of it, you can also learn to appreciate when your partner is sending you love, even if it’s not what you expect or are used to. You never know…perhaps paying attention to your partner’s love language- to the gestures of affection he or she appreciates- will ultimately help you both hit the bullseye this Valentine’s Day!
If you would like to know more about your love language, take the quiz here https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
Hi, I'm Lydia- a modern-day warrior of the heart with a mission to reconcile the mystery and mastery of Love.