It will be here before you know it. Valentine’s Day. The day you get to tell your wife how much she means to you. Husbands, before you run out this afternoon to pick up your Hallmark card or that beautiful heart-shaped diamond necklace that’s been advertised on television for the past few weeks, let me give you some clues about speaking her love language.

Recently, I surveyed more than 150 moms about what they really wanted for Valentine’s Day. I found their responses honest, practical and heartwarming. Most were inexpensive.

When expressing love, it’s important that we don’t forget that each of us is made differently. Our languages of love are spoken in a variety of ways. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, said there are several different ways that love can be communicated: Gift Giving, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Closeness, Encouraging Words, and Quality Time. Before you decide what you will give your spouse for Valentine’s Day, you need to consider what her love language is.

Below are some of the responses I received when I asked moms, “What do you really want for Valentine’s Day?”

Gift giving

* “What I would most appreciate for Valentine’s Day is a card with an additional note that my husband has written expressing just what our love means to him.”

* “I would love for my husband to give me the gift of sleeping in one morning.”

* “I’d love a big bow around our recliner topped with a fuzzy new blanket and a sign that says “Reserved for Mom”!”

* “I’d love to be treated to a DAY at the spa or even just a massage or spa pedicure would be great!”

* “I’d love my husband to give me a day of shopping with a friend — NO KIDS!”

* “My favorite gifts are handmade cards from my children (which may require a little coaxing from my husband). I also love it when he takes the time to shop with them and let them pick out little gifts like my favorite candy bar, a candle, a flower or something else they think I’d like.”

* “I’d love a small bouquet of flowers that are the same flowers that were in my wedding bouquet. Actually ANY wedding remembrance, like a framed copy of our wedding program or one of our casual wedding pictures framed.”

* “Some of the best gifts my husband gives to me is his listening heart, his laughter at my attempts at humor, and when he prays with me.”

Acts of service

* “I love it when my husband does ANYTHING “above and beyond” what he normally does to pitch in with responsibilities in the home. That might include fixing breakfast for the family, packing lunches, making the bed, doing any of the carpooling, taking care of dinner, etc. “

* “Finish the bathtub project in the second bathroom that was started six years ago so we can use the shower in there.”

* “My valentine wish would be for a nice dinner at home that I wouldn’t have to prepare.”

* “The greatest gift for me is a gift of his initiative to make a romantic gesture like suggesting the kids go to bed early or telling me he’ll pick up dinner on the way home.”

Physical touch and closeness

* “A fire in the fireplace, a good book, a BIG bowl of popcorn, hot chocolate with marshmallows, my husband reading nearby, and the kids somewhere else.”

* “I would love a little pampering please. A LONG back rub!”

* “Let’s slow dance TOGETHER … even at home!”

Encouraging words

* “I would love a letter from my husband and/or kids with the reasons they love me and a thank you for the daily things I do for them like:
‘Mom, I really love the way you make sure that my favorite shirt is always clean when I want to wear it.'”

* “I would really love for my husband to look through all of those old love letters he wrote to me when we were dating, and then write me an updated version about how he really feels after all these years.”

* “I would love to get little notes throughout the day, placed where I’ll find them when I do my daily “stuff”: taped to my computer screen, my Diet Coke bottle, in the silverware drawer, tucked in my book.”

Quality time

* “I would like my husband to surprise me and get someone to take care of the girls (not me helping him to do it) and have a free day alone with him.

* “I would like for my hubby to take the kids to his mom’s and come back and spend the day with the TV off asking me questions and listening to my answers.”

* “My idea for a perfect Valentine’s Day is a getaway with my hubby. I would love to have his full attention for 24 hours.”

* “I would love for my husband to go shopping with me and pretend to enjoy it.”

* “I would like to go out to lunch and see a movie by OURSELVES. We haven’t seen a movie not made by Disney in a long time. “

One wife said, “Don’t bother with jewelry. I would have very little use for a diamond necklace that all the commercials say every woman would want (unless it could be returned for a refund, of course!).

However, one wife summed it all up so well when she said, “Actually I would be so excited if I received a card and went to dinner. My husband is the greatest, but just doesn’t know what to do at times so he doesn’t do anything. The truth is even after 20 years he still “trips my trigger” and my heart goes pitter-patter when I see him.”

Don’t speak a foreign language to your wife! Say “I love you” in a way she will hear it loud and clear.

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