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How do you love someone?

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It may seem like a trick question, right? We were born to love after all? And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better time to dig deep.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Most of us were born to love from our first gaa gaa goo goo but sometimes our best intentions don’t connect. According to Gary Chapman, there are five different ways to love someone. Reading his book and taking his test changed my relationships forever. I found out that the people I love the most had different ways of being loved than I do.

When Gary came to speak in Surrey, B.C, I went to his seminar and learned a lot about relationships. Did you know that couples can spend an entire marriage loving each other without either person feeling really loved?

I’ll share an example from my own life with you. My youngest son feels loved by receiving gifts and I feel loved by hugging, being close, and doing things for him; such as baking his favorite cookies. For years, I was unaware that baking cookies or spending the day building lego with him is quite meaningless. He is just as happy to eat a cookie from the store as one I made with love. Ironically, if I buy him a box of cookies from the store he would feel more loved because he loves gifts. If I go on a hike without him and bring him back a cool rock or piece of sea glass he is happier than anything I could do for him would make him. I have learned how to combine our two needs and one way is to buy some good ice cream or movie snacks and snuggle and watch a movie.

a rock with a lighthouse painted on it
A painted rock found on a trail in Abbotsford.

Gary Chapman has a free test that you can take to find out how you feel loved. It’s a fun way to get to know yourself and your loved ones better. You can find it at If you ever get the chance to visit him in person, you won’t be disappointed. He is full of energy and the entire event brightened my evening.

This Valentine’s Day you can surprise your loved one with a gift that speaks to their heart. If you don’t have a Valentine why not practice some good self-care and treat yourself to a gift? There are so many ideas of gifts for self-care such as: giving yourself permission to have guilt-free time to enjoy a book, a hike, a hot bath, working on your favorite car model, tinkering in the garage, anything that makes you smile.


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