The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.

— Carrie Bradshaw

I stood there with my mouth open, frozen with horror and shock. 

My (then) boyfriend was telling me how much he despised (!!!) Valentine’s Day. 

“I don’t see why I have to express my love on some specific day.”

“It’s a made up holiday by greeting card companies to get people to spend money.” 

“St. Valentine wasn’t even a real saint. He was just some guy that married people in jails…”

“Married people in jails”? What?! Was that even true? And more importantly, what in the world  did that have to do with us going out to have a nice dinner together? Why was he getting all Don Draper on me about Valentine’s Day?

My sweet Valentine’s Day dreams melted into a soggy mud puddle at my feet.

As a lifelong romantic, I had always thought Valentine’s Day was about candlelit dinners and romance. On Valentine’s Day, you could eat chocolate. 

Love-themed chocolate, which is the tastiest of all chocolate. 

It did not look like I was going to get the romantic evening I was looking forward to and he was upset about feeling pressure to go along with something he didn’t believe in.

We were at a Valentine’s Day impasse. 

I wish I could say that we resolved it immediately and everything was perfect and we celebrated by tossing each other little candy hearts and catching them in our mouths while riding unicorns in a field of poppies in slow motion.

Not quite. 

The issue was that no matter how much we loved each other, our personality types had such vastly different views of how to show love that what looked like love to me didn’t look like love to him at all (and vice versa). 

Different personality types show love in different ways. 

Different personality types feel loved by different things. 

To help you and your Honey navigate these tricky waters, I have some tried-and-true tips for showing love that feels like love for each of the personality types. 

The personality types are described in terms of the element of nature they most closely resemble – Earth, Air, Water or Fire. In my personality system that I use when coaching clients, I call this their Strongest Element. (Click here to take the Quiz and find out which is YOUR Strongest Element.)

The Earth Element

Earth Element personalities are drawn to order, structure and tradition. They are highly dependable, responsible, and reliable. They respect authority. They love crossing off their to-do lists. They are parental. On a bad day, they can be stubborn martyrs. But like the Earth, they are solid and stable.

How to Show Love to Your Earth Element Honey:

  • Earth Elements appreciate tradition. Establish a new tradition with them for Valentine’s Day that you can do together every year.
  • Take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to let them know how much you love and appreciate them for everything they do for you all year long. They often feel that no one notices how hard they are working all of the time. Show them you do. 
  • Earth Elements like things that are good quality and last long. Consider giving jewelry for its enduring quality.

The Water Element

These people are sympathetic, caring listeners. You feel comfortable confiding in them instantly. They focus on developing potential – in themselves and in others. They are romantic, compassionate and empathetic. On a bad day they are fickle drama queens. But like an ocean wave on a summer day, they are warm and nurturing.

How To Show Love to Your Water Element Honey

  • Water Elements are natural born romantics. You can’t go wrong with flowers, candle-lit dinners, and love songs. 
  • Let your Water Element know how unique they are to you by writing them a love poem. Sounds cliche, but if you express yourself sincerely it will be deeply appreciated and kept forever. Loving words are very important to Water Elements. 
  • Consider the aesthetics. Water Elements are very influenced by their surroundings, so create a beautiful atmosphere. 

The Air Element

Air Elements are open-minded, logical, rational people. They consider all sides of a situation before making decisions. They research. They are experts in whatever they are passionate about. They explore big ideas. They are intellectual and academic by nature and comfortable with complexity. On a bad day they can be sarcastic perfectionists. But like a wide-open sky, they are all about possibilities.

How To Show Love to Your Air Element Honey:

  • The natural brilliance of Air Elements makes them very attractive. (Hands up if you find intelligence sexy!) It was probably one of the first things you noticed about your Honey. When was the last time you showed them how much you value their smarts? Do it now.
  • Air Elements love sharing their knowledge. Chances are you’ve learned a lot from them. Thank them for teaching you something you didn’t know before. 
  • Air Elements are complex individualists – they like to feel that they don’t fit into any specific category. Take time to appreciate their complex natures and original ideas. 

The Fire Element

Fire Element personalities are always in motion. They are energetic go-getters. Of all personality types, Fire Elements are the most comfortable with change. They are determined, resourceful and able to rebuild easily. Naturally optimistic and charismatic, they are often the life of the party. On a bad day they can be competitive and self-destructive, but like a roaring bonfire, they are magnetic and dynamic.

How to Show Love to Your Fire Element Honey:

  • Appeal to your Honey’s spontaneous, adventurous nature. Plan a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt or go on a surprise trip together. 
  • Think back to what first attracted you to your Fire Element Honey. Was it their charisma and natural charm? Let them know that you appreciate that quality as much today as you did when you first met. 
  • The Fire Element is the most sexually expressive of all personality types. Make time to play. 

It took my boyfriend (now husband) and I a few years to resolve our Valentine’s Day differences, but I’m relieved to say we worked it out in ways that feel good for both of us. 

I don’t make him celebrate it on February 14th; he can pick another day in February that he likes better as long as we still celebrate.

He promises not to mention fake saints and jail marriages.

And if all else fails, there’s always the chocolate. 

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what makes YOU feel loved? Let me know in the comments.

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