I can hear it already…what kind of love language is “gifts”? Doesn’t everyone like gifts, isn’t that essentially everyone’s love language?
Receiving Gifts is Love Language # 3
Sure, everyone likes to receive gifts. But unless this is your love language, the receipt of a gift, while nice, is likely not an event that is going to deposit real capital in the bank of your heart.
That’s really what a love language is, speaking or acting toward someone in a way that is native to how they feel. This gives the effect of depositing true capital into the bank of the heart giving a person something to “draw from” when love and good feelings are in short supply.
Continuing that analogy, when the vault is empty, that’s when you start going into debt; that’s when the heart starts to look outward for things to grow fonder of.
For people that “speak” receiving gifts natively, a gift is something that builds up that capital. Something they can feel good about.
A Gift Does Not Have to be Material in Nature
That’s where people go wrong with this language, they automatically think that someone with this primary love language is materialistic, possibly even shallow.
Many people diminish this love language and fail to understand that it’s not about selfishness worldly things, but about any kind of gift.
A gift can be a hand-written note, a card made from scratch. It can be a poem, or a gift of time.
Conversely, when being given a gift of the material, a ring for example, if the gift obviously required no thought, then it will not be received as a true gift, and instead will be treated like a bauble, to be lost or misplaced at will.
How a Gift is Received is Often More Important than the Gift
The language of gifts is not just about the gift itself, but how the gift is received in the first place.
A gift casually tossed, or even handed to someone is nice. One that is shrouded in mystery or found in an unlikely place just is way more impressive.
That shows that thought was used, that imagination was invoked, that there was energy spent on their behalf.
Receiving From a “Gifts” Person
Another complex idiosyncrasy of the person that is gift oriented is that they will often think in terms of gifts. Meaning they will give YOU gifts. Gifts in the material sense, gifts of thought, gifts of heart.
How you receive these gifts is vitally important because they are in essence pouring out their heart to you.
If you dismiss their gift, treat it with contempt, or just respond in a casual manner, this will be interpreted as such. This will mean to them that you don’t “get them”. You don’t understand them, or worse, that their love is not reciprocated.
Gifts Cost Money – Start Budgeting Now
It’s true…or time. Gifts can be made, found or purchased. It is a fact that many that speak this language can appreciate any kind of gift, but…
They will come to expect certain things. They’re going to want a new Kindle Fire, or perhaps an Audible audiobook subscription. These types of things have meaning to them because they are what they want, you’ll get these things for them because, well, you love them.
If you don’t, it is possible that they could interpret your lackluster approach as a lackluster feeling of love toward them. It’s not their fault really, it’s just a fact.
So while I advocate getting clever so that you can use your ingenuity to fulfill them with all manner of love filled items, I also recommend that you start putting some cash away so that you can budget for these things that they will inevitably want, that you can’t make or find.
Some Examples of the Skill of Speaking the Language of Gifts
“Speaking” the language of gifts is one part resources, one part time, and one part mental. It’s the gift and the delivery, it’s the though, the emotion and the sentiment.
First Piece of Advice: Listen and Take Notes
I advise you to keep a notebook, or a smart phone handy with a note application on it.
When your lover is talking, be listening for hints or outright indicators of things they want. Always stay sharp and listen even for the subtlest hints at what they would like.
When you pick up on something, write it down along with the date. Then use this new super power that you’re developing to start actively thinking about the things they want.
When the opportunity presents itself days, weeks, months or even years later, make it happen.
The fact that you “know them so well” and that “you remembered” will blow them away and they’ll KNOW without a doubt that you love them, because it was important to you to know what they wanted.
- Your husband says “I can’t wait until the game this weekend”, then a few days later he lets you know he’s been craving enchilada’s. That Sunday, make sure to have everything ready for him to watch football uninterrupted, and surprise him with enchilada’s (purchased or made) at the right time.
- Your wife sees a necklace and “goes nuts” over it, record everything you can about it so you know exactly the one she wants. On your next anniversary take her out to dinner and surprise her with it, along with a note, a poem, or a brief “speech” about how much she means to you.
Give the Gift of Self
Nothing speaks louder than when a sacrifice is made, or just being there when needed.
If you have something that you’ve been looking forward to and you find out that your partner is also looking forward to something, sacrifice yours. Not always, but measure the importance of yours versus theirs.
If you sacrifice your desires for theirs, this will speak volumes to the person that speaks the language of gifts, especially if they know how important your “whatever” is to you.
Being there for them in a time of need is especially crucial to these individuals. Even if you think their “time of need” isn’t that big of a deal. If you can be there to comfort them, or rejoice with them, depending on the situation, even if you don’t really feel the same way, that will mean a great deal to them.
The Twelve Days of Goodies
This is a play on the twelve days of Christmas, but instead it’s the twelve days leading up to their birthday, or your anniversary, or whatever.
The point is to give them something, no matter how small, for twelve days leading up to whatever the event is. Then the twelfth day, you go “all out” and give them the climax of this sequence!
It’s up to you to figure out what that crescendo gift is, but they will be in absolute heaven for those twelve days, and likely for weeks, months or even years beyond (assuming you the person’s love bank account full).
Sometimes simply talking through the desires of what your partner, and ideally, you both want can be enough to satisfy the “gift speaker”.
For example, daydreaming about that ideal trip to Hawaii, or that perfect skiing vacation can be a gift in itself. Gift people often like to dream about things in the hopes that someday they will actually come to fruition.
This gives you an added edge too. Because in doing this little exercise you’re going to learn about the minutiae that you didn’t know about, and you’re going to record it in your notes, and when you finally make this dream a reality (which you of course will someday do) then you’re going to know all the things that are going to make your partner literally swoon with pleasure.
Pick a Flower or a Stone
Sometimes just being aware of your surroundings while doing something as mundane as going for a walk can yield huge dividends.
If you see a flower that you know your wife or girlfriend would like, pick it and carry it home to her.
If you see a rock that looks like the symbol of your husband’s favorite band, or sports team, pick it up, deliver it to him and ask him if he thinks it looks like what you thought it did.
Bottom line, if you see something your partner would like, and you’re not breaking any laws, take it to them. It costs you nothing, and yet increases your love capital by leaps and bounds.
Give a Gift of Time
Find a book you both enjoy, set aside some time, and read it to your partner…or take turns reading it to each other.
Alternatively, you could both get the same book, agree to read up to a certain point, and then just have a discussion about it while sipping your favorite beverages.
I can tell you, one book that this would work great with while helping you both understand each other better: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”
Love Languages are Asexual
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a love language is more masculine or feminine. Don’t do this!
While the language of receiving gifts could easily be seen as a more feminine love language, I’ve known many men love language of receiving gifts as their primary love language. Never make the mistake of thinking a love language is explicitly a girl’s or a guy’s language only.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this explanation of the love language, receiving gifts.
The Other Love Languages:
For an even more in depth discussion about love languages, I encourage you to check out the book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”.
What’s your love language? You can tell me about it in the comments below.
If your love language is receiving gifts, what could that special person in your life do for you that would be most meaningful to you? Let me know in the comments.
If you have any questions or comments of any kind, use the comment form below to let me know, I’d love to hear from you!