It’s not Easter, not Christmas, not even your birthday! Yet when you slipped your hand into the inner pocket of your coat to reach for your wallet, you stumbled upon something that wasn’t there the last time you wore the coat: a new, stylish pen and a small, folded piece of paper. You are surprised but also curious, so you unfold the paper; it reads: “You’ll need it to sign the contract”. Signed, “Sarah”. Your face immediately lights up. Why? It’s very simple. You’re a real-estate agent who always forgets to carry around a pen. This time though, Sarah’s saved you the potential embarrassment by slipping it into your pocket. She knew it would make you happy. But it didn’t. It saved your day! Sarah speaks your love language… and now it’s your turn to show love by sending a text message. Her love language is “Words of Affirmation” so the text is the best gift you could offer!
As you’ve seen, people have different love languages and understanding and reacting to your spouse’s default setting, let’s say, is crucial for a growing relationship. In the example above, I wanted to show how two individuals can complement each other. Also, I wanted to stress out that gift-giving isn’t what people usually believe it to be, a materialistic gesture. Far from it! A person whose native tongue is “Receiving gifts” will shine like the sun for a mere coloured pebble, as long as they are convinced you got it while thinking of them!
The golden rule here is: A gift is proof of love. “Receiving gifts” is not my primary love language, but I’ve learnt to speak it because I have people in my life I care about who do. To be honest, it’s quite easy if you remember the rule and, in a way, it’s made me more receptive and empathic. How did I achieve that? Well, I noticed my best friend likes a certain brand of beer, so even if it’s not on my shopping list, I get it. When he comes round, I intentionally ask him to get me something from the fridge. “You remembered…”
That’s what I hear from the other room while prepping up a movie.
Of course, he would’ve drank any beer I had in the fridge, but the effect wouldn’t have been the same! That’s what “Receiving gifts” is all about. It’s not about the money, it’s about the thought. Whether we’re talking about lovers, family or friends, it’s all the same- be receptive, learn what they like and then surprise them.
A natural question here is when to give gifts; should I wait until his/her birthday? NOooo. Make a holiday out of an ordinary day. People who speak “Receiving gifts” glow just as much if you spontaneously surprise them, even though it’s…I dunno…Thursday. Or Friday. At the same time, do not minimize the importance of a standard holiday such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween or their birthday. Forgetting about one of those is catastrophical- it screams out “You don’t care about me!”.
Like I said, this love language doesn’t focus on the expensive side of items, but rather on the excitement, time and thought you put in it. That’s what a gift language speaker looks for…
- Don’t come home empty-handed from a road trip or even from a business trip!
- Send flowers through a courier if you don’t have the time to travel yourself.
- Prep something nice if your loved one is feeling down.
- Extend the proverbial olive branch.
Before we move on to the list of creative gifts, let me clarify what I meant by extending the olive branch. Gift-giving is a good way to seek reconciliation but only AFTER you have dealt with the issue at hand. Never, and I underline the never here, try and buy your partner’s feelings or think it’s a way to buy your guilt out. For someone who speaks this love language, it’s a terrible offense; it’s like saying they are for sale. Maybe it will fool them once or twice, but it will certainly hurt the relationship long-term.
Bellow you have a list of creative and inexpensive gifts for your loved one. If nothing from here helps, I recommend you start indexing, so to say, what they want or would like. Lists are always helpful and even if that doesn’t work, a gift card is a universal key. Just make sure not to use it too often, otherwise the person will think you know nothing about them!
- Bring your spouse or girlfriend flowers.
- Treat them to some time at the spa.
- Purchase a book that they have wanted.
- Create a collage of photos of important events/moments for them to display.
- Put together a book of inspiring quotes for your spouse- handwritten by you.
- Use your talent to make them something: painting, mosaic, a yummy treat, etc.
- Take them out to their favorite place.
- Drop a small gift off for them at work.
- Sneak a treat into their lunch/bag.
- Rent their favourite movie.
- Get the video game they’ve wanted.
In the end, gift-giving is about paying attention to the other person and genuinely trying to connect on their level. With a little help from friends or family, you can certainly learn in time to speak “Receiving gifts”