The third love language we are discussing is “Receiving gifts.” I think initially when we think of someones love language being receiving gifts, it can come with a negative connotation and the stigma of being materialistic. However, there is so much more to Receiving Gifts, than actually getting presents. Even when taking the quiz to determine my love language, I found myself second guessing answers that involved receiving gifts. Receiving gifts is more of an outward representation of thoughtfulness. When people receive a gift that clearly has a great deal of thought behind it, people feel valued. It shows that the person has been listening; To me, it shows that you were on the person’s mind, and this is another way of expressing it.
How do you manage a love language of receiving gifts while managing a budget? Chapman explains, that to be effective in this love language you may have to change your attitude about money; these gifts are an investment in the relationship and may have nothing to do with monetary value. I think at it’s core, what he is saying, is that although you are giving gifts, you can’t think of them as an expense, but an emotional investment. These gifts do not have to be flashy or expensive. Many of the examples he gives in the book, are just small acts of thoughtfulness. Picking up pizza on the way home, so you and your spouse don’t have to worry about dinner and dishes. Or picking a flower from the garden and bringing it as a surprise. These gifts are physical representations of an emotional state.
As I have mentioned before, I love to give gifts. I love to try to find the perfect gift for someone as a way of letting them know they are special to me. I try to put a lot of thought into the gifts I give, and find items that a person wouldn’t normally purchase for themselves. I especially do this with my husband; I buy him a gift for everything. It turns out that after he took the Love Language quiz, he literally scored a zero, when it came to the importance of receiving gifts; meaning he could literally care less if he received a gift. Although I knew that he wasn’t a big gift giver, I never really thought about the receiving aspect. All these years I put so much thought and time into finding the perfect present for him for every occasion, and that isn’t the way he best receives love. Although he is appreciative of the gifts, there are other ways in which he would be more receptive if I listened to his love language and not my own.
This is a perfect example of the importance of distinguishing the ways in which we best give and receive love. I give love through gifts, and receive love through words of affirmations; These are my love languages and not his. Although I enjoy giving gifts, I realized that to make him feel most loved, I need to adjust my love language to his.
However, If your spouse best receives love through receiving gifts, here are a few ideas which you can implement:
- If your spouse likes wine or beer, pick up their favorite or something new to try on their way home.
- Write a note leave it for them to find. Gifts don’t have to cost anything to have value.
- Give the gift of your time and presence. Quality time can be a gift.
- Listen to what your spouse is saying, many times there is a trail of breadcrumbs leading to what may be a perfect present for them. Keeps notes in your phone for when the time is right.
- Grab them a soda or their favorite drink as a mid-day surprise. Hello iced coffee!!