You’re spouse picked up groceries on the way home and as you begin to put them away, he pulls out something that wasn’t on the list. He smiles wide, holds out your favorite candy bar and says here I got you this! It wasn’t on the list, you didn’t ask for it, but when your spouse was at the store he was thinking of you and wanted to get you a token of affection.
If this has ever happened to you, chances are gifts is your spouse’s love language. Now, that I mention it, you can probably remember other times he has bought or made something for you, so excited to see if you like it. We typically express love in the same way we like to receive it. So if your spouse is constantly giving you gifts, then chances are he wants you to make the same effort.
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What Does Gifts Mean?
Typically when the word “gift” is used we think Christmas, birthday parties and wedding showers. But gifts don’t always have to be tied to a designated celebration.
Gifts don’t have to be store bought either. Gifts can be hand made. Really if you boil it down to it’s very core essence, a gift centered person is just someone who responds to thought-filled tangible gestures. That’s why in the example above I mention a candy bar. It isn’t a pricey gift, nor is it super special. But, it is your favorite and it was gotten without being asked. That shows the thoughtfulness gift centered individuals are looking for.
I dated a guy in High school who would wake up early almost every day before school, walk to the store and buy me my favorite candy bar. Until I grew up more, way after our relationship ended, I didn’t fully appreciate the gesture. his extreme lengths to give me a gift was his best way of showing affection. Don’t get me wrong, I was always grateful, especially when I realized he was walking a mile to get it. But it was just a nice thing in my head, it wasn’t an act of love. Little did I realize for a gifts person this was an ultimate sign of love and affection.
How Do I Know If My Spouse Has A Love Language of Gifts?
If you aren’t sure which love language your spouse is, take this helpful quiz to get you started. Not a fan of quizzes? No problem.
Let’s take a look at some common complaints that can clue you in.
- You never get me anything
(usually said when you get yourself something without getting something for them as well)
- It would be really nice if you got me a gift now and then
- You never buy me flowers
These sound really straight forward. However, if you aren’t looking at them for what they really mean these statements might sound selfish to you. If you’ve ever thought to yourself “My husband/wife always wants something. He/She’s so materialistic.” Your spouse is probably a gifts person.
Remember: It isn’t the price tag of the gift that matters. It’s the thought and gesture!
How Do I Express Love Through Gifts
Like physical touch, this love language is pretty easy to nail. You simply have to get them a gift, right?
Well you’re not wrong. But again, you want to make sure your gift is coming from the right place in your heart. Buying them some random gadget at the store isn’t going to do much in the way of showing love. In fact, getting a gift that doesn’t show thought might actually hurt your spouse. If they feel like you don’t really know them (by way of the gifts you give), you could really hurt your relationship. We all want to feel known and loved. So, make sure you are giving gifts that mean something.
Every gift doesn’t need to be handmade and filled with a deeper meaning. But if you’re going to pick up something small make sure it’s something they love, like their favorite flower or their favorite candy bar. Gift centered people are looking for sign that you truly know what they love and in turn that means you love them because you’ve been paying attention.
Examples of Gifts
- That sweater, mixing bowl, razor set, whatever that they’ve been eyeing every time you go to the store.
- A handmade gift like a vase to put flowers in, or a wood container you made yourself to hold their keys
- Waking up early to run out and buy their favorite coffee and bring it home to them when they wake up
Remember: The gift just needs to show your spouse that you know them, listen to them and love them.
For more examples, download my 5 Love Languages Cheat Sheet! I go through a full day’s worth of showing intentional love, along with some pro tips, I don’t share here!
It’s Not Working
You swear you do these things already, but they don’t seem appreciative? When you are married to someone who has a love language of gifts timing is important. When are you giving them your tokens of affection? Is it right after a fight? Or right after they bring it up?
Or are you being proactive and giving them gifts before they ask, when things are going great? Timing really matters because nothing is worse than receiving a gift you feel you guilt-tripped someone into getting for you. If the gift is meant to show your love for your spouse then the elements of surprise and spontaneity are your best friend.
One More Thing
While, I am confident in my advice given here and it’s a great place to start. Make sure you go and read Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, to get a full sense of this wonderful, life changing marriage advice. The book is detailed and easy to comprehend. It truly changed my perspective on relationships.
Did you know? He also makes one that’s child specific! This is actually the book I originally read, because it was the one my mom had. The principles are the same, but show you how to focus in on using it with your children. Children that feel loved, love better and respond better to learning. Get it here.
Don’t Forget to Take My 5 Love Languages Quiz to find out what your spouse’s love language REALLY is!
Alternatively, you can also take it yourself and see what result you get! When you finish the quiz, you can sign up to receive my complete 5 Love Languages Cheat Sheet that includes a full day’s worth of love language specific loving!
Related: How To Master Acts of Service