The third love language as defined by Gary Chapman in his book and on his website “The Five Love Languages” is ‘Gifts’. This rated the lowest when both the Garden Gnome and I took the quiz and I have to admit that whilst I love gifts from my man, there are other things that are more important to me.
When you are first in love, it is natural to want to show that love in open displays of affection including giving of gifts. The Garden Gnome and I had been a couple for over twelve months but he had never told me that he loved me. I was patient, I knew he did but that he just couldn’t say the words. On our second Christmas together he gave me a beautiful silver heart shaped locket engraved with the words “I Love You”. It wasn’t the locket that I appreciated the most, it was the engraved words. They were a wondrous gift to me. I still wear that locket most days and we are entering our 18th year together 😉 Whilst gift giving is low on my list of ways to show that you care, I still value it as a love language.
A person whose love language is gifts isn’t necessarily materialistic. They see the genuine thought and feelings behind the gift that is given. Gary Chapman says in his book that “a gift is something you can hold in your hand and say “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” ”
When you give a gift, you have to have been thinking of that person when you purchased the gift and when you give a gift you are expressing your love. Think of the giving of wedding rings. This is an outward symbol of love and devotion. Some may never take the ring off ever again but others don’t see the need to wear the ring all the time. Those who don’t need to wear the ring obviously have another love language.
The perfect gift or gesture is one that shows that you are loved and cared for. That you are prized and appreciated. It is one that reflects thought and time rather than a hastily purchased card and bunch of flowers from the service station because you forgot a birthday or anniversary.
Gifts can be purchased, made or found. Wildflowers plucked from the side of the road (using Gary’s example) are just as special to a person whose love language is gifts as a $50 arrangement from the florist. The biggest thing to remember is that those who love to receive gifts are more interested in the sentiment behind it. A well thought out gift (regardless of the cost) is priceless.
The Gift of Self
In the book, Gary relates the story of a woman who felt that her husband loved softball more than her. Upon questioning, the story emerged of the day she had given birth to their first child and her husband had been playing softball whilst she was in labour. He left the game long enough to see the birth of his child and then returned to his game. (Reminds me of a certain ex who left me during labour to go home and watch the football match on tv before returning afterwards). When Gary questioned the husband over what he had done, he explained that he didn’t believe he was much help to his wife during labour and that he was so happy about the birth of his son, he had rushed back to share the news with his friends. Whilst he was a wonderful husband and father, he failed to realise that the gift of his presence would have meant far more to his wife than telling her how happy he was or buying her a dozen red roses would have. Gary suggests that those who need their partner/spouse to be there on certain occasions ensure that they tell them this because it is difficult to interpret body language or read minds.
At the heart of love, is the spirit of giving. All of the five love languages require giving in some form or another but for some, receiving tangible and physical gifts is what they associate love with the most. If the one you love is someone who loves to receive gifts, you can become proficient at it. Keep a notebook and write down every time he/she says something like “Oooh I really like that” or “One day I’ll get something like that”. Keep in mind that the gift need not be expensive or even store bought. A few words from the heart inside a card could be just what he/she really wants.
When I first did the quiz, I believed that gift giving would be right up there for me because when I receive a gift from anyone, I feel valued and appreciated. I treasure the little things that the GG has given me and the cards that he writes because I know just how much thought goes into them. However, it isn’t my primary love language. To me, gift giving is wonderful but there are other things more important. That is true for me but may not be true for you. The main thing to remember is that thought and love should go into any gift regardless of whether ‘gifts’ is the love language of the recipient.