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Friday, August 30, 2013

What's Your Love Language? Receiving Gifts

I think that today’s love language – Receiving Gifts – can be very tricky.  It seems easy enough to give a gift but how many people have heard the story of the wife getting a vacuum as a birthday present?  My point exactly – just because you think your gift is useful, practical, wanted does not mean the person receiving the gift thinks the same thing.  This is where you have to be careful because the love language is not giving gifts, its receiving gifts.

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Now the vacuum is actually a very practical and useful gift – however it’s the message behind the gift you are giving that is more important than the gift itself.   The husband may have bought the vacuum because he heard his wife say that she really wanted a new one – which shows he was listening and remembered what she said (two points for him!)  But the vacuum may say to the gift recipient, “Here, now you can clean the house”.  That being said - I also know of people who would love to receive a vacuum as a gift.  That's why I said this is a tricky one - it's all about getting to know your loved one and gifts they would like to receive.  
If you are showing love to a person whose love language is receiving gifts you will need to pay attention to their likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. before you give a gift.  And the most important thing about using gifts as a love language – the gifts do not need to be extravagant, expensive, or given all of the time.  The most valued gifts are the ones that show you have listened to the person, remembered what they are interested in, and have made an effort to show them you care. 

Some helpful tips: 
1) Listen to what your significant other talks about or points out when watching TV, shopping, or talking about their hobbies - use these as a guide for gift giving

2) Surprise them!  Bring them lunch at work or have their favorite coffee waiting for them when they wake up

3) Get creative – who says that every gift you give has to be bought?  Some of my favorite things hanging up around our house are things that one of us has made.  For example, our house has no counter space and very limited storage.  I really needed some more storage space in the kitchen.  We had some empty pallets laying around (because who doesn’t have pallets laying around their house??) so  my wonderful girlfriend spent a whole afternoon building me an awesome spice rack!  It was the perfect gift because it was from the heart and much needed!  Now every time I look at the spice rack hanging on the wall I think of her.

4) Ask for help!  Gift giving does not mean you are a mind reader.  Ask your partner about things they would like or if you want it to be a surprise ask your partner’s friends to help you out. 

5) Keep it simple!  Yes every once in a while an over the top gesture is great but let’s be honest in our busy everyday lives how realistic is it to plan frequent over the top gestures?  Plus if you are always doing over the top gestures A) you are going to have a heck of a time trying to top your last one and B) after awhile they wont be over the top they will just be the norm!

And if you love language is receiving gifts – be grateful and show appreciation for the love behind the gifts you are given.  Because as cliché as it may sound it is the thought that counts. 

I want to hear from you - What's the best gift you have ever received or given?  What made it so special?

Don't forget to check out the rest of Love Langauges series:

What Language Do You Speak?
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Quality Time
Physical Touch

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