The ‘gifts’ love language might seem to be the simplest and most common-sense of all the love languages, but there is a lot more skill required to actually speak this love language fluently. Think of all the times you received a gift that wasn’t true to your personality. Compare it to the times when the gift anticipated a need or desire that you’d never even voiced out loud. The difference is pretty loud and is extremely real for the gift-lovers of the world.
What’s the deal with love languages?
The Love Languages were coined by Dr. Gary Chapman who wrote a book and devised a quiz on the five different ways that individuals typically feel loved. Your close friends who enjoy gifts will likely feel most loved when they are recipients of thoughtful and personal gifts. This love language sees gift-giving as affection which symbolizes a larger sense of memory-making. In a sentence, the cup runs over when the gifts are love-filled (with a hint of inside jokes and intimacy).
While there is often some guilt around having ‘gifts’ as a primary or secondary love language, it is important to dismantle the shame around wanting and valuing gifts. The very real need to receive a physical token of love speaks to a love for sentimentality, care, and generosity. Being perceived as materialistic for enjoying gifts is an unfortunate and very superficial misconception. Many people feel loved not because of the material gift, but because of the story and thought behind it.
Why you should learn your friends’ love languages
If you’re looking to deepen your friendship bonds, learning their love language is an invaluable resource. Learning your friends’ love languages is a must, especially if you want to build long-lasting and meaningful connections. Love languages are indicative of how people feel most loved, after all. It’s a great idea to invest time in learning family and friends’ love languages, just as you would for a romantic partner. Once you know their love language, you’ll be able to show up in ways that feel personal.
To help you connect with your friends on a deeper level, here are some suggestions on how you can show up for your friends that value neatly wrapped gifts and treats.
Things to remember with your ‘gifts’ love language friends
Your gift is more than a gift – For your ‘gifts’ love language loved one, your gift is not just another item to store away, rather a manifestation of your love for them. Keep this in mind when you choose that special present. The trick really is in the details; whether you know it or not, the gift truly reveals how much you intimately know them. Buying a random but expensive perfume that is nothing like their go-to scent is unlikely to make them feel loved. On the other hand, if you notice that they’re a huge tea drinker and crave larger mugs for cozy days, buying them that extra-large mug will be memorable for them forever and prove that you understand their personality.
Something hand-made – Creating something from scratch and gifting something hand-made is a great way to speak to the sentimentality of gift-giving. A few ideas include pottery, art pieces or jewelry.
Surprise them – There is something about receiving gifts out of the blue that will never get old. Catch them off-guard with a gift that shows them you’re listening. Big or small, the idea is to offer them a token of love and gratitude that takes them aback.
Save the date! Gifts go hand-in-hand with anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, etc. Keep special dates marked in your calendar and set reminders to go all out with a gift that celebrates your bestie. Don’t restrict yourself to birthdays and holidays though. You could be creative and mark friend-anniversaries or a day when they accomplished something special.
Memories – Putting together a photo album to gather memories is an awesome gift that is sure to go appreciated by the friend who wants to remember the precious moments forever. This can be an old-school, physical album or a virtual one. You can replicate this with music playlists to celebrate a memory or special moment.
Make small gifts personal – You can’t go wrong with some personalization. Gifts that embody a personal touch include a book you recommend with some personal words as the foreword or something engraved with a special date or initials.
It is likely that how someone receives love is how they prefer to express it. Your ‘gifts’ love language friend may want to express love by giving gifts too. With this in mind, be sure to let them show you how much they appreciate you by exchanging well-thought-out gifts. This will give them joy and offer insight into the kinds of gifts they value.