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Receiving Gifts Love Language: A Complete Guide

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If you’ve been reading about the five love languages in Dr. Gary Chapman’s work, and have taken the handy quiz he and his team have put together, you may have discovered that you or your partner’s primary love language is receiving gifts.

Now, this love language gets a lot of side-eye compared to the others.

This is because a lot of people seem to think that people who value gifts more than physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, or acts of service, are shallow and materialistic.

What they fail to realize is that the people who thrive in this love language are some of the most giving, generous folks they’ll ever meet. 

Giving and receiving gifts is far less about the item itself, and more about the intention behind

What Does It Mean If Receiving Gifts Is My Love Language?

You likely have boxes of treasured keepsakes that you’ve collected over the years…

A book your grandmother gave you. The movie tickets from your first date. Dance shoes you wore until they practically fell off you.

People whose love language revolves around gifts tend to form strong emotional associations with physical objects.

They’re sentimental beings who feel deeply, and may have a tendency to hoard. 

In many ways, these objects – especially gifts that they have received from people they care about – are extensions of the relationships themselves, not just “stuff.”

This is why they put so much care and effort into the gifts they choose for others.

They take time to look for something perfect, and might buy a holiday or birthday gift months in advance, simply because they found just the right thing.

If this is your love language, you undoubtedly spend a lot of time thinking about what you can either buy or make for the people you love.

After all, every time they look at that object, or wear it, or use it, they’ll remember that you’re the one who gave it to them! And that’s sure to make them smile. 

How To Express Care If This Is Your Partner’s Love Language

Pay attention to the things they cherish, as that’ll give you some solid insights as to which kinds of gifts they’d like best.

For example, do they collect crystals? Have they told you a story about where they got each piece, and why they like them?

That gives you a great starting point: you can subtly ask them about different kinds of stones, which they like best, whether there are others they’d like to add to their collection, etc.

Then surprise them with one at the dinner table. Or slip one into their shoe along with a silly little note for them to find. 

If gift giving/receiving is your partner’s love language, it’s important that you are very aware of their efforts toward you.

When they give you a gift, you’ll know that they have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into it. 

As a result, they’ll be watching you intently to see what your reaction is, and they may be hurt deeply if you just sort of set it aside nonchalantly. 

If they know you well, you’re sure to like the gift they’ve chosen (or made) for you. It may be simple, or utilitarian, or even absolutely outlandish, but you’ll know that a lot of thought and emotion went into it.

Even if you don’t particularly like it, even if you know it’ll end up languishing at the back of a drawer for years, be sure to acknowledge the intention behind their efforts.

Thank them sincerely, with specific details about what you like about it. 

Seriously, even if they’ve given you the most horrendous holiday sweater, you can comment on how impressed you were that they put so much time into making it for you themselves.

Then watch them light up.

Examples Of Gift Giving/Receiving

This one is probably the easiest one to think about, as pretty much all of us have given and received gifts at various points in our lives.

So, instead of getting into Gift Giving 101, let’s look at some opportunities that may be ideal for showing your beloved that you care.

– Winter holidays.

– Birthdays.

– Anniversary (of first date, engagement, wedding, the first time you made s’mores together…)

– Mother’s/Father’s day.

– Your children’s birthdays/adoption days, if you have them – or your pet’s birthdays/adoption days.

– Other dates that are special for the two of you.

Now, these are just the big dates, which might require a bit of extra time and prep work for super special gifts. Remember that some of the most treasured items are those that are given spontaneously.

For example, gift receiving may be lowest on my love languages scorecard, but the little items my partner has given me for no particular reason mean far more to me than anything big.

The bookmark in my favorite book, for example, is a feather that he found and gave to me simply because it’s beautiful, and he knew I’d like it.

It can really be that simple.

If you’d like to start giving your partner more items, but are absolutely stuck on what to give them, you can ask their friends and family members for advice.

Although it might seem easier to just ask your partner what they want, that approach can be very disheartening for them. 

Here are some tried-and-true ideas that your beloved is sure to appreciate:

Self-Care Kit: Get an attractive box from your local container store, and fill it with items that your partner enjoys.

For example, their favorite snacks, some body care products, maybe a couple of magazines. Keep this on hand and give it to them when they’ve had a rough day.

Date Night Kit: Plan a special night together, and surprise them with items and memories reminiscent of a special event you attended together.

Did you go to the movies on your first date? Watch the sequel on Neftlix, with a bunch of movie-themed snacks.

Or maybe you went to Paris for your honeymoon? Order in a fancy French meal and give them a vintage item you ordered from Ebay France.

Try To Communicate About Your Love Language

You may be prone to scrutinizing the gifts that other people give you, and you may get disappointed on occasion if the pieces they offer you don’t seem as well thought out or special as the ones that you give in turn. 

If this happens, please try to consider that their main love language may be the polar opposite to yours, and as such they don’t have your natural intuition and ability when it comes to giving gifts.

Should you find that you’re continually disappointed with the items your loved one(s) give you, try to express this in a way that’s constructive, rather than critical. 

For instance, instead of getting angry or upset with someone because they can’t seem to intuit what it is you really like, open a dialogue by suggesting that you’d like to ensure that you give them the types of things that would make them happiest.

Let them tell you all about the things they like best, and then offer your own ideas up in turn.

You could even suggest that you start a Pinterest board together to help one another get insights about what you’d both like for the holidays, birthdays, etc. Or even just items that catch your eye because they’re fun and interesting!

That way everyone involved is far more likely to receive things they’ll truly love, without any hurt feelings.

Ways For Gift Givers/Receivers To Deepen Connections

Share your collections!

You or your partner may have amassed oodles of cool things over the years, so why not have a “show and tell” session together? 

This isn’t just for new couples, either: people can spend years together and still not know the story of where that old canoe paddle in the corner came from, or why there’s a chip in the vase on the kitchen table.

Set aside a few hours on the weekend, brew up your favorite beverages, grab some snacks, and bring out your treasures.

You don’t have to share old love letters or really personal items if you’re not comfortable doing so, but definitely tell them about some of the items you treasure, and why.

Do you have a sentimental attachment to a pocket watch your granddad gave you? Does it still work? 

Did you pick up that scarf at a thrift shop when you travelled to Prague during your gap year? 

Where did that old book come from?

Ask sincere questions about these items, and talk about why they’re special to you both. 

Alternatively, you could create a memory box together. Not a closed box that you keep in a cupboard, mind you, but one that you can display on the wall, like a small curio cabinet.

Pick a theme together, and decide what types of things you’re going to fill it with.

Maybe you’ll collect Lord of the Rings figurines and memorabilia that you’ll buy for one another, or trinkets you pick up on business trips. 

You’ll cultivate a fabulous collection, and your lover will be able to enjoy each piece individually, as well as part of the whole.

Please be aware that because they place so much importance on gifts, you may hurt them deeply if you forget to give them something for their birthday, or your anniversary.

They might also get hurt badly if you seem to have just grabbed a gift randomly, rather than choosing something they’d truly appreciate.

Remember that for a person who has gift giving/receiving as their primary love language, these items are physical reminders that they are loved.

Keep this in mind when choosing the items that you give them.

Fun Gift Ideas For This Love Language

People who struggle to buy gifts for others can get really stressed out if their partner’s love language is receiving gifts.

Fortunately, we live in an era where there are oodles of different options to be found, and one of the most exciting ones is a subscription box.

In simplest terms, you buy a box of delights for your beloved, and decide whether it’ll be a one-time thing (like a holiday gift), or something that will arrive for them monthly or quarterly. Check out sites like Cratejoy for ideas! 

There are subscription box options to suit absolutely everyone out there, from personal care products to books, sporting goods, and more.

Your beloved will squeal with delight every time they open a new parcel, and will form wonderful memories for every item in there.

Surprise deliveries at your partner’s workplace can also be quite a delight.

If you know your partner’s having a rough day, consider having flowers or cookies delivered to their office.

It may seem like a small gesture, but knowing that someone they love is thinking about them, and putting effort into making them feel loved, will brighten their day exponentially.

Another great idea is a scavenger hunt! Not only will they be able to find a bunch of little treasures as they scurry around, following your clues, but the entire experience will be a gift for them.

This is the kind of memory-making experience they’re sure to love. And think of how much fun it’ll be for you to put it together for them!

As a final idea, the two of you can go shopping together. This works especially well if both of you speak the same gift giving/receiving language, as you’ll be getting this gift for one another, right?

You can share in the experience, and get all warm and glowy about the fact that you’ve chosen it together, and absolutely love it.

Sharing is caring, and the memories you’ll create with the gifts you give each other can last a lifetime.

Still have questions about the Receiving Gifts Love Language? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.