I think about love languages a lot. For anyone who isn’t familiar, love language is a theory that says people have sort of love “personality types” that dictate how they most prefer to show and receive love. Do I think people are exclusively one? No, I think we’re all a spectrum of all five.
So, what are the five love languages?
Words of Affirmation
Loving, encouraging, appreciative words
A big bear hug, massage, holding hands, making love
Gifts of any kind
Uninterrupted and dedicated time to connect
Acts of Service
Showing up and helping, offering your time to help accomplish something
Importantly, you can have a different love language for how you show love versus what makes you feel most loved.
And I think of them not only how they apply to how you show and receive love with others, but how you show and receive love to yourself.
Think about it. When you’re down or stressed, do you buy yourself something? (Receiving gifts) Do you give yourself a pep talk? (Words of affirmation) Do you cocoon and settle in for uninterrupted time with TV or a book? (Quality time) Do you clean or tackle a household project? (Acts of service) Do you massage your own shoulders or pet your dog more? (Physical touch)
Love Languages as They Apply to Gift Giving
Given how much I think about love languages and how much I love gift giving, I can’t help but think about the intersection of the two. I’m going to add some gifts that speak to the love languages of your loved ones (or, hey, gifts for yourself according to your love language!).
Words of Affirmation – Words of affirmation lovers are especially likely to adore personalized, heartfelt items.
- A framed portrait of a moment that brought them peace or joy
- A personalized book (e.g. What I Love About You, Amazon)
- Engraved jewelry
Physical Touch – A lover of physical touch will appreciate tactile, sensual gifts:
- A massage
- Spa treatment
- Satin pillowcase or sheet set
- Touch bracelets allow you to send “touches.” Touch the bracelet and they’ll feel it. (Bond Touch, pair of bracelets for $138)
- A luxurious robe (Uncommon Goods has unique selection of robes for every style and price point)
- An art class that involves sculpting or pottery
Gifts – People who love gifts can be a bit daunting to shop for. If your recipient is the type who loves buying things for themselves, the right gift certificate could work. I noticed my grandma loved playing games on her iPad, and an App Store gift card allowed her to buy coins and upgrades for all her games without having to touch her savings.
Quality Time – These will all be gifts that carve out time in this hectic world for just the two of you. Gift ideas:
- Jigsaw puzzles to do together
- A road trip to see something unique in nature
- A night out on the town
- A book you fill out together (e.g. Me, You, Us, Amazon)
- A picnic basket with everything you need for a romantic picnic for two
- A cooking class you take together (just please make sure they’re not insecure about their cooking!)
Acts of Service –
- Maid service
- A DIY coupon book where you make tickets to promise your time to help with household things (think tickets for “clean the gutters” or “take the dog to get groomed”)
- Volunteer somewhere together
Nothing is more gratifying than knowing you got the right person the right gift. That’s why we need to use every clue, psychological or otherwise, to try to nail that perfect gift. I hope this guide sparked your creativity and was helpful in showing you how love languages affect gift giving. Happy gifting!