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Know Your Love Language: Learn to Speak “Receiving Gifts”

If presents are precious to your significant other, here’s how to become fluent in their love language.
by Michael Benninger | Oct 4 2019

From a young age, many of us instinctively associate love with getting gifts. Between birthdays, holidays, and school graduations, most kids can’t wait to open presents from loved ones on special occasions. After all, it’s always nice having something new from someone who cares about you.

As we mature, however, we adopt other ways to interpret affection. As author Gary Chapman explains in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, receiving gifts is only one of the five ways in which people perceive love. We also recognize it through physical touch, acts of service, quality time together, and words of affirmation.

For some people, though, receiving gifts remains the most impactful expression of love they’ll experience in their entire lives. These individuals speak the love language known as “receiving gifts,” and becoming fluent in it is easy if you understand the basics.

The Grammar of Receiving Gifts

For people whose native love language is receiving gifts, presents are physical symbols of love that materially express the affection someone has for them. If you’re in a relationship with someone who primarily experiences love in this way, regularly surprising them with presents — that don’t have to be expensive, or indeed, cost anything at all — is the key to unlocking their heart.

If your partner’s native love language is receiving gifts, each present you give them is perceived as an expression of true love. And for relationships that are headed toward marriage, the act of giving gifts plays an especially pivotal role. That’s not to say, however, that it’s all about how much money you spend.

More than Materialism

At a time when millennials are embracing minimalism and people around the world are throwing away items that don’t spark joy, it’s easy for cynics to dismiss the language of receiving gifts as mere materialism or a misperception by people who equate love with money. In truth, however, this love language is as much about the intangible aspects of gift-giving as it is the tangible ones.

For individuals who speak the love language of receiving gifts, the monetary cost of the presents they receive is not the primary focus. Instead, the value lies in the whole gift-giving process, from inception to delivery and beyond.

People who communicate in the language of receiving gifts not only cherish the treasures given to them, but they also derive delight from the element of surprise, the thrill of unwrapping, and the thought behind the token of affection. Beyond that, the memories of gift-giving occasions can also fill their hearts for years to come.

Recognizing the Language of Receiving Gifts

Wondering whether your partner’s primary love language is receiving gifts? If the following characteristics ring true for your relationship, this could be their heart’s preferred parlance.

  • Shopping — whether online or in stores — is more of a treat for them than a task.
  • They always have an arsenal of wrapping paper and gift bags for all occasions.
  • They have a tough time getting rid of gifts they’ve received — even decades later.
  • They pride themselves in picking the perfect, personalized gifts for every occasion.
  • When traveling, they always leave room in their luggage for souvenirs to give others.

10 Ways to Please a Partner Who Loves Receiving Gifts

If you’re in a relationship with someone who speaks the love language of receiving gifts, you might be worried that this spells bad news for your bank account. The reality, however, is that you don’t need to earn a six-figure income in order to keep your partner’s “love tank” full of fuel.

To increase your fluency in the love language of receiving gifts, here are some tips to help you cater to your partner’s needs — without breaking the bank.

  • Embrace the Art of Gift-Giving — View choosing presents for your partner as a skill to be honed and always try to choose items with sentimental value.
  • Never Miss a Gift-Giving Occasion — Setting up recurring reminders on your calendar can go a long way in case you tend to forget significant dates.
  • Share a Steady Stream of Small Gifts — Small tokens of affection can mean the world to your sweetheart, even if they only cost a few bucks at a local convenience store.
  • Don’t Skip the Souvenirs — If you travel for work — especially to places your significant other has never been — let them know you thought about them while you were away.
  • Put Thought into Every Offering — A seashell that symbolizes a magical moment can mean far more than a fancy pair of earrings or expensive electronics.
  • Make the Biggest Deal on Birthdays — Of all the gift-giving occasions, birthdays are perhaps the most meaningful because they’re also the most personal.
  • Give Gifts When They’re Down in the Dumps — If your partner is feeling blue, a small reminder of how strongly you feel for them can change their day completely.
  • Stick with It — Consistency is key when it comes to communicating with those who “speak” this language. Make it a point to share presents several times a year, every year.
  • Remember Their Reactions — As time goes by, your partner’s reaction to your gifts might slip your mind. Keep a record of their responses to identify what they like most.
  • Ask for Advice — If you’re still stumped about what to give your significant other, ask your friends and family for ideas advice about what kinds of gifts to give.

Learning the love language of giving gifts is easy when you know what’s involved. But if your partner primarily interprets love in another way, you may be wondering how best to communicate with them. To help you, we’ve put together a handy guide to learning all five love languages. Of course, you can also launch the Blinkist app at any time to read the full set of blinks to The 5 Love Languages or the hundreds of other books about relationships in our expansive library.

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