Expressing the Love Language of Giving and Receiving Gifts

Expressing Love Language - Gifts

“Gift-giving” and the language of “gift giving” don’t exactly roll off the tongue. Yet, the symbolism of gifts is essential to understanding life, love, and relationships. In any close bond between individuals, learning how to use the love language most likely to be received well can enhance the relationship and lead to deeper, more emotionally solid connections.

Almost everyone enjoys getting gifts. However, giving gifts also brings joy to the giver. Both gift-giving and gift-receiving may be examples of love language.

What Is the ‘Love Language’ Theory?

Author and Baptist minister Gary Chapman first outlined the Love Language theory in his 1992 book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. The five love languages refer to how Chapman says people can express and experience love.

In brief, the theory contends that every person has two love languages, one primary and the other secondary. In a relationship, one can determine their partner’s love language by watching how they express their love to others. They also must analyze the person’s most frequent complaints and what they most often ask of their partner.

  • According to love language theory, an individual typically gives love how they’d like to receive it.
  • Better communication occurs when one partner shows affection and care using the love language the other partner wants and understands.

Significance of Love Language

Love, language, and gifts do not mean materialism. In gift-giving and gift-receiving, love language is more about the significance and emotion of giving and receiving. According to love language theory, this is about expressing love to another authentically, meaningfully — to you and the gift recipient.

What Are the 5 Ways to Receive and Express Love in Relationships?

A closer look at the five ways to receive and express love in relationships shows how this love language fits within the context of love language theory. Briefly, all love languages are gifts in one form or another. Furthermore, understanding receiving gifts (meaning) helps build a solid bond with a partner.

Affirmation: Words You Speak

What words of affirmation in a relationship show love language theory in action? Furthermore, how do you know what you say will be accepted as gift-receiving love language? Communicating appreciation and complimenting your partner affirms your love and shows you value them as a human being.

Spending Quality Time with Your Partner

This seems obvious as a way to enhance a relationship with your partner. Spending quality time has both gift-giving and gift-receiving love language implications. What do some partners value most in their relationship? Many say they want their partner to do things with them, to listen to what they say, and to share honest feelings. Most of all, they want uninterrupted time together.

Expressing Love Through Physical Touch

Love expressed through physical touch is one of the most basic ways love language applies. In this case, words are unnecessary. Everything is conveyed through the caress’s warmth, care, and desire, the physical act of lovemaking, and the completeness of being one with the other.

However, a mother’s loving touch also radiates her love for her infant or child. The child benefits from the mother’s gift, receiving her love language even though it cannot yet understand the concept.

  • When physical touch is used to show love language gifts, it’s also a powerful way to show appreciation and trust to another, particularly an intimate partner.
  • This is an effective way to help your partner deal with stress.
  • Physical touch may also be helpful for partners who feel unable to express their emotions.

Performing Acts of Service

One of the most generous and deeply significant ways love language is gifts occurs when someone performs acts of service. This can be as simple as holding the door for another, helping them work in the yard, preparing a surprise meal, doing chores, and figuring out a budget. This way, the gift-receiving love language can be acknowledged, reciprocated, or appreciated in the giver’s intended spirit.

Receiving Gifts

How can receiving gifts, meaning accepting gifts from others, be a part of love language theory? Giving something to another can be a physical gift, a compliment, kind words, a massage, or something else. Ideally, the person receiving gifts understands the meaning behind them and accepts them as an unspoken demonstration of their shared love language.

Love Language Explained

What happens between two people who love each other and how they interact will vary from one relationship to another. Longtime married couples often use unspoken words to convey their love language. Their unique shared bond is a look, a quick touch, an almost automatic act of kindness, or softly spoken words.

They know each other so well that they’ve developed a shorthand that only they share. Sometimes, couples eating at a restaurant speak very little, as their presence is comforting, loving, and instinctively felt by each other. This is one way to explain love language.

Another way is that gift-giving sometimes makes it easier to convey emotions that may be challenging to express verbally. It is also a well-known and accepted way to celebrate significant occasions and milestones in their lives.

Giving Love Language

If love language is gifts, how do you improve the gifts you give? Remember that it doesn’t matter how much, how exclusive, or how rare a physical gift or experience is. What’s most important is the warmth and genuineness of the gift-giving.

Besides giving gifts to a partner in a relationship, love language also extends to self-appreciation. Think of how self-critical you may be during stressful times. Using words of affirmation can help you be less critical and more understanding and reduce doubt and confusion.

  • If you value physical touch, you can demonstrate self-love through the self-gifts of massage, taking a dance or fitness class, or doing yoga.

Receiving Love Language

For those receiving gifts, love language should be understood as the caring and thoughtfulness of their partner. It’s a way for the partner to show their love through the simple and powerful act of gift-giving.

  • Embrace your partner’s meaning behind giving the gift. It’s deeper than the gift itself.
  • Gifts you receive from your partner are not materialistic when they’re part of your love language.

Examples of Gift Receiving Love Language

What are some examples of gift-receiving love language? The following illustrates how one can receive gifts, using the five ways to receive and express love through the love language theory.

Physical Touch

Receiving a touch from someone you deeply care about is a tactile expression of love. If your partner knows you appreciate cuddling, show that you receive this gesture with reciprocal love. For example, you may stroke their arm, intensify a hug, kiss, or hold hands. Each of these physical acts is an example of both giving and receiving love language.

Spending Quality Time Together

Your partner knows you value your time together because you’ve communicated this. show you are fully engaged during your time spent together by:

  • Actively listen. Avoid doing something else simultaneously. For example, do not text or work on the computer when your partner speaks with you.
  • Maintain eye contact. While your partner is speaking, and vice-versa, hold their gaze.
  • Do activities together. Even if your partner doesn’t particularly like gardening but is doing it with you, show appreciation for this demonstration of love.
  • Suppose your partner wants to talk about something you’re interested in. Share your thoughts, feelings, and wishes. This conveys your receipt and acceptance of the gift of conversation.

Affirmation Words

How do you receive words of affirmation according to love language theory? Specific examples include:

  • Thanking your partner for their compliments.
  • Verbally saying “I love you, too” to your partner when they tell you they love you.
  • Reciprocating with text messages offering encouragement.
  • When you receive Post-it or other thoughtful notes showing love, do the same back or acknowledge your appreciation verbally.

Acts of Service

What can you do as the recipient of your partner’s love language through acts of service?

  • Besides declaring thanks, do something for them you know they greatly appreciate.
  • If your partner did something thoughtful for you, consider ways to express your appreciation. It may be something unexpected, like helping out planning an activity you can do together that you both enjoy.

Receiving Gifts

It means a lot to your partner that you acknowledge and value the gifts they give. Whether it’s a physical gift, time together, expressing heartfelt thanks for something they’ve done for you, or reciprocating with in-kind words of affirmation, show you care about their effort.

Spontaneity, if your partner likes to do things that are typically unplanned, shows that you understand their love language.