When was the last time you enjoyed a gift as much as your kids do on Christmas morning? When was the last time you were as excited or touched by a gift as your child opening Santa’s present at 5am? I’ve had a couple of those experiences – where a gift was so extraordinarily thoughtful it spoke to my soul.
A few years back, I volunteered to lead my local Relay For Life. Despite a corporate job, online Master’s classes, and tutoring students 2-3 hours each night, I felt called to serve. A colleague of mine (I fondly refer to her as my frolleague, friend + colleague) gifted me with an Origami Owl necklace with the perfect charms hand-picked just for me. There was a K for my name, a purple ribbon to represent Relay, and a heart that said In Memory Of (because I Relay for my stepmom we lost 9 years ago). She told me the gift was to encourage me to continue serving and to remind me of my purpose.
Last year for Christmas, my husband gifted me a book of puns. It wasn’t an extravagant gift or something I’d ever asked for, and yet it was perfect. I have a silly personality, and puns make me giggle (Did you read my Easter Eggs to Dye For article?). He thought about what made me happy, and he found a gift that spoke to my heart.
My final example was a gift my grandpa brought from Wisconsin a few months ago. My great aunt sent him to Texas with the cutest teapot shaped like a bird. She knew I collected teapots, and when she saw this one, she thought of me and wanted to add it to my collection. How sweet is that?
The feeling of receiving a gift hand picked to make you smile is truly unrivaled. It’s a fantastic way to show our loved ones how much we care. Let’s all be more intentional about gifting presents that speak to the soul.
Embracing the 5 Love Languages
Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? (You have if you read our post on Date Ideas!) The 5 Love Languages is a book authored by Gary Chapman that provides a fresh perspective on relationships. It details five ways that people generally recognize love. While I feel loved when my husband and I spend quality time together, he feels most loved when I pick up one of his chores (acts of service). Others feel loved when they hold hands, cuddle, or otherwise embrace (physical touch); while still others feel most loved when receiving gifts from their partners. The fifth language is words of affirmation – hearing “I love you,” “You’re my soulmate,” or other sayings that emphasize the relationship’s validity.
There’s much more intricacy to these love languages, so I highly encourage you read the book and take the online quiz to learn more about your own love language – and (perhaps more importantly) that of your spouse.
I can try to show my husband that I love him all day long by sending him lovey dovey texts, but if his love language isn’t words of affirmation, he’s not going to feel loved by my actions. It’s easy to speak our own primary love language – it’s what feels most natural and makes the most sense to us. But when our partners speak other primary languages, it’s imperative we get a little uncomfortable and step out of our comfort zones to learn the love language our partner speaks. It’s the only way we can truly show our love to our spouses. I won’t speak for you, but to me, it’s critical that I tell my husband I love him each and every day.
The only way to do that is to learn how to speak his love language. At first, I thought his primary language was receiving gifts. He’s not a materialistic person, but whenever I would put a Dr Pepper on his desk or have cookies delivered to his desk on a tough day, I could tell he felt special and really knew I loved him. While that was his secondary language, he was actually overwhelmingly an acts of service speaker.
Now, let’s be honest, guys – Acts of Service was the language that meant the least to me. By a long shot. It’s so not my primary language. Alas, it is important to my partner, so I asked questions and learned how to speak this language better to him on a regular basis. We also make sure to go on dates that speak each other’s love languages; it has helped our relationship tremendously.
Gifts that Speak Your Partner’s Love Language
I was doing the dishes more often and doing chores that weren’t necessarily “mine” in order to show my husband I loved him and cared about learning his love language. But I still struggled on his birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas with gifts that would speak his love language. A PS4 is a great gift, but does it tell my husband I love him the same way that hiring someone to take care of the lawn, would?
After hours of researching and deep thought, I’ve developed the following list of 50 gifts that speak your partner’s love language.
Quality Time Gift Ideas
- Book a Bed & Breakfast.
- Plan a hike nearby.
- Gift certificate to favorite restaurant.
- Gift certificate for a favorite hobby (rock climbing) or tickets to game.
- Road trip plans.
- Picnic at the park.
- Board games or puzzles to do together.
- Favorite bottle of wine.
- Gift certificate to Painting with a Twist (or similar couple activity).
- Something that represents the place you had your first date (Restaurant gift certificate, Starbucks gift certificate, etc.).
- Massage oil.
- Body lotion.
- Bath bomb.
- A new outfit.
- Kama Sutra book.
- A new dress and a promise for a night out dancing.
- Couple’s massage.
- Couple’s body painting class.
- Gift certificate for the roller skating rink.
- Tickets to a haunted house.
Words of Affirmation
- A greeting card with the perfect message.
- Journal with your love story.
- Scrapbook of your love story.
- An original poem.
- “Love” wall art.
- Plan a karaoke date night and promise her a love song.
- Purchase a flysign.
- Create a unique movie intro advertisement.
- Watch a romcom and tell her it’s how you feel.
- Tickets to a concert with an artist that sings love songs.
Acts of Service
- Breakfast in bed.
- Hire a landscaper.
- Hire a handyman for a day.
- Take all of the laundry (including bedspreads) to the dry cleaner.
- Steam clean the carpets.
- Coupon books.
- Washer/dryer combo.
- Automatic shower cleaner.
- Scrapbook, photobook, or photo album.
- Star dedication.
- Gift certificate to his/her favorite restaurant.
- Tickets to see his/her favorite sports team.
- T-shirt/sweatshirt/etc for his/her favorite sports team, college, etc.
- Concert tickets or CD/MP3 for his/her favorite musician.
- What has he/she been not-so-subtly mentioning needing/wanting?
- A new book he/she’s been dying to read (or written by a favorite author!).
- A new video game – just released!
- Jewelry (sparkle always makes a great gift).
Taking it a Step Farther
Being considerate of your partner’s primary love language is a crucial first step to becoming the thoughtful partner your spouse deserves. But is it enough?
Only you can really answer that question, but my assumption is, probably not. There’s a lot that goes into being a thoughtful partner, and when you master it, it has the power to transform your relationship. Your partner will feel more loved than ever, and you’ll feel like a successful spouse.
Consider joining our completely free email challenge: 7 Days to Becoming a More Thoughtful Partner.
If you can dedicate just 7 days of your life, you’ll learn:
- To become more thoughtful and present in your relationship
- Ways to show your partner you love him/her
- How to find the perfectly thoughtful gift for your partner
- Thoughtful actions to implement in daily life
- How to eliminate guilt about being with a “more thoughtful” partner
- AND SO MUCH MORE
What is my list missing? What’s your primary love language and what gift would make you feel most loved by your spouse? Share in the comments below!
PS: Don’t forget to check out the list of dates that speak your partner’s love language!