My husband and I both have a love / hate affair with gifts as our love language. He talks about how gifts were used in place of love when he was a kid so he eyes them suspiciously and I just don’t really connect with someone giving me something I may or may not want / need / love. However, we both do appreciate and understand the gesture and the thoughtfulness behind giving and receiving gifts so we find ourselves in a weird place.

Do we speak the love language of gifts, or not? 

When Receiving Gifts is Not Your Love Language (but Your Partner Insists)

After writing my post about love languages earlier this week Brandon and I sat down and discussed our languages, again. Our 1 – 4 were very different but we both had receiving gifts as our last language. Although, we both also noted that it’s still important to us to feel important to the other person and that thoughtfulness is appreciated.

Ultimately, that’s what we settled on.

Receiving gifts is not important, but thoughtfulness is very important.

What do I mean by that?

I mean…

  • Encouraging me to buy a new pair of flats because he notices that my favorite pair is looking really worn.
  • Stopping in the store to look at that handbag I’m eyeing and telling me I’m worth the splurge.
  • Picking up dog food when he’s driving home from the gym because he remembered that we’re running low.
  • Buying a gift certificate for my favorite nail salon because I’ve mentioned that I need a manicure and he knows that I’ll never indulge unless I’m forced.

Ultimately, that’s what I told Brandon. Don’t buy me gifts but rather, encourage me to buy the things you notice I see when we’re out together, be thoughtful about things we need, or buy me experiences.

Wait…what? “Buy me experiences?”

Yes. Since Brandon likes to buy me things, but he knows that receiving gifts aren’t really my love language, we’ve compromised by combining quality time with gifts. 

Sometimes ‘quality time’ is gift enough.

I’ve told my husband that simply spending time with him, one on one, is gift enough for me. Between careers, blogs, dogs, church, and other obligations we don’t get enough one on one time so doing something is far more important to me than having something. 

Ashley at the Zoo

I’ve told him when he’s in the gift-giving mood to pre-order tickets to the Georgia Aquarium or the Atlanta Zoo. Plan a game night to see the Hawks or the Braves play. Plan a date-night scavenger hunt, buy a copy of my favorite movie for us to watch at home, etc.

I’d rather the gift be doing something rather than having something.

If you have a partner that doesn’t speak ‘receiving gifts’ as their love language, but you’re a gift-giving kind of person, consider giving them the  gift of new experiences together. To me, that speaks much more love than a new scarf or a bracelet any day! 

*Join me all month long as I link up with Belle Brita for #LoveBlog. 

Let’s Talk…

Is receiving gifts your love language? What kind of gifts do you prefer? What are your thoughts on giving the gift of a new experience or memory?