Couples Therapy and The 5 Love Languages: Gifts
If you’ve been following along with my blog posts the past few weeks, you know I am in the midst of a series of posts on The 5 Love Languages written by Gary Chapman. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the importance of Quality Time and last week was all about Acts of Service. This week I am going to talk about Gifts and some ways to incorporate gift giving into your relationships. Still to come in the new few weeks, I’ll be discussing Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch, so be sure to keep following along so you can read about each one.
Oh, and if you have not yet taken the online Love Languages Quiz, I do recommend taking a few minutes to do so in order to see which Love Languages work best for you in your relationships in order to know how you best give and receive love.
When incorporating Gifts into relationships, I find that people often overthink the whole process. Giving gifts doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take some thoughtfulness and a bit of effort. If you want to be a good gift giver, you will want to start by putting yourself in your partner’s shoes. Select gifts you think they would like to receive rather than selecting them based on what you would want. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes and make some mental notes (or physical notes if needed) about the types of things they often give themselves. Use these cues to help you!
Not sure where to start? Pay attention to the types of snacks they enjoy eating. Maybe you notice they like to treat themselves with their favorite candy bar or snack every now and then. The next time you stop for gas on your way home from work, you could run inside the store and pick them up their favorite treat. Not only will they appreciate the delicious gift, but it will make them feel very loved to know you that you pay attention to what they like. This little bit of effort will take less than 5 minutes out of your day and will not cost you much out of your wallet.
Gifts do not have to cost a lot of money to send a big message. In fact, they don’t have to cost anything at all. Have you noticed your partner really likes flowers, but the cost of a big bouquet is out of your budget? Rather than feeling like you have to spend a fortune, the next time you see some wildflowers growing, stop and pick a few if you can. Put them in a glass with some water to keep them fresh, and you have a beautiful gift to give. This is a thoughtful way to show them you care and that you have paid attention to their likes. You know they love receiving flowers, but you didn’t have to break the bank. Of course it is always ok to spend money on a bouquet, but I just don’t want it to feel like a requirement. When it comes to giving gifts, the thought really does count!
As I have mentioned in the past few blogs, it is a great idea to find ways to overlap the Love Languages when expressing your love in relationships. A great idea could be to take your sweetheart out for dinner at their favorite restaurant. This is not only a great Gift but also a way to spend Quality Time together. In my last blog, I mentioned that cooking dinner for your partner is a great way to show your love through an Act of Service. Well, it is also a great Gift and a way to spend Quality Time together. That’s a triple whammy of love all wrapped up in my one.
The biggest key when selecting a Gift to give is that you want to make sure you are basing it on their likes and not your own. If you are still struggling to figure out the best gifts to give your partner, having a conversation with them about it is not a terrible idea. None of us are mind readers, and it is not wrong to ask for suggestions. It does not make the Gift mean any less, and you’re going to feel more confident in giving it. With time it does get easier to learn what works best for your relationship, but communication is the key to success. They will also benefit from the conversation, because they will be receiving gifts from you that really do line up with their wants and needs.
There are so many ways to give gifts in relationships, and I do hope this has given you some ideas to get you started. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment for couples therapy or marriage counseling, or if you would like more information about The 5 Love Languages and ways to implement them into your life and relationship, you can call my office directly at 314-485-9189 or feel free to send me a message. My direct email address is email@example.com and you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more life and relationship tips!