What Does it Mean When Your Love Language is Gift Giving?19 January 2022 / By Kim Jacobson Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on January 19, 2022
Let’s be honest, the gift-giving love language gets a bad rap.
Words like “selfish” and “materialistic” are often associated (by non-gift-giving types) with this love language, because it suggest you want to receive (as well as give) “stuff” from your partner as a gesture of their love.
And it’s time to put these misconceptions to rest.
If you clicked on this article expecting a blast on the gift-giving love language, you’ve come to the wrong place. It’s time to vindicate the gift-givers among us.
Gift-givers tend to be sentimental
First things first, gift givers tend to be the sentimentalists among us. The ones who hang on to movie stubs from their first date. The ones that still have that holey sweater they really should throw out but was given to them by a beloved friend.
You know who I’m talking about.
The ones you can always count on to bring you a souvenir from a trip they go on.
Key to the gift-giving love language is understanding that the price tag has no bearing on the impact of the gift. Rather, it’s the meaning behind it.
Gifts provide this person with a memory and a memento of that memory all in one.
Where the rest of us tend to forget little details and small moments, gift givers can recall with uncanny clarity a seemingly small, impactful moment with the aid of these sentimental totems.
They are planners and supporters
Interestingly, gift-giving stands alone among the love languages in one way: it requires the most forethought.
You can tell someone you love them without really thinking about it.
You can spend time with someone while not engaging and internalizing.
But when you engage in gift giving, you’re actively thinking about the other person. It requires a tremendous amount of thought, even if it’s a simple gift for your child’s classmate’s birthday party.
Those with the gift-giving love language feel most loved when they know you’ve thought about them.
Out of sight, but not out of mind
Building on the last section, one friend phrased it as “I’m out of sight, but I know I’m not out of mind.”
I see this so often in my parents-in-law. They’ll often call me randomly while out shopping and ask if my boys need pants. Or if I use whipped cream on my hot chocolate because they found a new kind they love and want to share.
I’m not around them, but they are thinking about me. Showing they love me and my family by engaging in gift giving.
One trick I like to pay attention to with the gift givers in my life: you tend to give love the way you prefer to receive it.
So in the example above, I can reciprocate in kind. About once a month, I stop by a soft-drink stand here in our city and grab a treat for my mother-in-law. It’s $1.65 and makes her day every single time.
Bringing home the bacon
In developing his five love languages, Chapman was very specific that some people show love through giving gifts.
However, we’ve found that the gift-givers among us often have a broader desire to use their financial resources as a way to help their loved one. And they typically will look for a partner who shares the same generosity with finances, and who gets real joy from giving and receiving gifts and making surprise plans.
We call this love language Financial to reflect this broader meaning. Because truly, gift givers and receivers – those who show love through money – aren’t selfish or materialistic. They simply want to know that they’ve been thought about and prefer physical mementos of those thoughts and memories.
Are you a consummate gift giver? Do you like to provide for your partner or spoil them with treats? Let us know in the comments!
Kyrah (not verified) says...
Thank you for writing this, I always feel guilty when I expect a gift and do not get one. I feel guilty for being extremely happy when I get a gift also. I love giving gifts to my family and friends and put lots of thought into them. When I heard about the five love languages, I realized that mine might be gift-giving and I suddenly felt terrible about it. When I took the test and found out I was indeed and gift-giver, I felt really bad and selfish. After reading this, it makes me feel a little better about it and less guilty.
tae (not verified) says...
I always knew my love language was gift giving. I love giving gifts to my family and friends, my boyfriend. I do enjoy receiving a gift back ,but mostly i just enjoy the feeling of seeing others receiving my gift to them. It broke my heart and made me feel a bit embarrassed when people tell me not to spend money on someone when i was really excited to. I began to think if i should stop giving gifts to people...