WORDS // KATEY LEE
Gifts is probably the most misunderstood love language out of the five. It is pretty easy to understand how spending quality time with someone, saying kind words, serving someone, or hugging someone would show them love. But gifts? So what, they just want people to buy them presents all the time? That just sounds selfish and materialistic. At least on the surface it does because people just see the gift without understanding the significance behind it.
My primary love language is gifts and I’ve always struggled to understand it. I always hear people talk about how awkward they feel when someone gives them a gift or how much they hate buying presents for people because they don’t know what they would like (I will admit, even as someone who loves presents, I do feel a bit uncomfortable in the “unwrapping” moments, but I think that’s just part of the experience). I’ve found myself feeling guilty for enjoying presents as much as I do, and I just don’t think that’s fair. Nobody should be made to feel guilty for the ways they feel loved, so I decided to figure out the reason behind why I love giving and receiving gifts so dang much.
I’ve boiled it down to this: The reason I feel loved when someone buys me a gift is because it means that they were thinking about me when I wasn’t there. This is especially true of random presents, i.e. not for Christmas or my birthday. I don’t even care what it is. If you got me a rock and said, “Katey, I saw this rock and it reminded me of you,” gosh, you just made my day, possibly my entire week. I will keep that rock probably forever and I will cherish it and think about you every time I look at it because you saw it, thought of me, and were moved to pick it up and bring it to wherever I was and give to me.
Another way this love language has manifested in our social-media-saturated lifestyles is the act of “sharing.” When people share things with me or send me links to things, I am affirmed because what it says to me is that they thought about me when they saw this thing (its usually a video of puppies or something to do with One Direction, photography, or whatever show they know I’m binging on Netflix). It doesn’t seem like much, but it still gives me a nice fuzzy feeling of affirmation.
Gifts is simultaneously more and less tangible
than the other love languages.
It is more tangible because, well, a gift is typically in the form of an object that is literally, physically tangible. They are less tangible because, unlike most of the other love languages, the person who is receiving the “love” is not present (ha) for most of the process. But that’s exactly why they feel loved.
LETTERING // SAM PALENCIA