Even when you and your beloved share the “love language” of Gifts (giving or receiving)… things can go awry. 

When it comes to gifts, people fall in one of two categories: 

Romantic or Practical. 

To add a layer of confusion, some people find practical gifts to be incredibly romantic. Others find romantic gifts to be incredibly practical.

Then we have the subcategories: gifts of time, service, positive words, and physical touch. Which sums up The Five Love Languages as put forth in Gary Chapman’s book.

Today, I offer you some Valentine’s gift-giving guidance… to create a more harmonious experience in your relationship! First, let’s look at the two possible dynamics…

You’re Practical; Your Beloved is Romantic: You think giving a laser level is THE MOST AWESOME GIFT possible. Your beloved looks at you like you handed them a box of dog poop.

You’re Romantic; Your Beloved is Practical: You spend money on roses, chocolate, a singing telegram or a fancy dinner. Your beloved is uncharacteristically silent – because they would have preferred a simple take-out dinner and a chunk of change going toward a family goal.

Want to make this Valentine’s Day a big hit? 

Figure out what your partner would consider to be the BEST Gifts they could RECEIVE. 

Take their answers to heart, regardless of what YOU would want to give. Make a detective game out of it. 

Figure out the answers to these questions… and not based on what YOUR answers would be. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

Best gift I could buy them? Pay attention to what your partner tells you they love… fresh flowers, or a gift certificate to their favorite garden store? Kitchen gadgets or a trip to Paris?

Best gift of my time? Give your beloved your undivided attention instead of paying attention to the phone, video games or other distractions? Take walks together?

Best act of service I could DO for them? Have their car detailed? Draw a bath for them? Clean out that area of the house they’ve been complaining about? Build a tiny library?

Best positive, kind words I could tell them? Make it a habit to tell them something nice every day? Write a love letter highlighting all the awesome things you love about them?

Best acts of physical touch? Making whoopy? A night out dancing? Snuggles? A massage? A few rounds of ju-jutsu? 

You get the idea, right?

Let me know what you discover and how your gifts go over this year!

Paula Langguth Ryan created the serious and silly RomantiCom seminars, and wrote the super helpful relationship book “Manifest the Perfect Mate: Find the Love & Respect You Desire” (G&D Media, 2021)