How important is gift giving in a relationship, anyway?
Did you know that some couples experience anxiety when exchanging gifts with their partners during the holidays? The mere thought of receiving the incorrect item or accepting something that may make you feel underappreciated can make this process less than pleasurable. But, in the end, how important is gift giving in a relationship? Is it acceptable to buy a few gag gifts and call it a day?
As relationship coaches, we have discovered that gift-giving can be stressful and frustrating. Couples become more concerned with not making a mistake than with how to enjoy the process and make their partner feel loved. If you have a strong relationship, the right or wrong gifts should not make or break it.
In fact, gift giving is an excellent way to demonstrate your concern and strengthen your bond. In addition to getting your partner that extra pair of undies and the book they have been eyeing every time you go to the bookstore, you want to give them a gift that speaks to their heart. So, it requires thought and planning to tune into who they are and what feels loving to them.
As relationship coaches, we encourage our clients to enter the gift giving process with love and a sense of humor. Your joy will be visible in the gift. Second, think of it as a puzzle: you get to solve the mystery of what would delight and start making your partner feel loved and cherished.
First, think about their favorite things; favorite parts of their day, favorite rarely-enjoyed treats, or favorite hobbies or pastimes. Simply start to recognize the things that are most important to them or that they would like to have more of. Then consider how you can help to improve those activities (some great speakers to go with that record player they are always using) or help ease their frustration (a new bike, because the one they love riding to work cannot properly shift gears.)
And, as you go through the process, keep in mind how important gifts are to your partner. It could be more important to them than to you, or vice versa. You can look at how they respond to gifts from other people and how much time and energy they put into selecting and giving gifts themselves
If you have ever heard of Gary Chapman’s famous book, Love Languages, which has become a cultural phenomenon over the years, you might be able to incorporate this guideline into gift giving as well. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a method of organizing and comprehending how people “express and experience” love. Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch are all examples of a person’s love language, according to Chapman.
However, incorporating their love language into the gift can be as simple as getting a massage for your physical touch-loving partner or performing an act of service, such as finally building that bed frame because you are so handy with wood. And hey, if you are not sure how important gifts are to your partner — you can always just go ahead and simply ask them…”How important is gift giving in a relationship, anyway”?
For gift ideas for that special someone in your life check out our Couples Gift Shop