love languages textIf you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for 20 ways to express love through words of affirmation, and here for the post on expressing love through physical touch.

I’ll use “him” or “her” interchangeably in this post for ease of reading.

  1. The key with communicating in this love language (so I’m told) is to study the recipient well, and communicate your understanding of him or her through the gift. It’s not about the size, but the intentional, knowing thoughtfulness, a demonstration of I get you. I see you.
  2. Purchase tickets for the event you know he or she would love.
  3. Have a cup of coffee (or a favorite morning beverage) ready when he or she comes out in the morning–just the way they like it–or a snack when they arrive home.
  4. Keep a running list of truly great gift ideas for special occasions, like birthdays or holidays. Your gift communicates your depth of understanding and attentiveness. This isn’t the kind of thing you just pick up offhand; demonstrate your intentionality with careful planning and observation.
  5. Create a custom gift based around his or her tastes: a photo puzzle of a great memory together, an engraved piece of jewelry. Click here for more ideas.
  6. Consider a gift to inspire budding talent (with consideration of their time and interest level): high-quality art supplies, dance or music lessons, sporting equipment, a framed photograph she’s taken. My husband hit a home run when I arrived home to a new book of piano music, with a note on top: Just because I love the way you’re made.
  7. Use your talents to create a unique offering: a woodworked piece, a calligraphied work of art, a pan of cinnamon rolls.
  8. Identify and pick up something he wouldn’t get for himself.
  9. Grab from the store a book or DVD they’ve mentioned.
  10. Keep a small stash of items to celebrate little moments: a conflict finally resolved at work, the end of a big project, a good grade in that subject she struggles with at school.
  11. Send a gift card to her e-mail account: Get yourself something you’ll enjoy–and know how crazy I am about you.
  12. Pick up a favorite beverage or snack while you’re out and about. (My husband knew he could always make my day with a Starbucks skinny frappuccino!)
  13. Remember, this love language is less about things–or spoiling someone– and more about thinking of that person and their specific needs or desire when you see certain items. Your gifts say, This made me think of you. Or, I guessed you’d enjoy this!
  14. So much of this gift is about careful observation: seeing the recipient’s needs and joys, and understanding what objects communicate their worth.
  15. Send a care package to your child at camp.
  16. Prepare a favorite meal.
  17. Slip something special in her suitcase when she travels
  18. Carry around a card in your wallet with your family’s sizes, favorite colors or brands, etc. so you’re always equipped.
  19. For a vacation, road trip, or other event, pack a small gift bag of goodies for your spouse or child.
  20. Use gifts redemptively. When I got a ticket for blowing a red light during an already tight financial time for us, I was so angry at myself. Imagine my surprise when a bouquet of roses arrived at my desk, with a note reminding me of how much my husband loved me even on my bad days. It turned my day on its head!

For more ideas, check out 50 Ways to Inspire Your Husband and 50 Ways to Inspire Your Wife.

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