Giving a gift to your significant other is one of the best ways to show your appreciation, but when is the right time to give? Also, does giving always mean purchasing something at the store? To answer the latter, I recommend reading a book called, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. But for today, let’s discuss the former.
A Gift as an Apology
If you are new in your relationship, please take head to the caution. Never set the precedent of giving a gift out of apology. This may seem like a good idea in the beginning, but in the long run, it cheapens what your act truly mean. I know that we live in a society that assumes the man did something wrong when he is buying flowers at the store, but we need to turn that assumption on it’s head.
Giving gifts should always come from a selfless place. Whether the gift is tangible an act of kindness, it should come from a pure place. More on this later on, but a present given out of apology is the most selfish thing you can give. After all, you are most likely giving the gift in hopes that it softens their heart so you can get off the hook. I think I will revisit the topic of how to apologize down the road.
Obligation, after all it’s tradition
Anniversaries, birthdays and some holidays all come with the expectation that a gift is required. I implore you to always give a gift, but don’t make this the occasion where you give the best gifts you have to offer. Caution, if you don’t give something, then you might as well forget celebrating anything.
Referring back to the introduction, a gift is not always something that you buy. If you know your love’s Love Language, then traditional celebrations can turn into more than just a gift giving feat.
Admiration; gift of celebration
We are getting closer to the heart of what gift giving is supposed to mean. When we are celebrating our love, it is a great time to give a gift, but we have to be very careful. Over giving can make them feel like we are placating some desire for them to be recognized, but it can also appear self-serving.
If we celebrate them with a gift so we don’t have to make a deal of their accomplishments down the road, then have we really celebrated them at all. When it comes to gift giving to celebrate their success, I recommend celebrating a little each day until they reach their next accomplishment. Day 1, take them out to eat. Day 2, write them a congratulations card and continue little acts of celebration all the time. A compliment even counts as a gift.
No reason at all
Now we have hit the jackpot. In his book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, Carnegie states that even the best philanthropists in the world still give from a selfish nature. We can’t help it. We are flawed human beings that in all we do there is a part of us that wants to be self-serving. However, there is hope.
I believe the most pure acts of love come out of a place that wants no recognition. When gift giving it is very difficult to fight the desire of recognition for going the extra mile. But, once again, this goes against the purpose of a gift. The true purpose of a gift is to life the spirits of your loved one by showing them appreciation. How can we do this by putting the burden on them to reciprocate the act.
I challenge you today. Go and give a gift of love to your significant other with no other purpose than to lift them up. You get bonus points if you give them a gift that speaks to their Love Language.
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