How different love languages impact gift-receiving


Graphc of someone Giving a wrapped gift or present to their family or friends
Graphc of someone Giving a wrapped gift or present to their family or friends
Graphic by Kareem Chaudhry

No matter how bad you are at acting, you’ve probably pulled a Leonardo DiCaprio at least once in your life if you’ve ever received a gift you didn’t like. When you’re holiday shopping this season, it can help to remember that the best gift for someone comes down to their love language. 

First created by counselor and author Gary Chapman, the five love languages is a concept that describes how we want others to show us love and how we show love to others. It’s been supported by multiple academic research studies

Here’s how to shop for the people in your life with different love languages!  

Words of affirmation

For those who value verbal connection, the best gift is an expressive one. They like to hear or read what you appreciate about them.  

Classic ideas include; an annotated copy of their favourite book with your notes in the margins or a memories jar filled with your best moments together. 

Acts of service

Some feel most loved when others lend a helping hand or show a kind gesture. While it may be an unconventional gift, you can help a loved one complete a task they’ve been struggling with.  

A creative gift is a book of coupons with different favours on them that they can use when they need your help. Whether it’s house cleaning, gardening or TV fixing, they’ll be honoured you paid attention to their needs.  

Another idea is a home-cooked meal or planned trip for you and your partner, friend or family member. By taking care of the planning and details, you’ll show your care and consideration.  


While people with this love language may seem like the easiest to shop for, that isn’t always the case. The best gift shows you know them and put thought into it.  

For instance, a subscription box for their favourite chocolates is better than a box of whatever candy you see first at the store. Similarly, a gift card to their go-to coffee shop is more personal than a gift card to a random coffee place.  

Quality time

Some prefer to be shown love by spending time with loved ones. Having your undivided attention means a lot to them.  

An ideal gift is tickets to attend an event together that they’ll enjoy, whether it’s a concert, holiday lights show, or any of the activities Kitchener-Waterloo offers.  

Remember to make it a distraction-free time so give your phone minimal attention.  

Physical touch

There are actually many meaningful gifts you can get for someone whose love language is physical touch. From matching friendship bracelets to a necklace or watch for your partner, they’ll appreciate a gift that reminds them of you even when you’re apart. 

To take it a step further, you can get a custom-made piece to make it special to your connection. Clothing works as well, especially cozy pieces for winter.  

 Remember that love comes in many forms this holiday season, all of which are meaningful!

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