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What Kind Of Gift To Get Your Partner, Based On Their Love Language

Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor
By Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor
Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator, relationship coach, and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
November 27, 2020

If you've got no clue what to get your partner for a gift this year, consider asking them their love language for a little inspiration. The five love languages are five unique methods of giving and receiving love, and most people have a specific one that they prefer. For example, some people love hearing "I love you" from their partners (i.e., the "words of affirmation" love language), whereas others prefer for their partners to show affection by spending a lot of time with them (i.e., the "quality time" love language).

Here are some gift ideas for people with each of the five love languages.

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Words of affirmation

People who have words of affirmation as their love language like to receive verbal expressions of affection, whether that's frequent compliments, words of encouragement, or declarations of love. A person with this love language will appreciate a gift that's tied to a heartfelt description of what you love about them.

Some gift ideas:

  • A long, handwritten card describing what you love about them
  • A mix tape or playlist of songs that remind you of them
  • A notebook with a personalized note in the front
  • A book you've read and left notes for them throughout the pages
  • Something that represents a specific positive trait about them (for example, a glittery shirt that's perfect for them because they light up every room)
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Quality time

People whose love language is quality time feel loved when someone chooses to spend a lot of dedicated time with them and gives them their undivided attention. These folks will appreciate any gift that will allow the two of you to spend time together.

Some gift ideas:

  • A fully paid vacation for the two of you
  • A scrapbook filled with memories of your shared adventures from the past
  • Two copies of a book, one for each of you, so you can read it together (here's mbg's pick!)
  • Tickets to a concert for the two of you
  • A class you can take together, such as a cooking class, exercise class, or painting class
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Acts of service

People whose love language is acts of service feel most loved when their partner goes out of their way to do something for them, whether it's taking something off their plate, lending a helping hand in an emergency, or a simple thoughtful gesture. These folks will appreciate gifts that make their lives easier.

Some gift ideas:

  • Secretly complete a large task that's been on your partner's to-do list for a while (for example, repainting the kitchen cabinets)
  • Something that automates a part of your partner's daily life (for example, a robot vacuum cleaner, or a coffeemaker you can set to automatically brew a fresh pot before they get up)
  • Something that solves a pesky problem in your partner's life (for example, a portable charger if their phone tends to die a lot, an easy solution for finding lost items like Tile, or a purse-organizing insert)
  • Buy yourself a class that'll help your partner in the long run (for example, a cooking class so you can handle dinners more often—and you can still put the receipt in a gift box to unwrap)
  • A gift that helps them improve their sleep
  • A gift card that covers the cost of a few months of a laundry service, cleaning service, or their favorite office lunch spot
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Physical touch

A person whose love language is physical touch loves receiving affection in physical form: hugs, kisses, holding hands, sex, cuddling, and more. They'll enjoy gifts that are similarly hands-on or involve bodily contact. 

Some gift ideas:

  • Sexual gifts (for example, a voucher for particularly long or passionate oral sex or an offer to fulfill one of their sexual fantasies)
  • A sex toy to use together
  • A gift card for a professional massage
  • Massage lotions, oils, and scents for a DIY massage at home
  • A couples' dance class you can take together, like ballroom dancing or salsa
  • Something soft to cuddle in together, like fancy new sheets, a fuzzy blankets, or warm matching sweats
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Gifts

A person whose love language is gifts feels most loved when their partner gives them actual visual tokens of love. This isn't about just spending a ton of money on fancy stuff, although that can be part of it for some people. But a person with this love language also wants thoughtful, personalized presents that show you get them. Your best bet is to write down the things they like or want any time they mention this stuff throughout the year so that, when it's time to give gifts, you have a whole list of ideas.

Some gift ideas:

  • A "splurge" gift (for example, a beautiful piece of jewelry, a record player, or a nice pair of kicks)
  • A bunch of little gifts to open over the course of several days
  • A subscription box that'll keep delivering new goodies each month (think makeup boxes, cheese boxes, or beer boxes)
  • Something they mentioned they wanted several months ago that you thoughtfully remembered

Remember, love languages are just about being tuned in to someone's preferred way of receiving love—so paying close attention to the types of interactions that light your partner up will help give you clues about what to give them. 

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Kelly Gonsalves
Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor

Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach helping people figure out how to create dating and sex lives that actually feel good — more open, more optimistic, and more pleasurable. In addition to working with individuals in her private practice, Kelly serves as the Sex & Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and she’s been trained and certified by leading sex and relationship institutions such as The Gottman Institute and Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, among others. Her work has been featured at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.

With her warm, playful approach to coaching and facilitation, Kelly creates refreshingly candid spaces for processing and healing challenges around dating, sexuality, identity, body image, and relationships. She’s particularly enthusiastic about helping softhearted women get re-energized around the dating experience and find joy in the process of connecting with others. She believes relationships should be easy—and that, with room for self-reflection and the right toolkit, they can be.

You can stay in the loop about her latest programs, gatherings, and other projects through her newsletter: kellygonsalves.com/newsletter