How to Give the Perfect Gift — According to Love Languages

When it comes to buying gifts for our other half, reaching for run-of-the-mill, romantic go-tos like flowers and jewellery may be intuitive and easy, but the affection you think you are showing to your partner can be lost in translation if both of you are communicating in different love languages.

The concept of love languages was first introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman in 1992. Years of being a marriage counsellor had led him to the intriguing realisation that many of his clients bore similar complaints about their marriage, often feeling a lack of love in their relationship despite each partner trying their best to express love to each another. Eventually, he concluded that it was because people had different ways of expressing and experiencing love according to their personalities — which did not always align in a relationship. Dr. Chapman termed these ‘love languages’ and categorised them into five types: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. If you don’t know your love language, try a quiz to find out!

Most of us have at least one preferred language, and knowing your partner's one can illuminate how to show them affection more effectively — including choosing better gifts. To give you a hand, we’ve outlined some ideas on how you can surprise your partner in the ways that mean the most to them, according to their love languages.

Words of Affirmation

Sounding out your heart will win over those who speak this love language, as they value verbal acknowledgements of affection the most. This encompasses everything from saying “I love you” regularly to sweet text or voice messages, compliments, verbal encouragement, and compliments. An ideal gift for them would thus be something word-heavy, such as:

  • A long and heartfelt handwritten love letter
  • A music playlist on Spotify, iTunes, or even a mix CD with handpicked songs that convey your feelings for your partner through their titles or lyrics.
  • A book from your partner’s favourite author with your handwritten notes. You can leave these on pages with sentences that remind you of them.

Sunday Bedding tip: if you’re purchasing a physical gift card to be sent directly to your partner, opt to accompany the gift with a handwritten note that we can write on your behalf.

Our gift card.

Acts of Service

Instead of hearing about how you feel about them, actions speak loudest for those whose love language is acts of service. They feel the most valued and taken care of when they sense their partners going out of their way to meaningfully help and support them. It could be as simple as making them breakfast in the morning, completing errands for them when they are running late, or contributing suggestions for a project they are working on. Surprise your partner who loves through acts of service by:

  • Finishing all their chores and tasks for the day while they are at work. When they knock off, take them out to dinner at their favourite restaurant.
  • Getting them an appliance that automates a part of their life, like a dishwasher.
  • Giving them the precious gift of better sleep. This can be in the form of relaxing essential oils or comfy new bedding, like a customised set of our best-selling Bamboo Sateen sheets.

Receiving Gifts

Monetary value isn’t the focus here. For those who belong to this group, what they recognise and appreciate more is the gift-giving process — from the careful deliberation involved in choosing an appropriate item, to the emotional benefits of receiving it. You’ll often find that a deeply significant gift for them can be gleaned by simply paying attention to the subtle likes, desires, and pain points they express. Here are some ideas:

  • Cook your partner dinner with dishes they miss from their childhood.
  • Treat your partner to a staycation with an itinerary that takes them around places meaningful to your relationship. This can include dining at the restaurant where you had your first date and staying at the hotel where you said your wedding vows.
  • Get a subscription service that will deliver your partner tiny gifts regularly. Remember to make it symbolic — for instance, if you know they often feel stressed over quarterly business reviews, arrange for a quarterly delivery of something they enjoy, like chocolate or ice-cream!

Charmaine Seah-Ong on her #slumberonsunday staycation at The Warehouse Hotel. Her room was exclusively outfitted with our French Linen sheets in Olive Green.

Quality Time

If your partner’s love language is quality time, they feel most adored when they can spend uninterrupted time with you, share sincere conversations, and enjoy recreational activities together. They especially love active listening, eye contact, and your full presence without the interference of digital devices. This makes your time the greatest gift for them. Here are some ways to show them undivided attention:

  • Spend a day doing your partner’s favourite things with them or join in on their daily routine, be it a spin class or their nightly gaming session.
  • Set up a mini movie screening session at home for just the two of you.
  • Take a private class in something new together, like Chinese calligraphy or kite surfing.

Physical Touch

These individuals prefer to give and receive love through appropriate physical intimacy. They value the feelings of warmth and comfort that accompany such physical touch, which can act as a powerful emotional connector for them. When it comes to gifting, non-verbal things that rely on body language and contact are great ideas. They may include:

  • Taking a social dance class together, such as Bachata, Swing, or Ballroom dance.
  • Giving them a massage or manicure — there are plenty of tutorials online you can reference!
  • Sending them a comfy tee or hoodie that has been scented with your favourite perfume. This is especially nifty if you are in a long-distance relationship or living apart from your partner, as it can help them feel your presence!

While you're here, check out more of our sheets:

Provenance Bamboo Pillowcase Pair.