My love language is receiving gifts. Which also means I am a pretty good gift-giver. It brings me joy to get someone something they casually mentioned or maybe thought I was not listening, but I was!
So, my poor husband, lets just say his love language is not receiving gifts, therefore it is also not giving gifts. He jokes that, of course, that is my love language. And that I’m not happy unless there is a Coach bag sitting on my lap Christmas morning. Now, because I’m working on my lying, I can not say that is entirely false….but also not entirely true. My love language is more about the thoughtfulness behind the gift. I don’t want a card that you picked up on the way home from work from the grocery store(because you totally forgot all week).
One of our funniest memories to tell is about one Christmas, when Scott, my husband, decided to go to the gas station and pick up some of my favorite things. I wasn’t aware I had favorite things at the gas station, but he thought it was a great idea. Now to be fair, these were just stocking stuffers and not my main gifts. If they were my main gifts I would have referred to Scott as my Ex-husband…I kid…I kid! I don’t remember everything I pulled out of that stocking. I am sure there was some Trident, Reese’s and maybe everyone’s gas station fave…beef jerky, but I do know there were matching gloves and beanies. They were pink. Not cute or fashionable but gloves and a beanie you would expect from a gas station. Probably even ones you might wear to rob said gas station. Although they were pink and I guess he thought they were so great, that he also got me another matching pair, in yellow. So sweet, that guy!
You may be thinking, what’s wrong with gloves and a beanie? Nothing really…I mean these were hideous, but the idea wasn’t bad. What tore at my gift giving heart, was that they were bought at the gas station, late at night, because nothing else was open. It was Christmas Eve and it was really late. If he had picked them up from our favorite little shop… from a city we loved… that would have been different, but no, they were from USA Mart. This was not the last of stories like this, definitely one of the funniest though. Through the years though and actually currently I am learning I have way too high of expectations for people when it comes to the holidays and gift giving.
I so desperately want people to think of me and to feel special. A gift is not important to me if there is no thought behind it. It does not have to be a tangible thing though or even costly. Scott is not an amazingly romantic, thoughtful person through gifts, but he has no qualms about telling people how he feels about me through words. His love language is Words of Affirmation. Yeah….WORDS. I am one of the shyest people on earth and he needs me to use my words. Not written words, spoken words. By understanding this I have learned to not have such high expectations. I have to let go of what I can not control. I can not make Scott plan some amazing Anniversary getaway or plan moths ahead to have some sentimental piece made for me. I won’t be getting a scrapbook. If I did…they most likely would be because I guilted him in to it and where is the realness in that?
I fail people too. It takes a lot of work to make people feel loved in their own language. Many times it is far from your own. But God. God knows all of this and he uses our relationships to grow us. To stretch us. Especially in marriage. He takes our struggles and brings them to the surface to make them known. If I was single, there would be so many issues I would have never worked on. They would not have been brought to light.
Two things that I have thought about and have helped me….throughout the last few months are:
- We are all unique and love differently. Don’t focus on your own expectations and how people fail you. Look for the unique ways they do love you. Mulling over the negative is not going to help any relationship. If someone has not done something to your standards, that’s ok. Let it go!!!!
- This kind of goes along with #1, but let go of what you can not control. If you have to control it, then it is not genuine coming from the other person. If I told Scott what I wanted each year and got exactly what I wanted I still would not feel loved. It would not be sincere.
“Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t”. -Dr Steve Maraboli
One of the biggest helps in my life, has been to let God fill in any emptiness I may feel. We can not be everything to everyone. God is there for that. He is perfect in all of his ways and doesn’t ask us to be all the things to anyone. Let God fill in where a spouse, friend or family member fail. Give grace to those who aren’t gifted gift givers or who buy matching beanie and glove sets. They meant well and they love you in different ways.