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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to re-up your gift-giving strategy. But before you grab a plush bear with a heart-shaped pillow that says “u r cute” and call it a day, allow me to gently suggest you reconsider. (Unless, of course, you know in your bones that bear is the perfect gift for your person in which case, GO FORTH.)
A great gift-giver is almost always a great observer. You pick up on things and maybe even take notes—like how your BFF loves ice cream but the scoop she’s had since college is cracked. Or how your S.O. always talks about taking an improv class but doesn’t know where to start. Even if you haven’t filled up your notes app with little ideas and observations, it’s not too late. First things first: you need to learn their love language.
If you’re new to the concept, read through my love languages deep dive right here. High level: there are five love languages (aka, the way you give and receive love) and most people fall strongly into one category: quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Once you’ve determined your recipient’s language, consider the list below your guide to the best love language gifts.
The Best Gifts if Your Love Language Is Quality Time
When your love language is quality time, any gift that makes room for more of it is welcome. These gifts can lean toward experience gifts big or small—from weekend getaways to fun projects to be done together. Here are a few ideas we love.
Recycled Glass Petite Goblets, Set of 4
Is there anything better than sharing the beverage of your choice with your favorite person? Whether it’s vino or a mocktail (or carving out a morning coffee date), this perfectly imperfect set of goblets will help you romanticize any moment together.
The Couples Game
There are a lot of couple’s card deck games out there from the “getting to know you” to the “deep and meaningful” (and the more naughty options), but this one is just FUN. You won’t be in tears by the end unless, of course, you cry laughing.
The Adventure Box Subscription
If quality time is your partner’s love language then just about any gift from The Adventure Challenge is a home-run choice. But the thing about quality time is it requires regularity, which is why the subscription box is an excellent choice. It’s a date in a box delivered once a month and corresponds perfectly with the Couples Edition book. (We also love the mini date scratch-off cards if you’re looking for a meaningful one-off gift.)
Airbnb Gift Card
There is hardly a gift more luxurious to a quality timer than the gift of getting away with the person they love. Make a weekend trip even easier with a gift card to the city of their choice.
Piecework Pet Lovers Puzzle
Working a puzzle together is one of those things that just invites good conversation. With something to keep your hands busy and a shared goal, it has a similar effect as a long walk or a car ride. But with a puzzle, you have something tangible to show for those hours spent together. (And this one is so cute.)
Maybe it’s the mom in me, but babysitting is HIGH on the list of gifts when your love language is quality time. This is especially true for parents of little ones who are just tryingggg to get a handle on things. It’s hard to find a sitter to trust and when paired with the price of dinner and a movie, things get expensive fast. If you have a friend or loved one who could do with a night off, first offer to babysit and then get it on the calendar. It’s truly one of the sweetest gifts you can give.
The Best Gifts if Your Love Language Is Gifts
Gifts for a gift lover—should be easy, right? The important thing to remember here is to make the gift personal and unique. If your love language is gifts, what truly matters to you is that someone gave you thought. So yes, it’s the thought that counts, but here are a few gifts that take it to the next level.
Sunday Edition Nude Candle
A gift that you wouldn’t buy for yourself but would use (and love) daily? Put this luxe candle in that category right now. These cult-favorite candles are gorgeous in their minimalist appeal and layer deeply nuanced scents throughout the entire (60-hour) burn. Nude is my favorite—aptly described as “the warmth of someone you love.” But I’ll happily amass an entire collection of these candles.
Liis Studied Eau de Parfum
Sometimes, you experience a piece of literature so transformative that you’re inspired to express it through your medium. Liis does that here, channeling the poetry of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and communicating the book’s spirit of independence in this fragrance. The luxurious scent features hints of pear, ambrette, carrot seed, and cashmere and it is HERE for the aesthetic bathroom counter.
Seasonal Gift Box
A lover of gifts is someone who appreciates the art of surprise. FabFitFun does exactly that with curated intention, crafting quarterly deliveries of beauty, skincare, fashion, and wellness gifts. You can select from different monetary amounts, giving you ample customizable options when it comes to giving the perfect gift.
Alexandra Cream Vegan Top Handle Bag
A new statement accessory is always appreciated this time of year and I love the feminine appeal of this cutie knotted bag. It’s small enough for a night out (but still holds the necessities) and is neutral but bold in shape for your outfit’s perfect finishing touch.
Corazon Glass Mug
This mug is perfectly on theme while being cute enough to reach for throughout the year. It’s the perfect companion gift to a loose-leaf tea, making it a bright spot in their everyday rituals and routines.
The Best Gifts if Your Love Language is Words of Affirmation
When your recipient’s love language is words of affirmation, it’s best to focus on gifts that make your feelings clear. Like, super clear. But no need to shout your love from the rooftops or buy a banner in the sky (actually, that’d be pretty cool). Here are a few ideas to show AND tell.
A Handwritten Letter
The concept of a love letter can feel vague and overwhelming—especially so if your love language is not words of affirmation. Instead, try this: make a list of 10 things you love about this person. Go into as much detail as you can but let the list structure be your framework. And don’t be surprised if that letter winds up in a frame one day.
Devotions by Mary Oliver
Widely read and loved, Mary Oliver’s poetry gives voice to the humble, very human experiences we all encounter. This is sure to stay on their nightstand and will be a gift they reach for every evening before going to bed.
The Moth by Mail Subscription: Ties that Bind
For the storytellers and lovers of stories among us, there’s no better show to listen to than The Moth. But whether they’re a devotee or not, your giftee is sure to fall in love with this six-month subscription of collectible letters. I’m picturing pinning these gorgeous paper moths above my desk, feeling connected to the beautiful stories they share.
A Personalized Playlist
There’s no gift like a classic mix tape. Music has a way of putting feeling to words and a playlist is something they can return to again and again. Choose songs that have been meaningful to your relationship or make it fun with new and unexpected finds. Try picking a song for every year you’ve been together or every season if your relationship is new. Done well, a playlist can tell a story—and I’m willing to bet yours is a good one.
Scrapbook Photo Album
Tell the story of your love chapter by chapter with Artifact Uprising’s seriously beautiful “The Stories We Tell” photo album. Filled with prompts and photo placement ideas, this is a book to be cherished.
The Best Gifts if Your Love Language Is Acts of Service
And now we have arrived at this author’s love language. As a representative for the acts of service bunch, allow me to dispel a myth: it isn’t you doing the Thing that makes a service gift so great. Rather, it’s you doing the Thing knowing that you’re creating space for us to do something we enjoy much more than the Thing. Make sense?
Faux Fur Mule Slides
Crossing off the to-do’s on my list that I keep avoiding is nice. Handing me these cozy slippers while you do them is nicer. Bonus: As a hybrid mule-slide, I can take the comfort out of the house as well.
Public Goods Self-Care Kit
This affordable spa set offers permission to dive into some me time while you wash the trash can or call the insurance agency. Light the candle and run a warm bath—everything they need for a mini getaway is right there inside the box.
I’m trying not to make this part of this list too personal, but Camille uses a meditation pillow for her morning journaling and I’ve had my eye on one ever since I saw hers. Any gift that allows an acts of service-er to indulge in some self-care is a great option. This pillow offers the perfect seat to jot down a to-do list post-meditation.
Rest & Revive Bundle
There are days when the lists run long and anxiety looms. Molly J makes some of the tastiest CBD gummies I’ve ever slowly devoured. Perfect for the times you can’t always lend a physical hand.
Click & Grow Smart Garden System
No more quick trips to the store when they need a green veg. This gift is an investment but for the foodie who feels loved when you do stuff for ’em, this is a WINNER.
The Best Gifts if Your Love Language is Physical Touch
I know what you’re thinking. And yes, that is a great option. But there is much more to physical touch than just the sexy stuff. It’s about pulling them in for a hug when you’re in a room full of people. Grabbing hands at the grocery store. Unexpected kisses. It’s hard to package as a gift, but if you can put yourself in a situation where touch is inevitable, you’re on the right track.
Foria Everyday Body Wash with Organic Botanicals
You have to wash your body, yes. But romanticizing your life is all about doing the most with our everyday practices, habits, and tasks. The fragrance-free formula blends jojoba, avocado, and olive oils, soothing chamomile, and skin-balancing probiotics for a functional—and truly luxurious—cleanse.
Book a Private Screening Room
…or head to the drive-in! Cuddle close, hold hands, and do all the (legal) things the 18-year-old you would do in a movie theater.
Celine Short Sleeve Short Set Hot Pink
Physical touch is a tactile language and this set is literally all the feels. It’s just as sexy as something a little more risqué, and she’s likely to wear it more often. That said, you can bet I’m stocking up on the brand’s lingerie, too.
Luxe Faux Fur Throw Blanket
Around here, we love a good blanket. Whether you’re reading, watching a show, or snuggling up with a cup of tea, an irresistibly soft blanket is a must. Gift the people what they want.
100% Washable Silk Robe
Cozy sleep vibes, all wrapped up. Guys deserve great PJs, too! This washable silk set is sustainable and cozy—the ultimate cuddle companion.
Go Roller Skating
And finally, go old-school ‘get physical’ with a fun date to the roller rink. Guaranteed you’ll hold hands (if not catch each other when you fall). Ask the DJ to play your song and get your couple skate on!