Giving and Receiving the Gift of Love

You can make this holiday special for your partner or lover by giving a gift that really means something to them. At some point in a relationship we think we know the person because we have seen them make many choices or heard them say what for what they have a preference. From that we come to have an expectation of what our partner would like in a gift. 

That kind of knowledge is valuable, but there are other ways to validate what we “think” we know. Our preferences are largely guided by three ways in which we sense the world: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. We tend to favor one or more of these ways to experience the world. When we know our partner’s preference, we can be more certain about our gift giving! 

Sensing the world visually 

This is our sense of sight and the way we see the world...literally.  When a person prefers the visual sense, they like to have things to look at. They may surround themselves with pictures and may have a bulging photo album in their briefcase or purse. They are interested in structures and colors. They may like to people-watch and enjoy large photo books of very scenic places. 

Ask a person who you suspect is like this to talk about their favorite vacation. Listen for vivid descriptions of places they have been. They will use words to describe how things looked where they were. If you are also a visual person, you may create very clear pictures in your own mind from that person’s words! 

Sensing the world auditorily 

This is our sense of hearing and the way we hear the world. This person enjoys the sounds of life. When focused on an experience they may close their eyes to block out the visual and really hear the sounds.   

This person will surround themselves with music and will have preferences within that. Often listening to an MP3 player, owning hundreds of CD’s at home and in their car, this person takes what they hear very seriously.   

This person may often utter the words “What was that noise? Did you hear that?”. And when asked to describe their favorite vacation, they will talk about the sounds on the beach, the songs of the birds or the music played by street performers. 

Sensing the world kinesthetically 

This is our sense of touch and the way we feel the world. This person enjoys being hugged, holding hands and the warmth of the sun on their skin. They also thrive on the internal feeling that they get when experiencing something. 

This person will have a very comfortable home, something that makes them feel warm and cozy. The feel of certain textures drives their wardrobe. And if asked about their favorite vacation, they will talk about how the sand felt on their bare feet or the wind as it blew through their hair. 

Kinesthetic people often combine a visual or auditory component to get an internal feeling. Certain music or art work may make them feel really good, even though there is no physical touch involved. 

Giving the best gift to our partner 

With this knowledge of someone, we can now go after the gift that they will truly cherish!   

If we sense that our partner is a visual person, they will be much more appreciative of a beautiful bouquet of flowers than the latest CD of one of their favorite groups. Something visual that is homemade, such as a hand-written love letter, will be a huge hit!  

For our auditory partner, skip the flowers and go with the CD! Better yet, make a mix of their favorite songs, interspersed with your voice speaking words of love. 

The kinesthetic person will enjoy anything that makes them feel good. This could be a new pair of warm gloves or a slideshow made with photos from a favorite trip! While the slideshow is a visual form, the feeling the person gets from remembering the vacation is the true gift! 

Keep in mind that these are not absolutes, we use all of our senses to experience the world. The auditory person may love to receive flowers. But their whole body will tingle when they hear their favorite song.   

Giving a gift to our partners that connects with the way they prefer to sense the world lets them know that we care enough about them to notice what gives them the most joy and happiness. 

And, after all, the gift they are receiving is from someone they love, which is already a powerful message!

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