What do we really want from our loved ones?
Gifts are fun ways to express love and connection with our sweethearts, but let us tap in to the deeper parts of our heart. What do we really want? What possessions, experiences, or accolades would we gladly give up to receive our hearts’ desires?
I am sitting here thinking about this question and the answer is unclear. I will have to mull it over before completing this post. I guess if the answer to this question was easy, more people would be deeply fulfilled in their relationships – or would at least know what to request from their significant others.
What I really want from Eric, more than any physical gift, is…
- His Attention – No complete television series, exercise gadget, or Starbucks gift card (as much as I adore them all) will ever compare to the thrill of having Eric’s focused attention as a way of life. This is not to say that I hope to attain his constant attention – just his consistent
- His Protection – As much as the women’s libbers and man-haters out there do not want to hear this, I need his protection. I appreciate his bravery. His willingness to check out strange noises, knowing he would push me out of the way of oncoming traffic, and that he would stand between me and an unstable person. I also desire his protection of my heart. Using a gentle tone and well-considered words. Choosing to shepherd my heart even in those times when he could so easily break it.
- His Heart – I want our hearts to beat as one. I want us to be that emotionally close. Such a relationship does not just happen. It takes time, care, understanding, desire, and cultivating.
- His Embrace – Without his warm hugs, not much else would matter to me. Not every wife needs daily physical touch, but I honestly do. When he walks past me, I find no shame in following him around until I get a hug. ~smile~ And, 99.9% of the time, he is happy to oblige. ~smile~
- His Undying Devotion – Like most married folks, I need to know that no matter how many times I accidentally wreck the budget, dent the car, or leave a sink full of dirty dishes, he will still remain devoted to me. I also know that he needs the same devotion from me despite his mistakes.
If I had to choose between a lifetime of what is listed above, or lavish gifts to open daily, I would choose the list above without hesitation. But, please do not misunderstand. I enjoy opening gifts on Christmas day. Eric has been a terrific gift-giver over the years. He has made me cry and made me giddy with his gifts – neither reaction have I ever received from him (noting that he is not as emotional as I am). I am still waiting for that glorious day when he opens a present from me, his eyes light up, and I know I have hit the bull’s eye. (The day is coming. I can feel it! ~smile~)
Still, even though I have yet to amaze him with my gift-giving skills, I hope he has received the gifts of support, understanding, respect, and encouragement from me. I have failed so miserably at supplying these during many seasons of our marriage, but when he looks back over our entire relationship, I hope he sees evidence of these gifts. If not, I have some work to do. Those are the gifts which matter year round… those are the gifts that are remembered.
Eric, what are the greatest gifts I could give you?
How Do I Give My Sweetie the Best Gift this Year?
- First of all, you ask him or her. “Honey, what do you need the most from me? What means the most to you in our relationship? Do you need more attention? More fun? More connection? What is something (or are somethings) I can give you that will not get dusty or rot?”
- Secondly, you study him or her. Your sweetie may not know what to tell you. I write relationship posts constantly, and even I might be caught off guard by such questions. ~smile~ I would love the questions, consider the questions, and eventually answer the questions; but, at first, I may not know what to say. It would mean a lot to me for Eric to notice and deduce some of my needs (not all of them because that is impossible and completely unrealistic) and simply do his best to fulfill them without me asking him to. Proactivity shows people you deeply care!
- Lastly, you continue giving to him or her long after the holidays pass. Birthdays and holidays give some of us a soft spot for our loved ones. We may be more likely to overlook aggravating behaviors because we are in the holiday spirit and do not want to hurt our sweetie’s feelings during a festive time. However, the greatest gifts have to be pulled up from a deep place within us and poured out long after the festive feelings have gone. A physical gift is purchased, wrapped, and presented. And then that is the end of it. Emotional, relational gifts require continuous giving and daily sacrifice.
The best gifts are the ones that require something from us – something more than a little time and money. The best gifts require self-sacrifice – sacrificing pride, sacrificing desires, and sacrificing energy when we are tired.
If we are not giving our sweethearts the greatest gifts, our holiday gifts will do little to draw us closer to them. Before you dole out presents to your sweetheart on Christmas morning, review your relationship and discover if you have been giving him or her the gifts which matter. If not, start there and then move on to the stuffed animals, iPads, concert tickets, cologne gift sets, and jewelry. ~smile~ (Or whatever his or her personality type would most desire.)
What is the best gift you could receive from your sweetie this Christmas?
What is the best gift you could give?