Q. I have been dating my boyfriend for six months. He has some really great attributes, however one negative is his lack of gift giving. Not big gifts, sometimes just a sticky note to surprise me with an “I Love You,” or a funny card or flowers would be nice. I have mentioned this to him, he says he will try to remember but it doesn’t last. Should this be a deal breaker? –Ellen

A. Your boyfriend’s lack of gift giving could be a deal breaker if this is something you need. While you are dating it might be a great idea if you both committed to reading, The Five Love Languages” written by Dr. Gary Chapman. In my opinion this book should be required reading for all couples, preferably before the relationship gets too serious. It should be required for singles so there is an understanding of what love means so you don’t waste your time on someone who misses the mark.
Dr. Chapman lists the following 5 Love Languages:
1. Acts of service – handyman projects, making favorite meal, housework.
2. Words of affirmation – “you are amazing,” “I’m so glad you are my girlfriend,” “I appreciate you.”
3. Physical touch – hand holding, affectionate hugs, snuggling, sex
4. Receiving Gifts – small ways (or big) to leave reminders of love and caring
5. Quality time – not just hours of time together but time well spent, even if it is just sitting together, being present to one another.
So if you have done your homework before dating and know how you desire to be loved, the idea is not to waste your time on someone who does not speak your language. Once you see it is not happening don’t make excuses, hope it will change or decide to “wait it out.”
The idea for the couple learning each others love language is to try to meet that need to create a more harmonious relationship. It can be difficult if Joe does not need gifts for himself but Cindy does. Once Cindy expresses to Joe this is something she needs and loves then it is up to Joe to try and speak Cindy’s language.
Here is an example: Cindy and Joe made an appointment for marriage counseling. During the first session Cindy expressed how much she would like Joe to show his love for her with silly sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, a card left on the kitchen table, flowers just to say I Love You. She was very clear that gifting was one of her love languages. When it was Joe’s turn to talk he said, “That is just not what I do, I don’t think about it, you have married the wrong guy if that is what you need.” Cindy sat on the sofa with tears rolling down her face. It was very sad.
We need to know ourselves; we need to know when something isn’t working; we need to make changes. It is almost a guarantee that we will become resentful if someone isn’t meeting our needs. Resentments grow, they do not magically disappear.
No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. It is important to know what you need and make choices accordingly. If you want someone to give you gifts, notice if they give them to you when dating and if it continues. It your language is quality time, don’t keep dating someone who doesn’t give it to you.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com

Small-town lifestyle. Big-time benefits.
As a Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee nurse, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a
friendly, small community and the resources of Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider.
Less than an hour from Tulsa, Muskogee features outstanding cultural and natural
attractions, including numerous lakes and state parks that offer boating, skiing, golfing,
fishing and every other type of outdoor family recreational activity.
Be part of a rapidly growing, locally owned and operated, not-for-profit organization
dedicated to the health and wellness of eastern Oklahoma.
Why now is a great time to join our team:
• $10,000 sign-on bonus and relocation assistance for experienced RNs*
• Great benefits, including paid time off, tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance,
retirement plans, onsite childcare, adoption benefits and more
• We are a qualified not-for-profit organization, so you may be eligible for federal student
loan forgiveness**
To learn more about nursing opportunities at Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee, please
call Melissa at 918-558-8028 or email Mfinklea@saintfrancis.com.
*Applies to registered nurses in select patient units with at least two years of nursing experience. Two-year work commitment
**View program details at studentaid.ed.gov.
EOE Protected Veterans/Disability