Money Can’t Buy Love

But it sure can show love!

The first Love Language I want to touch on is “gift giving” because although it seems incredibly simple and is arguably the “easiest” of the five, anyone with this as a top LL will tell you otherwise. It’s not at all materialistic or about the amount of money you spend. Gift giving as a love language is never about money; it’s all about the time you put into thinking about your partner for picking out something you know they’ll love.

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I would definitely argue that nurture plays a large role in developing your Love Language as an adult. Ever since I was teeny tiny my mom has always loved surprising me with little goodies and treats. When I was a kid I would sometimes crawl into bed at night and feel something fuzzy against my feet. I peeled back the covers to find a little stuffed animal with a note attached, telling me that I was special and incredibly loved.

When I reached high school she still loved me this way and often left little cookies and notes scattered in the kitchen for me to find when I got home from cross country practice. I still have some of those cards to this day, and I have a really hard time throwing away letters because they are one of the most special things to me.

Even at 26 I will sometimes come home to find a little tube of lipstick or another fun cruelty-free beauty item on my bed. It makes my day every time, and the notes always give me a smile and my heart joy, too. Just knowing someone is thinking about you when you are away is a really special feeling.

Since I feel well-versed in gift giving, I wanted to come up with a little list to help people who might not be fluent in this love language yet. Just because one of the LL’s isn’t important to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t to your partner! It’s great taking this quiz and knowing your significant other’s results, as it can be hard to use LL’s that feel foreign to you. Working on speaking your partner’s language, though, can be a really rewarding task. I highly recommend reading the 5 Love Languages book if you haven’t! It teaches how to love on a whole new level.

Ideas for Guys to implement this LL:

  • Flowers. This is the answer to so many of life’s relationship problems. If you get in a fight flowers are great to say you’re sorry, but they’re also amazing for anniversaries, birthdays, sick days, and even “just because.” When gift giving was my top love language I used to always say that someone could go outside and pick me a bouquet of dandelion weeds and I would still find the gesture incredibly sweet. As I said before, it’s not the price sticker on the bouquet that we find so charming, rather it’s the sentiment that goes behind the gift that really matters.
  • Bring her favorite dessert home. This is one of the most underrated things, but I’m going to give my mom props in this post for always bringing me a new dark chocolate bar to try. She keeps my “chocolate drawer” (Yes, this is a thing in my household) stocked with my favorite Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate, and often brings home little treats from trips to the grocery store or when she goes to the neighboring town that holds the best gluten-free cupcakes around. The chocolate is great, and it always makes my heart so happy that she thinks of me even when I’m not around.
  • As a special treat girls love jewelry, but we know it’s expensive. Robert happens to be the best guy I’ve ever known about picking out beautiful jewelry. I’m always wearing something that he gave me, and it makes me smile and think of him when he’s not around. When we first started dating I wondered if this was Robert’s LL, as he always seemed to have a new little present for me. Two favorite stories come to mind with Robert. First, was a journal he bought and gave to me on our fourth date. It was a really beautiful leather journal — the kind I had always dreamed about getting, but could never justify buying for myself. I wrote in it the entire time he was deployed, and I just recently finished the last page. The second was actually a really goofy gift. I told Robert about someone calling me a mean name on my blog when I first started writing it, so he got me a book called, “Insults And Comebacks: Lines for All Occasions,” and told me to flip through it the next time someone got nasty with me. I’ve never actually used it for that purpose, but it made me laugh and cheered me up — and prepared me for the very few nasty comments I got during the Tom Brady YouTube video going around (Listen, I’m sorry I don’t watch football and had no idea I was “interrupting playoff season — I was just trying to do something nice for someone I love!). I still keep this book on my desk as a reminder that I am loved by the people who truly know my heart, and to write about things that scare me, even if I know everyone won’t be a fan. I’m still working on that.
  • Leave a sweet note on her pillow. This melts any girl’s heart, and whether she goes to sleep before or after you, it’s great to fall asleep with a smile on your face or wake up to a bright “good morning” from a loved one.
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My dad recently got my mom the most beautiful bouquet of red roses for their 30th anniversary. This made my heart so happy, especially when I heard that he actually went into DC to find the best florist around, and asked for a specially made bouquet.


Ideas for Girls to implement this LL:

Since I feel very familiar with gift giving as one of my love languages, I’m going to use all personal examples. Please feel free to sound off other ideas in the comments! I am always looking for new ways to love, and would appreciate your tips.

  • “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” There is a reason this is such a popular idiom that is thrown around — because it’s so true! I am going to make a massive generalization and say that 95% of men love to eat. Bringing him his favorite dinner, surprising him with a treat, or packing a Snickers or Almond Joy (Yuck! That’s Robert’s favorite and I always feel funny buying it; I wish we were friends when we were younger, as he would have been the best person to trade candy with after a giant Halloween haul… “Here, I’ll trade you all my Almond Joys for your Peanut M&Ms and Junior Mints!”) in his lunch is a fantastically simple way to show him he’s on your mind. Add a note for extra sweetness!
  • Guys are so darn hard to shop for — at least the men in my life are — because they seem to buy the things they want. Pay close attention to what might be old or worn. I gave Robert a gift from Tom Brady and the Patriots on his 30th birthday this year (Oh gosh, I need to tell this story soon! I can’t believe I keep forgetting), but it was so darn hard to figure out what I wanted to buy him this year. I treated him to dinner and gave him a present 4 months late because no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find anything that screamed “Robert” to me. I ended up realizing the answer was right in front of me when he pulled out his worn leather wallet to pay for a toll to Boston. In that moment I smiled widely and decided that I needed to get him a nice new leather wallet. Not only would he think of me because he would see it every day, but he deserved to have nice things that were used as often as a wallet. I think this is hilariously enough one of the proudest presents I have purchased, as it took me such a long time to come up with it.
  • An experience can be a great gift to give a guy who is difficult to shop for. Whether it’s tickets to a football game or concert or an impromptu date night, he’ll be excited that you took the time to come up for a special day just for him. This is a great gift for guys who really value quality time as another love language.
  • Jerseys, event tickets, and video games are all nice presents, but they can be expensive to do on a really regular basis. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, get creative and make little surprises that he’ll love. Whether you go back to my #1 tip about food and decide to bake his favorite food or put together a nice picture frame for his room, you can always get creative with your presents.

For girls and guys:

Let’s mix 2 love languages and add a pinch of “Words of Affirmation” to gift giving. Cards and letters are incredible everyday gifts, as they hold a little piece of someone’s heart inside. I have an enormous box next to my bed that holds some of the most special letters I’ve received from friends, family, and Robert. I call this box my “happy box,” and will sit on the floor and read a handful when I’m feeling lost, sad, or just want to smile a little before bed. Several of the letters have become worn from use, but they are some of my most prized possessions. Each card couldn’t have cost more than $5, but the words painted on the page are what really hold value for me. This is the perfect example of gift giving not being about the money spent, rather the thought put into the gift that really matters.

Lastly, pay attention to the things your significant other loves. This is the easiest way to choose a gift, whether it’s a food or drink or a gift from their favorite store. People who have gift giving as a primary love language don’t care so much about the item you give to them as they do about the thought you put into the present. Instead of spending a lot of money on something just for the heck of it, feel free to choose several small tokens of love to spread out through the month. Giving to your loved ones won’t just make them happy, but I find that giving the perfect present makes my heart even more joyful than receiving things.


This is my first post about The Five Love Languages cheat sheet. Come back tomorrow for tips on using another LL. 🙂

The 5 Love Languages For Dummies

If you’ve followed this blog even just a little bit you’ll know I really value the 5 different love languages. I think they can be a game-changer in any relationship — romantic or otherwise — and if you know how to use them correctly they can make the world a much brighter place. Loving someone in a way that speaks to them will make your heart warm and fuzzy, and helps people you care about feel like they are important to you.

I know that every love language doesn’t come easily to each person. My heart has always been one that feels strongly, and I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that every love language is really important to me. I feel fluent in all five, and I wanted to share some fun little ideas of different ways to love someone using their love language. This week I am going to be focusing on the 5 different love languages. Please feel free to comment other ideas that my readers can use for each love language, and take a minute to discover what your own love language is by taking this quiz.

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The last time I took it my top love language was quality time, followed closely by physical touch. My love language score is really interesting because instead of heavily leaning on one thing, I seem to really enjoy a nice balance of all five love languages. I didn’t have a hard time choosing between the options for the quiz, yet I still had very balanced results.

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This is kind of crazy because my entire life has had “gift giving” towards the top — and it’s still one of my favorite ways to show people I love them — but ever since Robert and I started dating things have shifted a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I still love little presents and surprises and really cherish every little thing he gives to me, but I am kind of floored that other ways to love have taken precedence over that. My favorite thing in the world is spending time with him, and if you can add holding hands and a few of the other love languages into a date with him that’s my little taste of heaven.

My heart feels warm and fuzzy when any of these languages are spoken to me, so I’m stoked to write about each of the different LLs this week. Stay tuned, and I would love to hear about what makes you feel loved in the comments!

Are You Still Friends?

Friendship is a two way street.

This is a lesson it took me years to learn, and to this day it can be a hard truth to swallow.

I talk to so many people who are frustrated about friendships that die when they stop putting in all the effort, and I can definitely relate. I’m love to communicate and find that keeping in touch is easy enough if you want to reach out to someone with a text or phone call every so often to see how they’re doing. Old friends tell me that they’re glad I’m good at keeping up with them, and I am happy to, as I genuinely care about how they’re doing and what’s going on in their life.

There are those friends, though, who never reach out if you don’t say something first. I don’t always think this means you need to cut them out of your life or even that they don’t care about you — some people are just incredibly busy and don’t have casual friendships as a top priority. I do think this often means they cannot still have a top space in your heart, though. You can care deeply about a friend who doesn’t put in effort to your friendship. You can still want the best for them and support them, but it’s important to make sure your heart knows what distance to keep the friendship at to realize your own worth.

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Here’s a good comparison. Would you want to date someone who never texted you first or gave any sort of affirmation that you’re an important part of their life? No! You deserve to be a priority in people’s lives, and if they can’t see how much you’re worth there will be other friends who will.

If some of your current friends don’t recognize that you are valuable enough to keep in touch with, there will be others who will. Just like the men who are waiting to date a girl like you, there are people out there in the world looking for a friend just like you, too. Keep each of your friendships as a treasure in your life, but if you feel frustrated about a lack of effort in a close relationship, spend your time on someone who will put time back into you. You are worth investing your time in people who are investing in you.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone has time to spend on a wide range of people and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally if you begin to realize some of your friends aren’t putting any effort back into your friendship. It likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their schedule and priorities. This is a really hard lesson to learn since it can feel so personal, but once you realize that there are other people out there who want to use quality time as their love language, finding the right friends becomes just a little bit easier. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your friendship; you just need to find the right humans to invest your time in.

Time Is Love

Did you know that there are guys who want to spend time with you more than anything else in the world?

A few years ago I didn’t know men like that existed — at least not for me. I had dated people who didn’t make a lot of time to talk with me or know my heart, and I assumed this was just the way guys were wired (Oh young Krista, I’m so glad you were given more life experience to find that this is absolutely not the case).

Something I decided was important when I jumped back into the dating world was that I would eventually be with someone who prioritized things the same way I did. This meant that above all else, he valued his relationships and family, rather than material things like wealth or a job.

In hindsight, it’s really interesting to see how people’s priorities are shown so vividly in real life. It’s really easy to put on paper that your significant other is a priority, but putting it to practice is a whole different ballgame. In the past I’ve been told that I’m a #1 priority, only to lose every single time when I went up against studying, work, or even a television show. There was a time in my life that I realized I wasn’t worth a short phone call. I went to bed every night realizing that, which steadily beat down my own self-worth.


Robert and I live five minutes away from each other and we see each other just about every day. Despite knowing we will catch up with one another in the evening, he has invited me to meet him for lunch in the middle of the workday, as he genuinely wants to see me and have a fun, spontaneous date. He calls me on his way home from work just to say “hello” — and remind me of how bad the DC traffic can be. Even while he was deployed he made time to talk to me every single day he possibly could. Robert is committed to putting me first, just as I am to him.

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Robert invests his time in Jax and I. We both definitely have his back, always, no matter what. 🙂

If your significant other tells you that they don’t have time to spend with you on a regular basis it isn’t because they can’t — it’s simply because you aren’t prioritized above whatever else they have going on in their life. I know that is so hard to hear, but the bright side to this is that I know you can absolutely find someone who prioritizes you the way you prioritize them. Please, please, please don’t settle for a relationship that leaves your heart yearning for so much more. There are people in this world who would give anything to be able to love you the way you want them to.

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Today’s Lesson: The reason I named this post “Time Is Love” is because what you put your time into is what you love most in this life. Time is the most fleeting, valuable commodity we are given, and you know you truly have someone’s heart if they are giving you their time. Yes, people have to work to live and will always have seasons in their life when things are a bit busier than usual, but overall you should be able to very clearly see whether or not you are a priority in someone’s life. Your heart will be so much happier being able to love the right person as much as you want to without feeling like you need to hold back.

Wait for the person who will let you love them without limits because you know they’ll do the same for you. It may not be the first, second, or third person you meet, but finding the right person who will speak your love language is so worth the wait.

My Journal Entries

I’m going to be honest with you guys. I’ve had bad writer’s block lately. Partly because I can’t think of what to write about, but the other part is that I’m scared to write about what my heart is calling me to. Writing in 2017 is different than twenty years ago because of how many people you can reach on a little platform like this. I don’t have over 1,000 friends in real life, so where are all of my readers coming from? Not everyone who follows this little corner of the Internet knows my heart, so I feel like I need to be careful to not collect labels from strangers. On the other hand, though, I shouldn’t care what people think if they’re wrong. I know my heart, and more importantly the Creator of the universe does. He knows my heart’s greatest desire is to love and be loved, and that I care deeply about every human I meet — even if we don’t become friends.

From today on, I’m going to try to open my heart more to you all. This space shouldn’t have room for pride, and I think more people can relate to my own life than I would imagine. Be patient with me and I’ll slowly continue to open up more; that is, as much as I can while still giving the people who have been a part of my story the privacy they deserve.


To start, I can offer a little peek into what I’ve been up to lately. Drum roll, please…

SUMMER CLEANING!

I’m trying to get rid of all the clutter in my life, and it’s proven to be a pretty big task. The other day was my biggest purge so far. I found flare jeans in the back of my closet, my homecoming dress, and a million and one letters from pen pals. I also found all of the journals I’ve kept since I was in elementary school. It was hilarious reading the older ones, and really fascinating reading the journals I kept in college.

On our fourth or fifth date Robert gave me a really beautiful leather journal. He told me that he was just thinking about me while he was at drill in Staunton, Virginia, and went shopping during his time off to get me a little gift. Robert never forgot to remind me that I was special, even in the very beginning of our relationship, and I liked that he spoke my love language of gift giving.

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I just finished the last page of that journal last week, and it was incredible seeing the difference between entries I wrote about guys in my past, versus the way I write about Robert. Robert is someone I’ve never wondered about or questioned if we’re supposed to be dating or not. We’ve definitely been through our fair share of hardships — much of my journal’s pages were filled during the deployment — but I’ve never once wanted to leave this relationship or face my trials with anyone else. Life isn’t always easy, but it certainly brings you peace knowing you’re fighting through hardships with the right person.


Some of the next things I will be writing about are when to — and not to — listen to your friends about your dating life, a few things you should definitely feel about your significant other, and how to make a relationship flow as smoothly as possible. Thank you for being patient while I dig myself out of this little writing rut!

Your Least Important Love Language Is Still A Big Deal

I am currently taking the time to re-read Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages. Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, or divorced I could not recommend this book enough, as it is all about how you can love the important people in your life in a way that is meaningful to them.

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“Gift giving” has always been one of my primary love languages, as I really enjoy taking the time to give people things that I know will make them happy, and it makes me feel really special when someone picks out something small just for me. Since I started dating Robert, though, I have noticed that “quality time” has become my top love language. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we did a deployment together and I wouldn’t trade time with him for anything.

Physical touch is tied with gift giving at my second greatest love language, and words of affirmation are right after that. Acts of service come in last with a measly 1 point. Instead of focusing on my greatest love languages, though, today I want to focus on my least — acts of service.

I think it’s so important to take this quiz and know what your most important — and least important — love languages are because they help you learn how to love the people around you even better. Something I realized when I took this quiz and saw how low “acts of service” is in my heart is that I don’t necessarily take note of the love in people’s actions when they perform an act of service for me. Having a chronic illness has really made a lot of my friends and family step up to try and make my life easier. Friends come pick me up at my house to go out for dessert (A few even drive over an hour one way to meet up with me on a regular basis!), carry my purse for me when we go out, and my parents drive me to countless doctors appointments with no complaints. These are all ways people are showing me that they love me through their actions.

I always really appreciate when loved ones take time out of their day to do these things for me, and I often feel bad that I can be such a big inconvenience. I haven’t ever thought of this as their way to show love to me, though. In the past I haven’t taken note of these actions as ways to love; I’ve just thought they were people merely being “nice” to me since I have a physical disability. From now on instead of feeling incredibly awkward that I am causing a problem for someone else, I am going to take a moment to realize that this is their way of showing me that they love and care about me.

I encourage you to find out what your most important love language is because you will be able to better articulate to your friends and significant other what makes you feel loved, however I think we should all go a step further and pay closer attention to the ways people give us the love we feel least connected to. Ever since I have decided to be more aware of the ways people give love to me I have actually felt more surrounded by love than I ever have before. Paying close attention to the little things people do for me every day has made me realize that utilizing your least important love language can still make you feel incredibly loved and will sometimes be the way people you care about will choose to love you.

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Macy lives to serve and does a great job making me feel loved each and every day. Here she is, prompting me to keep reading!

Boyfriends And Birthdays

I think by now I’ve written enough that you all know I am a flawed human being. I make mistakes on a regular basis, and I sometimes own up to them on here.

Today I am going to write about something I actually am kind of ashamed to admit. I used to measure how much my boyfriend loved me by what he would get me for my birthday… Or Christmas, or Valentine’s day. Yep, that’s about it.

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You see, I haven’t dated the right kind of guy for the way my heart loves in the past. I’m someone who feels loved when someone spends time doing something for me. Some of the best gifts I have given and received from loved ones have included scrapbooks, beautifully written letters, and such perfectly tailored “Krista presents” that I just know the person spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to get me. One of my biggest love languages is gift giving, and it’s never about the money spent, but it’s all about the thought put behind the gift (Or — my favorite — the words written in a card).

This year is different, though. This year I am with someone who I absolutely positively know from the bottom of my heart cares about me and loves me to my core. He shows me in his actions and tells me every day how much he cares.

Instead of (cringe) having my best friend “help” my boyfriend pick something out because he didn’t know my style or would wait until the last minute to make a Target run otherwise, I was 100% genuine when I told Robert that he didn’t need to get me anything this year, and that I just wanted him to come home. Even though he did end up mailing me something (Which I will still wait to open until tomorrow!), I would have been completely happy getting a Skype call and a sweet note on December 3rd. My heart has never felt so content with someone the way it feels with him.

I’ve learned that if you’re with a person who really gets you and knows how to make you feel loved, that the whole “love language” thing isn’t such a big deal anymore. It still matters, but doesn’t dictate the entirety of your relationship because you feel safe and secure. You know your person is thinking about you, even if you can’t talk every single day or do the whole “good morning” and “goodnight” texting. I used to think that I needed a man who would do those things for me every single day. After all, sending a text only takes about a minute, I would reason to myself. My boyfriend should certainly be able to do that for me every day!

Holy crap is it amazing not worrying about little things like that anymore! Until I started writing tonight I haven’t realized in the fourteen months we’ve been dating* Robert doesn’t typically send me those texts — yet I know that every morning when he wakes up he’ll think of me, and the same goes for falling asleep at night. I no longer need a set routine to feel loved, and I don’t  read into every little thing my boyfriend does or doesn’t do to know that he cares about me. I just know. No matter what happens, this is the kind of relationship I want for my future. I want someone who makes love feel easy, and someone who makes me feel secure in our relationship so that when little things fall out of place they don’t rock us. Life is long, messy, and has its fair share of ups and downs. Why make something like love more complicated than it needs to be? Forget about the rules Cosmopolitan creates to “make your relationship fulfilling,” and find someone who makes love seem so easy that when times do get hard you have a solid foundation to stay afloat on.

Today’s lesson: If little things like not getting a “good morning” text every day bother you immensely, please take a minute really think about your relationship. Is he treating you the way you would like your best friend to be treated? Is he treating you the way you treat the people you love? Do you feel loved in this relationship — not just on holidays and special days, but on sick days, and on Mondays? If the answer is “No” to any of these, sit down and take fifteen minutes to really think about whether or not this seems to be a satisfying relationship. This is one of the scariest things you can do when you love someone and are attached to them, but if they’re not the right person for you letting them go sooner rather than later opens a door for the kind of love you do want in life. You never know when your person might pop into your life. Don’t be taken by someone who won’t be in your future to miss meeting someone who would be great there.


*I don’t know how long to say I’ve been dating Robert! Our first date was fifteen months ago, but we weren’t exclusive until a few months after that.

Don’t Be A “Fixer”

You know how people sometimes think if something major in their life changes their relationship will automatically get fixed? I’ve always thought this goofy reasoning — until I felt completely trapped in a very unhappy, unhealthy relationship and didn’t know how to end it.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but they* also say love is blind.

Oh, boy, are they right.

I felt like I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders and am pretty self-aware (Yes, I do know I am an over-sharer and write a little too much about love on social media, but what else am I supposed to do with a dating blog?!). I suppose I was even back then, as I noticed the gut-wrenching nausea and overwhelming sadness when I really thought about our relationship, but I shoved the feeling back as best as I possibly could. After all, one day things could be better. It was a long shot, but maybe I was actually the exception to the rule. Maybe it was just the long distance taking a toll on us, or maybe it was just extra stress from having a chronic illness. After all, I reasoned to myself, I wasn’t used to being sick yet. How could my boyfriend be?

Back then I was a “fixer.” Not in the great sense of putting work into a relationship to make it more beautiful, but instead forcing myself to believe that everything in our relationship would be fixed once our circumstances changed. News flash: Anyone who has seen He’s Just Not That Into You should absolutely know they are never the exception to the rule. This is just something we tell ourselves when we are terrified to leave a bad situation.

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Things got so bad that I finally had the thought that at least whenever I eventually had children I would have some sweet little companions who would actually want to spend time with me.

Ugh. I cringe so hard just writing all of this.

What does this have to do with my relationship with this individual? Why in the world wouldn’t I want both a great husband and wonderful kids? You don’t have to choose just one. How would something as difficult as adding little human beings that you have to raise and take care of every single day help make a relationship any better? If anything it can definitely be a (rewarding) strain on a relationship; not something that will glue it back together.

Sometimes relationships that are broken aren’t meant to be fixed. If you haven’t made a lifelong commitment to an individual it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating; you don’t owe them an unlimited amount of time to try and fix things. There might be a very important reason your relationship is so broken — you just aren’t meant for each other.

Now that my head is clear and I’ve learned some very valuable life lessons, I realize that trying to fix someone into being your “perfect match” is a terrible way to live life. If they don’t understand your love language or make you feel cared for, find someone else who will. If your partner doesn’t want to spend time with you or blames everything that is difficult in life on you, find someone who will hold your hand and help you through the rough patches, rather than throw his hands up and complain about them. You deserve to be with someone who knows your worth, and shouldn’t have to fight for someone you care about to love you back.

Today’s lesson: If you feel trapped dating someone, he probably isn’t the right person for you. A relationship is healthy if there are a few disagreements here and there — that’s what makes it real — but your love life shouldn’t be a battlefield. It should be a place you feel safe, secure, and comfortable in, rather than on anxious and on edge.


*Whoever the heck “they” is.