DEAR HARRIETTE: Without sounding superficial, how do I tell my boyfriend that I want him to do nice things for me?
My love language definitely involves receiving gifts, yet I haven't received anything from him. It isn't necessarily about the gifts; I would just appreciate the gesture. For me, receiving a gift is a huge sign of love and appreciation. I'm wondering why he doesn't even offer. He has a really good job. Am I right to be a little upset about this? -- Bare Minimum
DEAR BARE MINIMUM: Your boyfriend is not a mind reader. We make the mistake of assuming that people want what we want, the way we want it. That simply isn’t true. Your boyfriend may have grown up in a household where his parents didn’t give each other gifts -- or perhaps his parents weren’t together. He may not have witnessed the joy of giving and receiving, so he may be oblivious to what you crave.
Talk to him. Tell him what makes you happy. Also, be sure to give him gifts so that he has a chance to experience what you like. But know that his love language may be different. Observe him so you can learn what makes him happy.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)