When gift-giving occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas or Hanukkah, and of course Valentine’s Day roll around, most people pile expectations on their partner, especially if the relationship is a relatively new one. If the present isn’t 100% on point, most women are content to console themselves with the notion that “it’s the thought that counts.”
But if that prettily-wrapped package and its contents miss the mark altogether? It could be “buh-bye BF.” That’s why we have compiled a few tips and tricks to picking out the perfect pressie for your paramour!
Channel Your Inner Goldilocks
One of the biggest hurdles men face with choosing presents for women? Under- or over-doing it. This is especially true in the beginning stages of a relationship, when you’re not quite sure how serious things are. You might be afraid of going too casual — say, giving her a teddy bear or a paperback book when she’s expecting something more sentimental. That fear could lead you to overcompensate and go overboard, giving a too-fancy (or too-expensive) gift, which will scare her away.
How to get something that’s not too cold, not too hot? Hit up one of her besties on the sly to suss out what she’s expecting. Sneak a peek at her social media to see if there are particular items or styles she seems to have a penchant for. If you have any mutual friends in a similar situation, you can try to learn from someone else’s mistakes (or successes): “Hey, didn’t Makenzie and Logan have an anniversary recently? What’d he give her?” If you’re lucky, she’ll offer up her commentary along with the deets.
Pay Attention, Pay Attention, Pay Attention
Yes, the repetition is necessary, because this is perhaps one of the most important keys to successful gift-giving — and, for that matter, to successful relationships in general. Even if you’re not naturally detail-oriented, it’s not that hard to be an attentive partner, the kind that girls call “keepers” and brag about to their BFFs. Here is how:
- When your girlfriend is talking, actively listen to what she says. Put down your phone, look into her eyes, and focus.
- Look at what she looks at. When she oohs and aahs over an Insta post, ask if you can see it. Try to detect patterns in her taste. Is she a minimalist? More of a free-spirited bohemian? Does she dig retro design?
- Go shopping with her. This doesn’t necessarily mean a four-hour excursion to the mall; try peeping over her shoulder while she’s browsing online. Or stroll past cute boutiques and gift shops after Sunday brunch, window-shopping. And when she says things like “OMG this is adorbs” or “Wow, I love this! Especially the green one” — for heaven’s sakes, take those as the hints they are!
Hedge Your Bets with Gifts That Keep on Giving
Choosing one item is a very all-or-nothing proposition, and one that can feel nerve wracking. It’s like playing roulette and putting all your money on red 32. So don’t choose just one item.
What about a gift-within-a-gift, like a beautiful soy-blend scented candle that slowly burns to reveal a piece of jewellery? This is a playful, unusual, and romantic (but not too romantic!) choice. Check out how it works at Jewelcandle.com.
Another idea that definitely scores major points for thoughtfulness, but that also takes some of the responsibility off your shoulders? A subscription box. You know by now whether she’s a makeup maven, a tea aficionado, a knitter, a mystery-novel fanatic, or simply a fan of cool, indie, eco-friendly products. There are subscription boxes for all those interests and more.
Getting a new box of presents in the mail each month is also a great way to guarantee ongoing gratitude, if you know what we mean!