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Gifts We Love to Receive
I’ve seen the topic of gift giving make many a strong man run for the hills in panic. The anxiety that this brings up is valid in nature given the amount of importance many women place upon it. Though I wish this were not the case amongst my sisters, it is what it is and I’m here to hopefully give you some insight into why many focus upon it and how to give in ways that she’ll appreciate.
Allow me to begin by saying that I too used to place a great deal of importance upon the act of gift giving. Though I was never comfortable with or required elaborate gifts, I did want them to be meaningful and thoughtful. I would even downplay its external significance, though I would internally break down the meaning of each one and then I’d compare it to what I thought he should’ve gifted me. I know, I’m even embarrassed to admit it because now that I’ve put it on the screen, I see how cumbersome this can become for you guys. Between choosing the “right” gift to having the funds to pay for it, I really do have compassion for your cause.
Like many things with women, this is not a simple task and the act of giving a gift often gets analyzed, interpreted and compared to other goods that our friends or the media pumps into our brains that supposedly signify how much you love us. The importance that women place on material goods has much to do with her personal relationship to what objects signify to her. Material goods may have played a large or a very small role in her life. Objects may have been used to buy her love or she may have come from a situation where there weren’t funds to offer them with much frequency. I cannot begin to cover the range of the possibilities, but I do suggest asking her some probing questions directly to learn more about the role gifts and goods have played for her.
Choosing the “Right” Gift
You can learn a great deal about the things that she finds valuable by taking some inventory around her world and taking keen notes. Most women I know highly value when their man has been observant about her particular likes, taste and lifestyle and makes gift choices accordingly.
Look around, what do you see?
- What does she notice or pay attention to when you’re out and about? What is her eye drawn to? What does she comment on in an excited sort of way?
How to use this information: Generally speaking, these are the things
that she notices in her world that she enjoys and appreciates. This
doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy those items, but it gives you
valuable information about her taste and preferences. Think restaurants
or events she likes, places she finds interesting or themes that catch her
eye that you may want to use for the future.
- What colors, themes and style does she have in her house? If you can’t put a name to it or readily identify it, ask her how she would define her taste (or ask one of her friends). Is she a lover of cartoons and playful things or is she a sleek sophisticate?
How to use this information: To identify her overall taste and style so that if you choose to purchase something for her home (not an appliance!), that it is in alignment with the flow of her house. Think candles, a decoration, picture or functional item that’s broken or not working very well.
- What style does she dress in? What kinds of accessories does she wear? Again, you can ask or look for similar things in ads or the internet. Is she more of a comfy, natural style dresser or does she value cutting edge fashion trends?
How to use this information: In the beginning, I would avoid attempting to purchase clothing, as it is such a particular thing that changes often and can be touchy if the size isn’t right…trust me, you don’t want to even go there most of the time. However, accessories are a safe and appreciated bet and you want them to go along with her overall taste. Think jewelry, scarves or purses.
- What does she like to do with her free time? Is she an outdoors gal, a lover of self-pampering or is there a particular hobby she enjoys?
How to use this information: You can purchase items that support her passions and things that she likes to do to unwind like gift certificates to do the things she enjoys or an item that she could use while doing it. Integrating these kinds of gifts will also send the message that you encourage her to participate in the things she likes aside from your relationship or family and gives you permission to do the same.
Think backpacking or other outdoors equipment, crafting supplies or a gift certificate to take a class she’d enjoy.
- What does she complain about? Is there something in her life that she doesn’t have time for or that would make her life easier?
How to use this information: She will appreciate that you’ve noticed the areas that she struggles with and have made an effort to help her ease some of her responsibilities and duties. Most independent women find it difficult to ask for help, so this can really alleviate a great deal of pressure. Think about things like a helper, babysitter or nanny, a massage, a handyman or housekeeper.
- What are some significant moments in your relationship or in her life? What dates, places, themes or events have been memorable (in the positive sort of way)?
How to use this information: If you haven’t done so already, begin using the tools on this site to assist you to remember important information about her that you can use as the ultimate rabbit up your sleeve when it comes time to gift giving. Commemorating your first kiss, the day you made your relationship official, bought your home or a location something special took place are all valuable gems for you to use. Think date night at this special place, a love note with a single flower that recounts that moment or a weekend getaway to celebrate an anniversary of a not-so-common event (aside from your anniversary or birthday).
I can hear your next question: I want you to know that it’s not necessary to have loads of money to give extravagant items. Even if she came from a background where this was common, this doesn’t mean that you have to fill those shoes and break the bank in attempting to fulfill expectations that will put you in debt. Most women I know place far more value upon the thoughtfulness of a gift over the price tag. If you’ve gotten into the habit of being spendy in your gift giving, you may want to explain to her that you’d like to show her your appreciation in a more thoughtful way. Trust me, women like to feel adored, cherished and special. When you go lengths to recount unique moments, are perceptive about her needs, preferences and lifestyle (which are usually things that men aren’t so good at noticing), she’ll melt with appreciation for you and will want to return the favor.