Did you hit it out of the park on Valentine’s Day? Or did you fare like many other men who spent the day of love trying to make it up to the women in their lives because they failed to deliver a thoughtful gift? Choosing a great gift for your lady love isn’t as easy as picking out a nice-looking piece of jewelry from a counter at the mall (though that does work for many of us). What constitutes a great gift is as unique as the woman herself. If the gift doesn’t reflect her taste, you risk making her think that you don’t know her well enough or just don’t care enough to make a thoughtful decision. Before you end up buying another vacuum or blender for her next birthday or your anniversary, consider these tips for picking out a great gift that doesn’t suck:
Don’t Be a Dolt
Any man who thinks that a Cuisinart or the latest “Biggest Loser” workout DVD is a good gift should not expect to see the flames of passion burning bright. Sure, women may talk about how they want to buy a new sewing machine or need to lose a few pounds, but none of us want a pair of spanks or fuel for our to-do list on a day that’s meant to treat us. Likewise, we don’t want gifts that are really meant for you. Sexy lingerie might be fun once and all, but most women won’t get excited to open a box with a pair of crotchless panties. Look for gifts that show you are thinking of her and that you want to treat her with something special.
Picking up a scented candle or a silver frame might work for a Secret Santa with a co-worker, but it won’t cut it if you want to impress your girlfriend or wife. These generic gifts are for generic people: Co-workers, acquaintances, that neighbor who always sends you a fruitcake. Your gift for your partner should be unique to her personal tastes and interests. How do you know what those are? You pay attention. Listen to her dropped hints — which she will make. Look for ear-marked catalogs or browse her “likes” on Facebook. Make a list of her hobbies, the places she likes to go, and the things you do together. If she’s a reader, get her a special edition by one of her favorite authors. If she likes music, score a couple of tickets to see one of her favorite bands. Even if you are scrounging for something last minute and are deciding between one generic option and another, try to at least pick a candle that has her favorite scent or a frame that’s in her favorite color.
Ask for Suggestions
If you’ve been too dense — or lazy — to pay attention to her clues, then just ask those who aren’t. Get suggestions from her best friend or her mom. Ask them for ideas about what she might like, or get them to tell you directly what they know she wants. These are people who have known her for years, and they are likely to have dozens of suggestions about what she’ll love. She’ll never have to know that you didn’t come up with the idea on your own! Even if she does find out that you got help, you’ll still win points for taking the time to ask.
Think Outside the Wrapping
Some of the best gifts are not tangible. Most women are rushing through their days and don’t have the time to do the things they enjoy or to get some much-needed pampering or “me time.” If you can give your lady the time to do these things, you’ll be a hero. You can simply volunteer to watch the kids for the night or the weekend so that she can go out with her girlfriends or do whatever else she might like. Or you can give her a gift certificate for some pampering services, such as a manicure, a facial, or a massage. She’ll feel great after taking this time for herself, and she’ll have you to thank for it.
Be a Little Sappy
The point of every gift should be to show that you are thinking of her and that you care. Sentimental gifts accomplish just that. These gifts can be as simple as a framed photo of the two of you on a special date, a handwritten letter telling her your feelings or sharing your vision for your future, or a handcrafted card with mementos from trips or dates you shared. If you have children, you can create a plaster mold of their hand or footprints, bronze some booties, or create a video slideshow of family photos. These are the kinds of gifts that she will treasure and that will show her you put real thought into showing her how much you care.
If your Valentine’s was a bust because you got her a singing teddy bear or a huge box of chocolates even though she’s lactose-intolerant (and you didn’t know it), these tips can help you hit a home run with your next gift on her birthday or your anniversary. Make sure you give a gift that doesn’t suck!
About the Author:
Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for onlinenursingdegrees.org. Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics. Heather has just completed research onnursing program online and online nursing programs ny.