This time of year can be fraught with unnecessary stress, especially if you’re in a new or budding relationship. But giving to someone you care about can and should be fun! This is adapted from a piece I did for a Ebay gift guide and I thought you might enjoy it. Here are six secrets about men and holiday gift-giving!
1. Men Don’t Expect You to Go Overboard
Overdoing a gift is a common mistake. A gift is not a symbol for the value of the relationship, and a man won’t expect it to be. The relationship stands on it’s own. A gift should reflect the intimacy you share as a couple, and not be purchased as proof of love.
2. Men and Women Approach Gift-Giving Differently
Women tend to start thinking about the gifts they want to give sooner than men do. We’ve all seen the lines of men standing outside See’s Candy just before closing on Valentine’s Day, or a man racing to Bloomingdales on Christmas Eve. Men have more stress with trying to determine what women will want and like, and they worry about disappointing.
3. Gifts Should be More Thoughtful as Relationships Grow
As couples become more familiar and comfortable, there’s a tendency not to put in as much effort. But it’s important to remember that you are the one person closest to your partner. You know him better than anyone else, so therefore your gifts to him should have a special meaning or be more on point. Again, it’s the thoughtfulness that will make the difference, not the extravagance.
4. If a Man Tells You What He Wants, Go With It!
My husband recently gave me his wish list for the holidays and I went out this week and found exactly what he’s looking for. It made my job easy and I know it will make him happy to have what he’s been dreaming about. Surprises are overrated. My advice is to be a great listener and not focused on your own agenda. The goal here is to let him know he’s been heard!
5. Men Feel Their Own Value in Making You Happy
Should you vocalize your disappointment if he gives you a poorly chosen gift? This all depends on how long you’ve been in your relationship. If you’re someone who is constantly disappointed and expressing that, you run the risk of taking away the joy of giving to you. I’m not a fan of “faking it” but I do think that all gifts should be appreciated and that’s what needs to be mentioned in the moment you receive them. After all, it’s all about the thought. Be gracious. There’s time for letting your partner know (AFTER the holidays) what you really like. Give a gentle nudge in the right direction for the next time. Positive reinforcement over criticism wins every time.
6. Men Enjoy Spending Time With You
Many men are sentimental, even if they don’t show it. Make a tradition with your partner. Create something together that you do every year that reinforces your special relationship. It could be volunteering together for your favorite charity, baking cookies, having a romantic dinner at a fabulous restaurant for just the two of you without friends and family. You can also build up to the holiday by writing a daily “I love you because…”note for your partner to find during their work day.
Finally, remember that the holidays are all about sharing love, cheer, and compassion. It’s too easy to get caught up in measuring your relationship against a Hallmark card or a friend’s Instagram feed. Instead of letting that happen, take this time to enjoy the connection you have with a man – whether it’s a promising flirtation, a budding new relationship, or a partnership you’ve been in for years. This is the time of year to celebrate love in all its forms, romantic and otherwise. Make the most of this moment, whomever you share it with, and enjoy your life and your journey!
Have any tips of your own to share? What was the best gift you ever gave? Or the best you received? Please share!
Much love to you this wonderful season!