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The Dos and Don'ts of Gift Giving For Your Partner

Tips for Avoiding "You Got Me WHAT?"

Holidays often bring about time for family and friends, time off work (hopefully), and for many, the time to think of the perfect gift for loved ones.  Surprises and gifts can be exciting to receive but we are often left disappointed when our partner does not appear to have put in much thought, which can feel like a reflection on our relationship. When giving, we sometimes feel pressure to get it right with few ideas on what might make the perfect gift for that someone special. Here are some dos and don’ts around gift giving that work year round.

Put some effort into it. Something that requires thought and attention usually goes over a lot better than a last-minute “I-need-something-now” gift. Great gifts bring back memories or create new ones. Personalized, homemade presents are often a hit. But don’t worry; you don’t have to get out your knitting needles or woodworking tools. It is a great time to reflect upon your partner and your relationship that will lead to ideas to flame your romance. Some ideas include:

  • A crossword puzzle with names of places you’ve been, special moments, funny catastrophes
  • A written list of 10, 50  or (age of partner) reasons why you love them
  • Something handmade or engraved (bottle opener, wallet, billfold, business card holder)
  • A sexy story about your partner and you. For those literarily challenged, you can buy a  customized romance novel written by an author and printed with your names as the main characters
  • A mixed CD of your partner’s favourite love songs, or download them on their ipad in a special folder
  • Create a coupon book that can be redeemed later for treats such as breakfast in bed, a sensual massage, lap dance, trip to the lingerie store together
  • Search on Pinterest for oodles of ideas of homemade romantic gifts

Even if the gift is not personalized, you can make it special by writing your own card (with more than just your name on it). You can also get creative in your wrapping - cut out an image or two from a magazine your partner would like and decorate a simple paper bag or make wrapping paper out of it. It is the little touches that often make a difference.

Pay attention for clues or hints. Notice what s/he discusses with excitement throughout the year about books read, explorations or gifts others received, parts of a movie noted, ads seen on TV, in magazines or on billboards. Be present to their desires.

Still stuck? Ask for a wish list. It is not cheating. It just increases your chances of getting something that your partner will really like. It also provides a good indication of desires or needs that you may not have thought of or been aware. You can create a gift around your partner’s wishes.
   
Keep the receipt. Don’t be offended, but rather see the exchanging of a gift as a learning opportunity to better understand what your partner likes; plan a date and go together to return it and choose something new. Who knows, you may go outside of each other’s box and explore new, romantic gifts together.

Don’t buy something you want or that is solely intended to make your life better: tickets to a concert or sports event you want to see is not a great idea any more than a gift that advances a new fantasy that you have not yet shared. Talk about it first and make sure that it is their fantasy too. A book or DVD on how to pleasure YOU better is not a recommended gift. While your partner may enjoy learning how to give you pleasure, they may feel more loved if the book was focused on how they can get more pleasure. Books where you BOTH learn could be fun. Or learn a new skill ahead of time by reading or taking workshops ; send them a sexy invitation to a date and time where you can test out your new talents.

Don’t buy household gifts. This is not romantic! Unless they have been hankering for a special tool set, fancy electric saw, the newest vacuum cleaner or a specific set of pots and pans, wait for the Boxing Day sales and buy your bargain household items together. Or drive them to their favourite store and tell them that they have a limited time (e.g. 5 minutes)  to pick out anything and everything that they want (you can put a $ limit on the total…)

One gift that almost always goes over well is a special trip together. It does not have to be far or exotic- it can be close to home; creating time for the two of you. Arrange to  be free of the kids and the phones for a weekend with suggestions and options for  different food and entertainment . Sometimes the gift of time together is all that we crave to create intimacy and romance to enhance our passion for one another in a busy time-constrained world.