Gifting is one of the love languages as stated in Gary Chapman’s book. Learn how you can adopt these small tricks with your partner if that is his language of love..
Gifts have always been an important part whenever you wish to develop a healthy and loving relationship and gifts tend to offer numerous benefits aimed at making your relationship get stronger and last forever.
Gifting is one of the 5 languages of love. Some people love to give and receive gifts and for them this is their way of showing their love. Of all the ways to have fun and excitement in your relationship, gifting is the most misunderstood. Some people think gifts are overrated and materialistic. I won’t agree with that. I personally love giving and receiving gifts. It makes the relationship more special and if the gifts chosen are memorable, they will add so much more substance into your relationship.
9.1 Stages in gifting
9.1.1. Stage 1 – Surprise gifting
Here you are completely caught off guard when your partner gets you a present. You are new in the relationship or there isn’t a protocol for getting each other gifts. So when one partner gets the other a gift, there is immense surprise, gratitude and appreciation for the gift.
Selina loved giving gifts to Darren. Her language of love was indeed gifting. The first time they started dating as a couple she gave him a Mont Blanc pen and he was floored. He didn’t expect such an expensive gift. He truly appreciated the gift and treasured it a lot.
9.1.2. Stage 2 – Compulsion gifting
If you have started him giving gifts, he will feel obligated to do so too. His gifts will more impersonal. he might also be conscious about how much he spends too. We do demand (subconsciously) our partners to reciprocate. Although there is no assurance of a gift, we do expect our partner to get us a gift and look forward to it. On special occasions like Christmas or our birthday, there is anticipation and expectation of receiving a gift. You might not complain but if you don’t get a gift or get a gift you don’t like resentment surely builds up. Both can also feel indebted if one keeps giving gifts in the relationship.
Selina kept getting Darren branded gifts – a Paul Smith wallet, Gucci shoes and a lot of other designer stuff over and over again. She gave because it made her feel happy and excited. Darren on the other hand felt obliged to get her gifts too and it was a tough feat for him. Firstly he didn’t know how to buy women gifts and secondly he didn’t believe in spending so much on designer things. But he tried nonetheless to keep up with Selina so she didn’t feel resentful. He also felt indebted to her for all her kind gestures.
9.1.3. Stage 3 – Tis’ the season to gift
This stage is the stage where the thought behind the gifts become very important. Both start enjoying the process of gifting and buy meaningful gifts for each other. He catches her admiring something while window shopping and surprises her with it and she gets him tickets to his favourite football game. These gifts are special and signify to your partner that you care and the symbolic meaning of the gifts matter more than the economic value. Of course we all have different wealth levels and at this point it will matter. If the differences in wealth are extreme dissatisfaction will build up in the relationship.
Darren started noticing what Selina liked and started making an effort to get her gifts. For the first time in his life, he walked into a Louis Vuitton store and bought a bracelet for Selina. He started noticing her likes and dislikes and started taking more interest in what women like. Good thing for Darren and Selina, they were both have the same wealth level, though before Darren never spent on such things – because he wanted to make Selina happy, he started taking an initiative. He did it out of his love for her – it wasn’t to show he could keep up (though subconsciously) it might have been. But he genuinely wanted to make Selina feel special.
9.1.4. Stage 4- Gifting gone wrong
At this stage, gifting can become a minefield. Givers and receivers get apprehensive about giving and a sense of entitlement builds up. Instead of appreciating the gift your partner gets you you feel you deserve a gift and if the gift is not up to your expectation, there is anger and rejection. Also a lot of competition on getting the “better” gift sets in and both feel inadequate. The anxiety on whether he or she will like the present and the disappointment if your partner doesn’t like it.
9.1.5. Stage 5 – Toxic gifting
Not only is there no appreciation, either partners start demanding what is “rightfully” theirs and expresses resentment when they don’t get the gifts they hope to get. There is a sense of being trapped. You feel afraid you would lose what you have a right to (gifts) and wonder how you will survive without it. Both get stressed by the gifting process and instead of being fun it becomes toxic.
Once Selina got Darren a neon yellow polo shirt and he indicated that she didn’t understand his taste and refused to take the present. Another time, Darren gave Selina a kitchen appliance, which indicated to the her that he had certain knowledge of that she wanted but it was the wrong model. They started resenting their each other. They even got scared to get one another presents anymore for fear it might not be appreciated. When Selina wanted to buy a present for Darren’s birthday, it stressed her out so much and to her displeasure, he wasn’t pleased with the present. The gifting process was making both of them unhappy. When her birthday was coming, he too couldn’t be bothered to get her a present anymore.
9.2 Benefits of Gifting
Toxic gifting is very subtle. There are warning signs, but we often do not acknowledge what is happening. Gifts become the substitute for love. Gifts become no more about appreciating your partner or showing your love but about matching up, posting on social media or keeping up appearances. You need to make sure you and your partner don’t fall into these stages but benefit from the process of gifting.
Giving and receiving gifts from a loved one feels very special – for the giver and the receiver. If I look back at all the times I’ve given and received gifts, I really can’t decide when I felt happier. I do feel happy receiving gifts from my partner but at the same time I enjoy searching for suitable presents for him too. I do a lot of research and the excitement of looking for the perfect gift becomes unbearable. The joy on his face and the appreciation in his eyes make me feel satisfied. Thus if we are careful not to fall into the trap of toxic gifting, we can really enjoy buying and receiving gifts. Also it is a good way to commemorate milestones in your relationship. I still remember the first gift my partner got me and always cherish it.
Gifts are an important part of healthy relationships. Apart from being a token of love towards your partner, giving a gift will show your partner you care. It creates a closer bond and of course – opening up a present adds the element of fun in the relationship too. Choosing a present your partner likes makes them feel you know and understand them and have taken the effort to make it special and memorable for them. Remember it doesn’t have to do anything with the price tag – it’s all about making your partner feel loved and appreciated. This could be a Tiffany ring, a painting you drew or simply a flower you picked up from your run – gifts represent you care and you have been paying attention.
9.3 Choices, Choices, Choices
The choices are vast – and yet people have a hard time picking the perfect gift for their partner. It is difficult to strike a balance between a gift that is memorable and practical at the same time. You want to give an extraordinary gift to your partner and wow them. Flowers, stuffed toys and jewellery are the common examples of gifts but gifts which are well thought out make all the difference – it shows how thoughtful you are and to serves as a bridge to bring you closer together through shared experiences.
With internet shopping these days, whatever the occasion and wherever you are in the world, gift giving becomes easy and you can send your love from thousands of miles away with just one click. The world is your oyster – you can purchase from merchants anywhere in the world and your choices are unlimited – be it fashion, beauty, food, culture, travel, sports and much more. You can also send gift cards and subscriptions.
9.4 Finding the perfect gift
Finding the perfect gift for your man isn’t easy. Before settling for a boring gift again (read: his tenth tie) take some time to think about what he would love to unwrap. While you can’t go wrong with classic practical options, unique gift could be fun as well. You could even consider handmade ideas – he’s the leading man in your life, I’m sure you want it to be special. And if he’s a footballer, golfer, foodie, whisky lover – get him a gift he will love. Buying a gift will depend on how long you have been together, your budget and of course his personality and interest. Remember everyone loves gifts – and so will your partner! Buying a gift for your partner doesn’t have to be rocket science. If he’s practical or sporty or simply laid back, there is always a gift for every man out there.
9.4.1 Practical gifts
These are gifts which are sensible. No I do not mean boring. Practical gifts can be fun too. Getting him a new wallet because his old one is in tatters or a shaving kit if his is really old will make him feel you notice and you care. Even gadgets like speakers or headphones, though practical can make wonderful gifts. Your partner might not want to “splurge” on himself and would feel nice to be pampered. Jolie’s partner was a pilot and she once got him a Rimowa luggage – he loved it so much and every time he went on a flight, he thought of her. Also she got him a lanyard once – super practical but he felt special and close to her when he wore it. So practical gifts might sound boring, but they can be special and make him feel you notice what he needs.
- Gadgets – iPad, iWatch, laptop, AirPods, speakers,
- Meal vouchers
- Amazon gift card
- Shaving kit
- Grooming kit
- Cosmetic/ hair products
- Massage device
- Barbecue kit
- Netflix subscription
9.4.2 Sporty gifts
If he is sporty these would be ideal gifts. What says “I care about you” better than the gift of sweat and health for your sporty man. When it comes time to pick presents, opt for gym equipment and exercise-related wear. He would feel appreciative you know him well and it would be a lovely present. Imagine getting something on your bucket list or something you have been wanting to buy.
- Spa vouchers
- Gym membership
- Sports/gym wear
- Protein shakes/bars
- Golf equipment
- Camping equipment
- Tickets to his favourite game
- men’s health magazine subscription
- Apple Watch
- Streaming fitness app
- Boxing gloves
- Core trainer
- Yoga mat
- Cross trainer
- Compression tights
9.4.3. Extravagant gifts
Every man likes to be pampered and what a better occasion to do it than his birthday. One of the ways to pamper him is to splurge on him—get him designer clothes and shoes, buy him expensive flowers, stay in a suite for a staycation or even taking him out to a Michelin star restaurant. Sounds pricey, but you should do it once in a while for your partner. You may not want to admit it but you know he deserves it. Be it to take his stress away from work or to thank him for putting up with you. It may seem materialistic, but spending on him once in a while makes things more fun. A special day out to shop is often more fun than just going to watch a movie, and it helps to keep things from going stale in the relationship. It will also make him feel special and show him you have religiously set aside money to spend on him.
If he has luxe taste, shopping for him might be very challenging. What doesn’t he already own? What could be possibly need and can’t afford? What if he doesn’t like your taste?
- Men’s jewellery
- Gaming kit
- 3D printer
- Designer clothes and shoes
- Coffee machine
- Drone and camera set
- Wine chiller
- Aged whisky
- Personalised whisky barrel
9.4.4. Unique gifts
The more unique and personal your gift, the more care and effort you have taken to know and understand your partner. It shows you have gone the extra mile and why would you do that? Because you care enough. Unique well thought out gifts make all the difference – trust me the effort will pay off in your relationship.
- Limited edition books if he loves reading
- Scratch off love coupons to use in the bedroom
- Specially curated chocolates for him
- Underwear with your picture on it or cute love notes
- Handmade gift card
- Meaningful puzzle with a picture of both of you
- 365 love messages in a bottle
- Video with all your pictures
- Vinyl records of his favourite recording artiste
- Cook him a special birthday meal
- Bake him a cake
- Get him a plant and see it grow
- Something sexy
- Something he really wants
Gifting is an important part in relationships and adds the fun element in the relationship. It’s always nice to receive something from your loved one. The anticipation and excitement of gifting is fun. Make sure you watch out for toxicity setting in. It you keep it fun and are not attached to the whole process but use gifting as a way to appreciate your partner, this becomes a lovely ritual to add into your relationship.