The Golden Rule When Giving Gifts to Guys

The Golden Rule When Giving Gifts to GuysYou’ve met a sweet guy who you can’t stop thinking about. Everywhere you go, you see things that make you think of him. You even keep seeing things that you think he should own—a gorgeous tie, a funny t-shirt, a new watch…

Stop, right there!

Don’t get me wrong—guys love receiving gifts as much as most women do. After all, most men also grew up eagerly waiting for special occasions that are all about gift giving.

So what’s the catch? Traditional gender roles.

Times may be changing, but traditional gender roles still have power. Boys are allowed to get excited about gifts, but over time, they learn to be less visibly excited about the receiving part. Why?

From a young age, men are programmed to see themselves as providers. Naturally, this affects their relationship to gift receiving too.

That’s right. While most women enjoy receiving gifts—even on a first date—for most men the opposite holds true.

Picture a woman showing up with a gift on a first or even fourth date while her date stands around empty handed. Sure, a few guys might be happy to accept the gift and get on with the date, but this could also be the start of a dating disaster.

But don’t worry! A few simple tips can help you navigate the guys and gifts dilemma.

First, let’s be clear. Most guys do love receiving gifts. The trick is to do the giving without making him feel like he has nothing to give or isn’t giving enough. Got it?

First, when it comes to gift giving, timing matters. If he hasn’t given you a gift yet, don’t show up with a new watch or even a used book. You probably want to let him make the first move.

I know—this may sound traditional, but lavishing gifts on a guy who hasn’t yet had a chance to go shopping can backfire. And yes, this may take a bit of time. After all, not all men love shopping.

Second, be aware of scale. The gift of an expensive watch only a few weeks into a relationship is obviously different than the same watch being given on a special anniversary.

How do you measure what scale is appropriate at what point? Think about this from your own perspective. If a man you only recently started dating lavishes an expensive gift on you—let’s say, a diamond necklace—what’s your reaction? Are you seduced or a bit suspicious? Chances are, you’ll have a mixed reaction if an extravagant gift arrives too soon.

While there are no hard and fast rules, personal but inexpensive gifts are generally best for new relationships. Early on, a gift should simply say, “Hey, I’m paying attention to who you are and what you’re passionate about.” Leave the “this is a huge commitment” type of gifts for something that is already serious.

Finally, try to avoid giving cliché gifts. That’s right—not every guy needs or wants a bottle opener in the shape of a baseball bat or a survival tool key chain!

If you’re going to give a gift, use it as an opportunity to say something you may not be able to easily express in words. Most importantly, let him know that you can see he’s not just any other guy.

So what’s the golden rule of giving gifts to guys? Guys love to receive gifts, so don’t hold back! The trick is to give the right types of gifts at the right moment and in a way that doesn’t make him feel like he’s not giving enough.


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5 thoughts on “The Golden Rule When Giving Gifts to Guys

  1. ARO said:

    What about origami? I try not to spend $ on gifts for awhile – just from experience, your explanations make perfect sense. I’ve been folding paper for 20 years, so it’s pretty easy for me, even difficult patterns. Usually people are amazed & excited when I give origami even when I say it’s no big deal. One guy didn’t seem to care even before I told him it was no big deal – or he was just speechless. It wasn’t even a date, I thought we were just hanging out because we decided not to date, but we hit it off as friends. I realized later he was already falling into a depression & over time pushed everyone away – he was able to talk to me & open up, but after about a year he pushed me away too. I guess it has always bothered me not that he didn’t seem impressed, but that he threw them away – he had gotten rid of a lot of stuff when he got a new house & he said the origami could be remade. I know it kinda hurt my feelings because I had totally fallen for him, but I understand the depression probably had a lot to do w/at least the reactions.

    • James Bauer said:

      Origami is a perfect example of a good homemade gift. In this situation, it does seem his mental health was the problem rather than the gift.

  2. Angela said:

    Thanks for advice on no present on first date….as I know the person I am about to meet has admitted to loving dark chocolate….so I had bought a small bar intending to take it with me as I love it too….but shall now leave it at Home and save it for later if the relationship goes any where. Thanks again

  3. Katrina said:

    My boyfriend and I have been in an exclusive relationship for a year. I asked him kitmoy to buy me clothes because I really enjjoy going alone to shop and picking out my own wardrobe. Because I am 63 yrs and being Physically fit most clothes are made for 20 yr olds and are not appropriate for my age even if they fit. So after letting him know how I felt about this..3 months prior.. he went shopping and bought me clothes anyway. The colors were not flattering and the shorts were very short and jacket too tight. I thanked him but asked if we could exchange for a larger size and different colors. He stated we couldn’t exchange them. due to the store closing and all sales final. He stated he spent $150 on me. He stated I was just complaining. He saw I wasn’t wearing them and I said I wasn’t comfortable in the tight jacket and the shorts were to short and exposed too much skin to wear to the gym. He was very angry and stated the clothes were fine and I was just complaining . I said to him that maybe his daughter of 24yrs could have them because they were her size and colors. He became very angry and stated I was ungrateful and he spoke to his boss about this and his boss said I just should be grateful and wear them them. When I said I didn’t feel they were comfortable or appropriste he became angrier and said that he wasted $150. I never asked for clothes and if he would of remembered that and just given me the money I could of picked out something I liked. He eventually gave the clothes to his daughter and said I was unappreciative of his gift. I was appreciative. But I couldn’t enjoy them. I couldn’t zip the jacket and the shorts are too tight . They were not exchangeable and he knew that when he bought them. I don’t understand the reason he bought them when he knows that I have difficult time finding clothes that are age appropriate and stylish for a mature woman . So please tell me what I should of done so he wouldn’t of become so angry and hateful to me. What should I do now? He said he will not buy me a gift because I’m to picky Please tell me what to do? I’m ready to walk away from this man due to him not understanding how I feel and being labeled picky and a complainer for clothes I never wanted or asked for.. the things I do ask for .he has ignored my requests and buys me things I do not want .. I’m confused? Please help .. Katrina

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Katrina. That is an annoying interaction you had with him. I’m sorry for the way he treated you. It’s clearly a reflection of his poor social skills.

      Is this an isolated event? Or does he fail to listen to your true needs and desires on a regular basis? It seems that your question about whether or not to continue working things out should depend on the answer to that question.

      If this is an isolated event, then he may genuinely have no clue about fashion or the degree to which women have to carefully choose the perfect fit for their clothes (compared to men). If that’s the case, he’s just a good guy who needs a woman to teach him how to be a good gift giver. For some people a rejection of a gift feels like a rejection of the person. It’s ridiculous, but many of our knee-jerk emotional reactions are.

      But let’s consider the alternative. Maybe he doesn’t listen very well. Maybe he’s not very interested in what your heart truly needs and desires. Maybe you’ve noticed small indications of that. If that’s the case, it may not be worth trying to build a lasting relationship when there are other men who might you better.

      Life rarely delivers everything we want tied up in a perfect package with a bow on top. So I understand if you decide to accept his odd behavior, try to move past it, and simply give him a list of things that you would truly love to have as a gift from him (along with a note that says how happy it makes you feel that he gives you gifts).

      Either way, be strong and choose the most joyful attitude you can regardless of what he does next.

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