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9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

9 Creative Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Partner

If you want to show your partner how much you care, the best way to do that is to make a gift that will mean a lot them. Put some effort into it, for Christ’s sake. Show them that they are special. Even if you have a gift in mind that you already bought, there are ways to present it in a creative manner.

1. Create your own love story book or comic with pictures and drawings

This is the most creative gift you can give your partner, and you’ll both end up shedding tears of joy. In order to make this gift, you need a nice blank notebook or just papers that you can bind together with nice hard covers, as well as pictures of you and a few different pens.

The point of this gift is to tell your life story, and include some humorous situations, as well as romantic ones. You can write a story, and add pictures, or just write some of your quotes related to the picture. It may be hard to picture the love story book at first, but you’ll get a hang of it when you start making it.

If your partner is a comic book fan, and you know how to draw, you can make a comic book of your love story. It can also be just the first chapter, and if your partner is addicted to a particular comic book, you can make it in that style.

Start with the beginning of your relationship, and continue to the very moment you gave them the book. You can just name it “The First Chapter”, so it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in a relationship. You can even use the last page to propose, if you are at that stage of the relationship. If not, the First Chapter of your love story will be enough to take your partner’s breath away.

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As this gift is made by you, except for being romantic, it will probably be the best gift your partner has ever gotten.

2. Rainbow roses go with every gift

If you know what your partner will love, but you want to make your gift more creative and personal, you can make rainbow roses. You’ll need water soluble colors, a scalpel or sharp blade and white roses.

Take different colors, and make sure they make a high contrast in order to achieve the desired effect. When coloring the first rose, take just one color to practice, and for the second try with four different colors. Split the stem of the rose and then make another cut almost 6 inches, so you have four equal segments.

Put the colors in different cups, and take four parts and put them in each cup. To make the magic happen, you’ll need to leave them for 24 hours.

3. Handmade brass or copper necklace

You cannot make this gift by yourself, unless you know how to make jewelry. However, there are many brass and copper jewelry makers, who can make you a custom and highly original necklace. You can easily find people who make them on Facebook, and Etsy.

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Make sure the page isn’t a scam, and consult with some female friends. When you contact the maker, tell them about the style of your partner, what kind of jewelry they wear, and if there is something special they like such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or just some others such as dragonfly, rose, butterfly, etc. They can make almost anything from copper and brass, and even put some crystal or other stones.

When making it, they can engrave it to make the gift more personal. This isn’t an expensive gift, but is creative, original and shows how much effort you put into making something special for your special person.

4. Bracelet with pendants describing your love story

If you saw the film “If Only” you know how this bracelet should look like. Basically, you should buy chain link bracelet, on which you can put different pendants. These pendants should represent important moments in your relationship, and tell your love story from the beginning.

This gift is completely original, as it describes your story, so you’ll need to go through a lot of pendants to find perfect ones. If you just put on nice pendants, then it isn’t creative or unique. Put a pendant that describes your first date, and others for some life events. For example, if you met in a bar, then use a pendant representing a beer glass; or if you went to Paris together, then put the Eiffel tower.

5. DIY pillow case

If your partner and you spend a lot of time watching films and TV shows, then one DIY quote pillow is the perfect gift for your partner. You can write whatever you want, and even put a picture on it. In order to make it unique, quote your partner or use a movie quote, but make sure that it’s something you both laughed about for days.

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To make this, you’ll need a pillow, a pillow case, letter stencils, fabric marker, ruler, pencil, scissors, and tape. Measure length of words, then tape the stencils to the pillow case. Measure the rows, as well as the height, so they are evenly spaced. Then use marker, stuff the pillow and your gift is ready.

6. Personalized snow globe

Snow globes are perfect gifts, and are mostly popular during winter as Christmas gifts. However, you can make a snow globe for your partner and instead of a Christmas tree and a deer put something that has a lot of meaning for both of you. For this DIY snow globe you need a small baby food jar, tiny object of whatever you want, Styrofoam, glitter, fake snow, fake snow or confetti, a ribbon and craft glue.

Start with painting the jar lid any color you want. Then, cut a piece of Styrofoam so it can fit the lid, and glue it in the center of the lid. Put it on the surface of the Styrofoam craft glue, and put little item or items. Put in the jar fake snow, confetti, and glitter, and when the items are glued to the jar lids, just close the jar carefully. Put the ribbon and your gift is done.

7. Survival kit in a basket

Working from 9 to 5 is stressful, and weekends are something we look forward to starting with Monday. Surprise your partner with a work survival kit in a basket. Buy a nice basket or just a box, made of wood, and put their favorite chocolates, drinks, some spa soaps, scented candles and some massage vouchers  inside.

For this one, you need to think what your partner loves, and put everything inside. For example, your partner might be saying they need to buy comfy slippers or sleep masks. So, make sure it is in the basket or a box.

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This doesn’t need to be a classic basket with skincare products and the like. If your partner loves video games, you can buy some and put them in with some beer and chips, or anything other they like. If you can afford and if it is a special occasion, surprise your partner by putting some flight tickets in the basket or some road trip plan. If you opt for this one, then plan the whole trip, don’t just suggest it.

8. Mug with meme

Mugs and cups are always a good choice, since your partner will always think about you whenever they drink coffee. Buy a white mug, and by using acrylic paint you can draw whatever you want, if you are skillful. However, mug with meme is also great gift for your partner. You can buy 6 mugs to tell your love story from the beginning, or just put on them memes of your partner and you.

This is also perfect if your partner said something very funny, and the next day you want to surprise them. You can make your own meme or a picture in Photoshop, and they’ll print it on the mug.

On the other hand, if you aren’t good at it, you can find people online who draw and make pictures for mugs, and then print them.

9. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is always a great and creative way to give someone any gift. Puppies and kittens are always a great gift for people who love animals and would like to have one. Before you decide to give your partner a puppy or a kitten, make sure they can take care of them. Many people love animals, but don’t have a pet, because they don’t have enough time to take care of them. Also, think whether you’ll adopt one or not, and if your partner and you have children, then think about good family dog breeds. It’s always better to adopt a cat or a dog, but there is nothing wrong with giving a dog or a cat that your partner always wanted to have.

Puppies and kittens have always been one of the best gifts ever, and a scavenger hunt is the best way to give this gift. Plan the whole hunt, and make it interesting. You’ll need some time to plan all the clues, but it will be worth it.

Make a special gift for your partner or find the most creative way to give a gift in order to show them how much you care.

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Katarina Milovanovic

Creative Writer

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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