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Never Give Unwanted Gifts Again: 5 Rules to Make a Good Gift for Men

Never Give Unwanted Gifts Again: 5 Rules to Make a Good Gift for Men

Buying gifts for the opposite sex is tricky business. Ladies, does it ever seem like we go above and beyond and still miss the mark? Choosing the best gifts for the men in your life may seem daunting, but it’s possible to overcome the struggle and find the perfect present. Could it be that men and women view gifts differently?

Sometimes it seems like men and women are speaking different languages in terms of what they want. Most loved ones–husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and brothers– will appreciate your effort no matter what, but most of us really want to surprise and impress the recipients of our efforts. We spend time listening for clues about what he might want. We guess and second guess until frustration and time get the better of us.

One of the most common pitfalls for us as women is that we try to figure out what the men in our lives want based on what we value in a gift. There will arguably be some overlap between what men and women want in gifts, but there are also a lot of cultural and social norms tied to gender that affect the way gifts are given and received.

Why men don’t need surprises like women

When we think about giving gifts to men, we think about the presents from our perspective. Women are moved by a man’s intentions and efforts regardless of the gift. Men seem more interested in presents that demonstrate your understanding of their needs. They like practical gifts that contribute to their personal and professional life.

When you start to panic about getting the perfect gift, think about much of the gift-giving process is for him and how much of it is for you. It may make you happy to spend hours on a project, but if he isn’t interested, then the gift probably satisfies a need that you have, not his.

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Instead of wasting time planning an elaborate surprise or spending months knitting him the ultimate sweater, think about what he really needs. Sure, he’ll appreciate your kindness, but he might not appreciate it the same way that you would appreciate it if he crocheted a scarf for you.

5 mental notes to choose the perfect gift for men

We tend to over complicate our gift-buying, but it is possible to come up with an ideal gift without going off the rails.

1. Understand his needs first. Are there items that will help him enjoy his hobbies or perform better at work? Does he want to try to take his hobby in a new direction, and is there something that facilitates that shift?

2. Don’t overthink it. Guys are pretty straightforward when it comes to what they want and need. They are probably not going to analyze your gifts in the same way that you deconstruct the meanings behind the things he gives to you. You don’t have to spend months making a collage of your life together (unless he has expressed that he really wants that). Sometimes less is more.

3. Observe what they like to buy for themselves.[1] If your guy buys video games on a regular basis, then get him something related to gaming. When a man makes a financial investment in his hobbies, you can guarantee that he’ll appreciate a present related to them.

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    Photo credit: Source

    4. Notice how they spend their time. Your guy may not be the type who likes to spend lots of money on a regular basis, but he has to spend his time somewhere. Whether he’s career oriented, sporty, or into cars, he’ll probably wear his heart on his sleeve about his interests.[2]

    5. Figure out what they need. You know what piques his interest, and there are probably things that he needs to take those interests to the next level. If he likes something that you don’t know much about, you can do some basic research to learn more. You don’t have to get him something that is way beyond your level of understanding. You can make a safer buying choice and still cater to his needs.

    For example, my boyfriend loves photography. I knew that he would appreciate some camera gear because he spends his spare cash and limited free time on taking photos. I thought about getting him a new lens, but they vary so much in price and functionality that I didn’t feel comfortable choosing one.

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    Instead of buying him a new lens, I did a bit of research and found a nice tripod that would work with his camera. He absolutely loved it. It enabled him to practice new photography techniques and make use of the other gear that he already had. It didn’t take tons of money or an inordinate amount of time and photography experience to get him a gift that he truly enjoyed.

    Still at a loss? No worries! We have gift suggestions that cover most of the guys out there for you

    Breaking out of a cycle of overthinking gifts can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

    For career oriented guys:

    • Consider the nature of the work that they do. A doctor, a sales manager, and a fitness trainer are going to have different wants and needs.
    • Think about what will help him achieve his career goals or become more efficient. Does he complain about a specific tool that he uses, and can you find a nice replacement? Is there something you could get him to help him do his job more easily or quickly?

    Imagine that your dad is an outstanding carpenter. For years he handpicks the wood that he uses for his work, and cuts and trims them down himself.  Maybe you notice that one of his handsaws looks old and worn and he complains that it doesn’t work as well as it used to.  Before you make a decision to get a new one for him, figure out if he is looking to replace it first.  If he is, he probably has a preference for a particular brand which he finds is the most reliable.  In fact, it’s very likely he prefers exactly the same brand and model that he’s replacing!  Remember, men don’t think like women.

      Photo credit: Source

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      For guys who have a particular hobby:

      Think about what will help him enjoy his hobby even more than he already does. We’ll consider sports-oriented gifts here since many men enjoy athletics.

      • What is going to help him achieve his fitness goals? The body builder, the distance runner, the yogi, and the reformed couch potato are going to have different needs. Are there things you can buy that will help him eat well and get the proper amount of exercise? Think about things he might want to use at the gym.
      • A new towel, a protein shake bottle, a water bottle, weights, a fitness tracker, or information about a new workout routine are good options. Even if he has some of these things already, does it hurt to have a spare towel or Blender Bottle?

      For guys who have a specific interest in cars, sneakers, or tech:

      This category can be tricky because the guy might know a lot more about these items than you. It can also be tough if you aren’t certain of his brand-preferences or what types of things he has in his inventory. You don’t have to be a tech geek, a sneaker expert, or a car enthusiast to get him a great gift.

      • Think about what he could use to take care of the things that he loves. If he loves cars, a nice car-cleaning kit could be a good option.
      • With a little bit of research, you can find some basic items with good reviews. Simple is often times better if you feel uncertain about the items in which he’s interested.

      A man with a passion for sneakers may tell you that he has his heart set on shoes of a specific brand, color, style, and size. If you have enough information, by all means, get him the shoes. If you’re really not sure, go with a safe bet like a Jason Markk Sneaker Cleaning Kit. The product comes highly recommended by sneaker heads everywhere, and he’s always going to be able to use products to keep his shoes clean.

      Gift-giving doesn’t have to be so nerve-racking for you

      Save yourself time and money by targeting your purchases to reflect things that he really wants or needs. Trust me, he’ll appreciate small random gestures, but he’ll love getting practical gifts even more. Think about how gifts can benefit the men in your life in the long-run. Do these items support interests or fulfil a need? Is this something he would buy for himself anyway if he could? If you can say “yes” to both of these questions, you are on the right track.

      There’s no need to over complicate the process with your own ideas about what you would like to receive. You can get the men in your life thoughtful gifts without getting bogged down. When it comes to getting gifts for men, keep it simple.

        Photo credit: Source

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        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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        Last Updated on July 15, 2019

        41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

        41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

        Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

        Love is one of those things.

        True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

        True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

        supportive couple

          A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

          strong hug

            A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

            running help

              A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

              feeding kitten

                A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

                It’s having the perfect selfie partner

                mom and daughter selfie

                  A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

                  girlfriends

                    Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                    selfies

                      A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                      selfie

                        Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                        dude selfie

                          Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                          It’s all the warm fuzzies

                          12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                            A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                            DSC06952

                              A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                              It means having a friend to photobomb you

                              photobomb

                                A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                                old man photobomb

                                  A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                                  family photobomb

                                    Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                    boyfriend photobomb

                                      A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                      True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                      shoulder to cry on

                                        A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                        flood dog

                                          During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                          A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                            A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                            lunch

                                              A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                              hug

                                                A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                                rubble

                                                  An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                                  sister and brother

                                                    A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                    headstone

                                                      A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                      It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                      110321-N-BT887-100

                                                        A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                        national guard goodbye

                                                          A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                          saying goodbye

                                                            A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                            And cherishing reunions

                                                            husband home

                                                              A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                              boyfriend home

                                                                A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                                mother hug

                                                                  A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                                  True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                                  elderly women

                                                                    Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                    feeling young

                                                                      A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                      sprinkler dad

                                                                        A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                        subway couple

                                                                          A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                          wheelchairs

                                                                            A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                            It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                            silly faces

                                                                              A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                              vote for pedro

                                                                                A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                                True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                                date night

                                                                                  A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                                  playing violin

                                                                                    Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                    True love is timeless

                                                                                    old friends

                                                                                      Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                      sitting around a fire

                                                                                        A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                        elderly couple

                                                                                          An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                          Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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