Picking up gifts for the opposite gender can be difficult, simply because women and men look at things very differently. Imposing our own perspectives when we pick gifts for the opposite gender can get us into trouble, because that will lead you to the gifts you think they will like, not the ones they ACTUALLY like.
If you are looking for a perfect gift for the woman in your life, whether she is you significant others, your mum, sister or even aunt, it is important to understand what women are looking for in your gift!
Women value the love and care more than the gift itself
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As a woman myself, I can make a few general observations to steer you in the right direction for your next gift-giving occasion.
In my experience, women tend to analyze the intentions behind your gifts. The thought and care that you put into the gift is more important than how badly we need the gift in most cases. We like surprises, and we love to know that you care. For women, a little bit of effort and thoughtfulness speaks volumes.
Always remember women keep close eyes on your intention
Whether she is your significant other, your mom, or your sister, the same general gift-giving principles apply. It isn’t hard to appreciate women if your gift shows that you care about us and you focus on what we like.
Women enjoy practical gifts, but they are even more fond of receiving unique gifts that they might not buy for themselves. Women tend to take care of getting the necessities on their own, but rarely treating themselves to something special.
To put it in perspective, it’s the difference between buying your wife the extravagant handbag she fell in love with instead of getting her a bottle of anti-aging cream. You may not think the purse is practical, but if she’ll use it, then it is practical in her mind. Maybe that anti-aging cream does address a concern that she has about wrinkles, but if you get it for her, you might be sending her the message that you think she looks old. Yikes!
5 mental notes on choosing the perfect gifts for women in your life
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Showing appreciation for the women in your life doesn’t have to be complicated, but as you saw in the last example, it can definitely go awry. To keep yourself out of the dog house and score some points, consider the following:
1. Try to send a gift on a random day
Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are times when gift giving is expected. If you really want to impress her, give her something on an average day just because you are thinking of her.
You don’t have to break the bank to do this. She’ll probably love it if you surprise her with her favorite chocolate, pick up some flowers, or cook a nice dinner. It’s not so much the monetary value of the gift but the way that you show your appreciation that matters.
2. When you get a gift for a holiday or birthday, show your thoughtfulness
We like to know that you have been paying attention to things that we like. You can either choose something practical and desirable that we’ve been talking about for a while, or you can pick something that we may not have realized that we needed.
Usually, when women like something, they talk about it all the time. Spend enough time listening, and the ladies in your life will likely mention things that they like or are considering buying. If you’re lucky, she may go into lots of details about the things that she wants. If she stares longingly at that black handbag every time you walk by it in the department store, it would probably be a great gift.
3. You don’t have to be telepathic to figure out what to buy
Figuring out what a woman needs, but doesn’t realize she needs can sound a lot like mind-reading, but it isn’t. You’re just applying your problem-solving skills to look at her experiences in a new way.
For example, maybe you realize that your girlfriend experiences terrible period pain. You see her popping pills and trying to sleep away the discomfort on the couch every month. If you wanted to surprise her, you might get her a cute hot water bottle or a heating pad, some chocolate, and a nice card saying that you noticed she’s been feeling under the weather. You not only showed her that you care, but you get bonus points for not being afraid to discuss your lady’s natural bodily functions.
One time my mother, who has been a waitress for many years, complained about how much her feet hurt. When I looked at her shoes, I saw the problem right away. They were so worn that they weren’t supporting her feet properly anymore. Buying her a new pair of shoes was the best gift I could have given to her at that time. She was so worried about everyone else in our family that she hadn’t noticed her own need for new shoes.
4. Be mindful of the meaning your gift could carry
When you choose a gift related to weight or body image, exercise caution. We ladies face a lot of pressure to meet unrealistic beauty standards.
Unless your wife says to you explicitly, “I want a Weight Watchers membership for my birthday,” or “I really need a gym or yoga studio membership,” please don’t get that for her. You could accidentally send her the message that you think there is something wrong with her appearance.
Buying her a kitchen appliance is also a no-no. There are exceptions to this, of course. All my mom wanted for her birthday one year was a fancy mixer to take her baking hobby to the next level, and that is what my father purchased for her. She was overjoyed that he had gotten it for her. In the absence of a specific request, though, gifting a kitchen appliance can send the message that you think she belongs in the kitchen. I know that probably isn’t your intention, but that could be what you end up saying.
5. Make it exclusively for her
When you chose a gift, pick something that is just for her. Buying tickets for both of you to go to a baseball game when she isn’t interested in baseball might be more of a present for you than her. Yes, it is a date, but is there another type of experience that might align with her interests better?
You’ll get bonus points with her for stepping out of your comfort zone and picking an activity that she likes.
Now go out there, and show her how thoughtful you are
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Buying gifts for women doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Women may seem complicated, but a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. The perfect gift doesn’t have to put you in debt, nor does it have to be the most practical.
The best gifts come from the heart and are an expression of the bond that you have with the recipient. Get her something you know she’ll love, or choose something unique that she didn’t realize she wanted or needed. Chances are, she’ll love that you took time to show her how much you care about her.
|||^||Complex: A Guide to Buying Your Girlfriend the Perfect Gift for the Holidays|
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|||^||HuffPost: Young Girls Explain Why Beauty Standards Are So Impossible|
|||^||Time: Worst. Gift. Ever. The 6 Kinds of Presents You Should Never Give|