As any person who is (or has been) involved in any sort of serious relationship, undoubtedly, there will be an occasion when you receive a gift from your significant other. Whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas or Valentine’s Day, there is definitely no shortage of special occasions that require your partner to think up a special present just for you. But what happens when your sweetie gives you a less than desirable gift? Lucky for you, in this installment of He says, She says, we will be tackling the problem of what to do when faced with the “bad” gift giver.
I think this is a situation where time and/or commitment level comes into play. Obviously, if you’ve been dating someone for a short period of time and you are strictly considered boyfriend/girlfriend (or boyfriend/boyfriend, girlfriend/girlfriend), the circumstances are going to be different than if you are a married couple or have been together for an extended amount of time. I know we all like to think that we are the kind of person that follows the “it’s the thought that counts” attitude, but unfortunately, as time goes by, certain standards generally form.
That being said, here is my advice: if you are in a new relationship and your significant other gives you a lame gift, I think you should suck it up and take it in stride. The newer the relationship is, the more likely your partner is less informed of all of your likes and dislikes. In this scenario, I think it is important to remember that truly knowing a person and being attuned to their taste is an ongoing and time-relevant process.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself in a long-term relationship (married or otherwise) and your significant other is consistently giving you “bad” presents, I think it is perfectly acceptable to explain to them that although you appreciate their effort, you would like it if they could pay more attention to your likes. And while some people may consider this bad advice, keep in mind that when someone you love and spend all of your time with consistently gives you presents that you don’t like/can’t use/won’t use, etc., it is hard to not feel like they aren’t paying attention to not only what you like, but who you are as a whole.
No matter what, when your loved one gives you a present, I think you should take the time to thank them and appreciate that at least they made an effort to think of you. But, if you guys have been together for a long time and are seriously committed, I think it is OK to gently inform them if their gifts seem less than thoughtful.
I believe that everyone has, at one point or another, received a gift they never dreamt they would get. The question is: how do you address it or is there a need to say anything at all? In my opinion, honesty is the best policy in a situation like this. Honesty and acknowledging the effort your significant other put into getting you a gift in the first place. Honesty doesn’t need to be a painful thing to for someone to hear either; especially when they realize that you are helping them to get to know you and your tastes and to help avoid any future “issues.” However, when it comes to little gifts given here and there for no reason at all, I don’t think there is a need to say anything (even if you despise said gift). The “anytime” gift shows that you were on the mind of your loved one and isn’t that what’s most important? Knowing that you have someone in your life that loves you enough to get you a gift “just because?”