Don't shop before you read this! The best and worst anniversary gifts to bestow on your beloved.
There's a lot of pressure that comes with anniversaries, between actually remembering the damn thing and finding the perfect gift, it's total chaos. But, of the two it's the gift giving that we haven't gotten down to an exact science.
In fact, a bad anniversary gift can make your partner question your relationship.
So how do you find the right gift, whether you've been in a relationship for one year or several decades? My rule of thumb: Don't give something your partner wouldn't want to tell his or her friends about. Here's a Cliff's Note's guide to the best and worst anniversary gifts.
The BEST Anniversary Gifts
1. A shared adventure
Novel experiences keep relationships exciting ... even if you've heard your husband tell the same story 326 times. Find something neither of you have done before — something you equally want to do — and make it happen. Not only will you make new memories, you'll see a side of your partner you've never seen.
Besides, now you can say you took your husband's "skydiving," "wine tasting," or "salsa dancing" virginity.
2. Something to commemorate your anniversary
Most of us meet our special someone on an ordinary day. It's everything that happens afterward that gives it special meaning. Walk down memory lane by recreating one of your special first days — your first date, the date you met, or the day you said "I do." Have drinks at the bar where you met and toast to the years ahead and behind (bonus points if you drink wine from the same year). Eat the same main course served at your wedding.
3. Something to carry
Money can't buy love, but it does buy awesome anniversary gifts. If you opt to get your sweetheart something tangible, buy something valuable just for him or her. Even better, make it something that travels with them. Yep, I'm talking about jewelry, a nice watch, a bag or a wallet. This item should be nice enough that your partner probably wouldn't buy it or for him or herself, but not so fancy or fussy that it can't be worn or used regularly.
Also: Buying this gift is a bit like taking the SATs. You'll do better if you study.
The WORST Anniversary Gifts
1. Something actually meant for yourself
The point of a gift is to delight and celebrate your partner. If you're more excited about a gift than he or she is, that may be a sign that it's actually for you. Uncomfortable lingerie that rides up, pushes together, and gets banished to the back of an underwear drawer is not for your special lady. To be fair, women are just as guilty of giving selfish gifts.
One of my friends once bought her boyfriend a griddle, because she liked it when he made her pancakes.
2. Something related to self-improvement
If your partner's expressed the desire to join a gym, eat healthier, or work through some lingering childhood trauma, it's good to be supportive. But anniversary day is all about how much you love the one you're with, not how much healthier or happier or better-adjusted they could be.
Don't surprise your boo with a treadmill unless you're ready to burn serious calories defending yourself.
3. A gift card
Nothing says, "I don't know the person I've been sleeping with for five years," like getting your partner a gift card to spend any way he or she wants to. No card denomination can save you, so don't even try it. There's no plastic anniversary.