What Gift Can I Give My Partner This Season?

By

What Gift Can I Give My Partner This Season?
Suffering gift-giving anxiety? You're not alone! Read this article and get some help.

This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Nathan Feiles, LMSW

This post is about a common relationship issue: gift-giving anxiety. With the Hallmark holidays constantly expanding, men and women in any significant relationship — girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives — are all in the same boat of constantly looking for new ways to make their significant other feel special on a gift-giving occasion. But what isn’t always discussed is the anxiety that many people feel in having to generate new ideas and still have them be meaningful.

 

 

Couples — whether in the beginning of a new relationship or in a 40-year marriage — each have their own dynamic, and some have ways of diminishing  their anxieties about gift-giving. For example, one person has an agreement with her boyfriend that they don’t buy each other gifts on any day except for a birthday. While this is in some ways good and shows that the couple is on the same page, it can also create more problems. Couples in this situation often end up worrying that if they don’t do something special, even with the agreement in place, it will seem like they don’t care. So the avoided gift-giving anxiety ends up turning into a “will-it-look-like-I-don’t-care-if-I-follow-the-agreement?” anxiety.

So, what’s the solution to the gift-giving anxiety? Thankfully, there are several ways to approach this issue, and if you’re committed to seeing the option(s) you choose through, you should be able to not only quell your gift-giving anxiety, but also make your partner feel special at the same time.

Here are six suggestions:

1) Keep a list:

The most effective way to approach this issue is to be in tune with your partner. If we really pay attention throughout the year (and granted this is often harder for men), partners give plenty of clues as to what they would like. What are your partners hobbies and interests? What websites attract their attention? Do they discuss things they’ve been wanting but haven’t gotten around to buying or doing (remember not all gifts need to be tangible)? These clues often come scattered throughout the year. When they surface, write them down on a constantly growing list that you keep in a special place. It only takes about 15 seconds to write something down, and you’ve just eliminated a piece of anxiety simply by having one option.

2) Ask your partner’s friends:

This might be an old-fashioned and a tough one to get motivated for — it risks some ego injury to admit to our partner’s friends that we don’t know the “perfect” gift. But these clues described above are often found in their friends. And with existence of Facebook, it’s easy to just drop a quick message if a phone call seems too awkward.

3) Remember the past:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

15 Reasons Not to Be Afraid of Divorce

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Cherilynn M. Veeland, LCSW, MSW Are you afraid of getting divorced? I understand. Society places so much value on staying married. Some of that pressure is good, it keeps people from taking marriage too lightly. However, there are those on the other end of the spectrum who need to get divorced but ... Read more

What is Your Attitude Toward Sex?

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Diana C. Pitaru, M.S., L.P.C. Our culture has an interestingly bizarre, confusion laden relationship with sex. While teens are expected to “just say no” the average adult struggles to come to a resolution and find a consistent understanding of what sex is and how it figures and fits into ... Read more

3 Ways To Stop An Abusive Relationship ... BEFORE It Happens

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by David Sack, M.D. One of the most heartbreaking things about abusive relationships is how much they can LOOK like real, genuine love in the beginning. You often get swept off their feet, passionately courted, and made to feel more special than you ever have before. Then comes the crash. The desire to ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular