Western culture is full of ideas for romance and making women feel special; but what kinds of sweet things will make the man in your life smile?
Categories of Sweet Gifts for a Boyfriend
It's a good idea to take some time to think about sweet gifts for a boyfriend. The first inclination may be to just get a box of chocolates, a DVD, or some aftershave. And these may be the right gifts - but they also may not be. Remember that the definition of a gift is "something he wants but wouldn't buy for himself." Here are some things to consider:
Get Him What He Wants
If you pay attention while you're spending time with your boyfriend, you'll begin to pick up on the things he likes. Look for the things that he looks at when you're at the store, or the commercials that he pays attention to on the television. Especially pay attention to things he almost buys, but puts back for one reason or another. Sometimes, it's as simple as him saying, "You know, sometime I'd really like to have a…" and then you know what it is. Even if it's something totally beyond your current budget ("I'd love a vintage '69 corvette!") you can still do something like getting him a scale model, a calendar, or something like that which acknowledges that you are paying attention to his desires.
Get Him What He Doesn't Know He Wants
This is a little harder to pull off, because it takes a little extrapolation and strategy. The key is to look at the qualities of the things your boyfriend already likes, and then find other things with similar qualities. Does he like books by Stephen King? Ask the bookseller for similar books. If you know his favorite song, put it into Apple's iTunes and ask the "Genius" feature to suggest similar songs, and make him a "mix tape" gift certificate for him to download. If you know he likes steak, try to find a good steakhouse that perhaps is off the map.
Give Him Something Personal
In today's busy lifestyle, one of the most precious gifts you can give him is the gift of your attention. Make sure it's a gift for him, though, not something that you'd like - so if you're going to a movie, let him pick, and if it's something you don't like, grit your teeth and remember this is his gift. If it's going to be a "romantic evening" together, make sure you're going with his idea of romance, not yours - this will make it much more likely that he will try to return the favor later. Sometimes just a random message letting him know you are thinking of him can be an incredibly sweet gift.
What Not to Give Your Boyfriend
Remember, a gift is something people want but won't buy for themselves. It is not something they need, and not something you want them to have. Here are some common mistakes gift-givers make with the best of intentions:
- Replacing favorite items - Maybe he has a favorite chair that he always sits in to watch football. You decide to surprise him with a new armchair - and are surprised at his crestfallen look when his old friend is gone. A better way to do this would be to give him a gift certificate and go with him to pick out a new chair, so he can be part of the process.
- Sending a message - Perhaps your boyfriend is hygienically challenged. Getting him deodorant, soap, cologne is fine - but don't pretend it's a sweet gift. It's an object lesson, and could be embarrassing for him. Use one of the ideas above in conjunction with this "scent intervention" and it will lessen the sting.
- Getting what you want - This is possibly the most common and worst way to mess up giving a gift. Giving him a gift card to your favorite store, or a bouquet of flowers that you wish you had is not going to do the trick. If you want to set an example, make it in the act of giving and the attention you give to his preferences; this will inspire him to do the same when it's your turn!