Thursday, October 27, 2011

Choosing the Perfect Holiday Gift for the Woman in YOUR Relationship or Marriage

“The Holidays” are almost upon us, and it’s time to revisit the topic of choosing the perfect gift for a woman so you can have time to get it right this year. Choosing the perfect gift for a woman is a difficult proposition at best, unless you have paid attention to her and come to know a few intimate details about her. Why? An excerpt from “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” explains it…

Before I get into today’s lesson, I want to point out to everyone that our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, is the center of activity for everything I do and that’s where all new material will show up; these newsletters are on a one-year cycle and contain both basic and advanced material, as well as an invitation to our forum.

I mention this because I posted an article on our forum that you’ll definitely not want to miss, describing the many common mistakes that people make that utterly destroy their sex life at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/422-How-to-Destroy-Your-Sex-Life-in-a-Marriage-or-Committed-Relationship. I post something useful like this every chance I get, but you may only see it if you visit our forum regularly and click the “What’s New” button at the top, which shows all updated threads since your last login.

“The Holidays,” as we say here in The States, are almost here, and unless you want to be standing in those mile-long lines in mid-December you’d better start thinking about and making arrangements for that perfect gift that you’re going to give your wife or girlfriend this year. And, by the way, the same rules apply for any other woman in your life, whether it’s your mother, sister, daughter, special coworker, vendor, customer, neighbor or whomever. The same rules apply, because they’re all either women or women-in-training (like your daughter! LOL!)

I’ve published this excerpt from “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” several times and always received a lot of positive feedback on it, so if you’ve not yet read it or tried it, do yourself and the women in your life a favor and do so now. Indeed, even if you have read it before, call it “a last-minute review” and read it again to make sure you have it down pat before embarking on this most difficult, crucial and rewarding of male quests.

Without further ado, the perfect gift for any woman is:

A Gift That You Know She’d Like Because You’ve Paid Attention to Her!

Women want to know that we think about them from time to time when they’re not around, and notice them when they are. Is that really too much to ask? To know her well enough to know her favorite flower, perfume, color, scent, time of year, activity, etc., things that give you serious guidance when it’s time to surprise her with a gift? Can you really say that it’s that difficult? You can know something as intimate and guarded as her dress size by simply looking in her closet and checking a few tags.

How would you feel if you were allergic to wool and a woman bought you a wool bathrobe? Or allergic to peanuts and a woman bought you a box of peanut brittle? Or you were tone deaf and a woman bought you a music box or a guitar? If you had a traumatic experience as a child, like being attacked and mauled by a dog, and a woman bought you something that reminded you of it, like a puppy, especially of the breed that attacked you?

Men do truly stupid and insensitive stuff like that all the time, but we seldom hear about it except during an explosion, at which time it may have happened too long ago for us to even remember it, things like hearing a woman say she’s going on a diet or a pair of pants is a little too tight and then buying her a box of candy or insisting on taking her to an expensive restaurant that violates her diet or causes her to have to face up to having grown beyond her favorite dress for such occasions, or even worse, inviting her to a day at the beach after “being told” (being signaled) that she’s needing to go on a diet.

Have you never noticed how when they buy us a gift, it’s always well-thought out? Even if they don’t know what to get us and end up getting us socks or a necktie, the socks or tie will match what we have perfectly, and be the right size. They pay attention to us, and try to make things nice for us when they can. If a woman’s favorite flower is a daisy, she’d rather receive a bunch of daisies picked from the side of the road or even a picture of a daisy that you drew and colored with crayons for her than a dozen roses – the generic gift that every man gives every woman and is so blasted impersonal these days that if fools like us didn’t buy them for women who didn’t want them, nobody would be buying them except for funerals. Indeed, there are occasions where roses are in fact deemed an attempt to appease a man’s own guilty conscience because they have become so impersonal.

Cost doesn’t matter; the gift is both a sign that you’ve been thinking about her and a measure of how much you’ve been thinking about her – it’s your life that she wants to share most, not your wallet (unless she’s a gold-digger – see the “How Much Is Enough?” issue from August 6, 2006 if you’ve not seen it by following the link to the archive below my signature). After all the crap they endure from us while we’re trying to learn how to get along with them and do what we’re supposed to do as men, we owe them the little extra effort that the daisies – or whatever is supremely personal for them -- require.

Daisies, even when they are her favorite flower, are by no means the perfect gift either; indeed, if it can die and need to be disposed of, it’s probably a bad choice. Women get sentimentally attached to gifts. In some part of your home (or hers, if you aren’t living together) is probably a secret cache of all the notes, cards, and gifts that you ever gave her, every little thing that ever showed that you were really thinking about her.

When she’s feeling bad, including when she’s sulking after a fight, she’ll go to this secret treasure box and commune with all the mementos that make her feel good about herself and you. You’re actually doing both of you a huge favor when you give her things that while not extravagant, are tangible and lasting proof that you took the time to make her feel special – and small enough to fit in this treasure box!

This means that flowers, chocolates or other candies, pets, perfumes, and anything else that has a short life-cycle, while fun and temporarily exciting, in the long term will have to be disposed of, and she will find these things depressing, even traumatic as she has to separate them from her life, while the “sticky note” that you left on her mirror in the bathroom that simply says, “Can’t wait to see you tonight,” or something playful like “I’ll swap you a kiss for dinner when I get home,” (for you newbies, that remark will start a playful negotiation for intimacy later in the evening if you play it right when she says a kiss isn’t going to be enough to get dinner) will stay with her forever, and may indeed get you back into her good graces after you’ve made an ass of yourself and made her really mad as she digs through her treasure chest of memories and is reminded of all the reasons she keeps you around.

Before we wrap this section up, I need to make one thing perfectly clear: I AM NOT saying that you should never buy a nice gift for a woman. I know some of you tightwads are out there saying, “Cool! I can give her crayon drawings and take the money I would have used to buy her stuff and buy beer and hot rod parts!” No, and you should be ashamed of yourself. I’m saying that you should never use a gift to win her favor or approval, or because you feel guilty, or especially not to make her feel guilty (like buying an expensive gift to pressure her for something sexual) or for any other reason except either you think she’ll enjoy it or you will enjoy giving it to her, and when you do give her one, make it obvious that it is specifically for her, well thought out, and has something of you in it for her to relish as a keepsake, especially if it shows that you spent time to make it happen. There will be times when it will need to be expensive, at least to some degree, and if you follow the above rules, you’ll know when that is.

So you see, while holiday gifts should be a little out of the ordinary and may cost more than impromptu gifts, the expense of the gift is nowhere near as impressive, nor romantic, as the appropriateness and personal nature of the gift. Many couples do ask each other if there is anything in particular they were looking forward to as a holiday gift, and if you do, then of course, respond to expressed wishes, but also make sure that there is at least one gift that she’s not expecting, and that is particularly well thought-out, even if you have to enlist the help of your children or her girlfriends (threaten to put a curse on the house of anyone who divulges your secret and DO NOT enlist the help of anyone known to be indiscreet or whom you know to be competitive with your partner or you could find yourself in a trap!), figure out something very special that is so personal that when she sees it, it is obvious that you were thinking intensely and only of her.

(You can also do this with things she asks for, by putting that special little twist that makes something common that she wants special for her, either with the gift itself, or perhaps the packaging or delivery method of the gift, like presenting it to her in your sharpest-looking suit if she has remarked that she misses seeing you in one. Pay attention and use your imagination!)

For example, take a cue from this reader’s real-world situation:

I was discussing this issue with a consulting client (and friend – Hi Joe!), who said that his wife loves coffee, huge mugs to put it in so she can dress it up with flavorings, etc., loves New York City, loves a particular brand of chocolate, and wears a charm bracelet. From this, you can fashion a perfect intimate gift by finding a huge, artistically tasteful coffee mug with a New York City cityscape or something else peculiar to the town that would spark a fond memory for her (like a Yankees logo if the two of you had a romantic experience at a baseball game there), preferably in her favorite color if it’s available, filled with pieces of her favorite chocolate or a gift certificate for a purchase from the chocolatier (if she loves everything that Godiva, Ghirardelli, etc., make, as opposed to having one particular chocolate favorite), and hiding beneath the chocolate or gift certificate, a charm for her bracelet, again something that sparks a romantic memory of an intimate moment shared somewhere. Do you see how this all fits together?

The chocolate is obvious, but it’s short-term delight. To provide longevity, you have the coffee mug and the charm, both of which are related to something special to her, and which will spark romantic memories when she sees them. Everything involved is something personally chosen according to her passions. You see, one favorite aspect is good, but it’s still something that any other woman could receive. By combining all these aspects, ALL OF WHICH YOU CAN BET SHE WILL RECOGNIZE INSTANTLY, you make the entire gift uniquely personal, in spite of the fact that everything is mass-produced. Now, to top it off…

A small, hand-written note or card that says how much you’ve enjoyed having her in your life and how much you look forward to sharing more with her – NO PREPRINTED VERSE OR PROSE OF ANY KIND – includes a permanent piece of you in the mix, and gives her something to put in the treasure box. I have personally seen women burst into tears over simple gifts like this, simply because their man knew them well enough and cared enough about them to make the small effort that it takes to do it. All it takes is knowing your partner, which you should (and will be expected to do whether you have or not!) if you’ve been with her any time at all.

If she’s like Joe’s wife except that she doesn’t like chocolate so much, and her hands get cold when she drives, a nice pair of driving gloves – in the correct size and that match a scarf she wears, her handbag, favorite coat, or something significant like that – stuffed into the coffee mug is perfect. If she doesn’t do charm bracelets and charms, maybe a small coin run through one of those machines that converts it into an imprinted souvenir coin, or a ticket stub you saved from a concert or ball game there, even a subway pass to an event – anything to remind her of a very special time – or tickets to an upcoming event – to create a new special memory – will work.

Know your partner, and choose her gifts based on what you know. Know above all else that the idea behind a gift is to celebrate partnership and make her feel special, not to buy her favor. The idea is to show that you love and notice her, not to be needy or try to buy her, which are creepy and insulting to all but a gold-digger precisely because they imply that you think she is a gold-digger who would expect and respond to such a thing, and no good woman will put up with that for an instant!

Guys, I hope you found that excerpt helpful, and again, this advice pertains to all women – mother, daughters, sisters, friends, coworkers, boss -- under all circumstances, not just your wife. I can’t say it any more plainly or with any more conviction. Over 100 women were brought together for the express purpose of teaching me what makes women tick, what they want from men, what they respond to involuntarily in men, and how to communicate effectively with them.

They did their job and did it well. “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” was constructed from that research, and those women put this book to their partners to test and refine everything we covered. Anything that worked for 90% or more of those couples is in the book, and less effective principles are being refined for updates or discussed in this newsletter as potentials to explore.

It worked for them, and it’s guaranteed to work for you. Download your copy right now at http://www.makingherhappy.com and join the many happy men and women who have brought their relationships back from boredom, affairs, and even divorce proceedings – some in under a week! -- to be exciting, fun, sexy, and richly rewarding, often better than it had ever been, because life’s too short to spend it unhappy, bored, in fear of getting caught in an affair, or celibate.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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