5 Rules of Relationship Gift Giving

Follow these five rules so you don't embarass yourself when picking a gift for your significant other.

QDT Editor
3-minute read

Rule #3: Make a List and Check It Twice

According to a recent eBay survey of 782 people currently dating or in relationships across a broad spectrum of ages, relationship statuses, and locations, women are more likely to be disappointed in their gifts than men. So are women harder to please or are men just not as skilled at shopping? Maybe a little bit of both. 

Survey results reveal that women feel they’re more intuitive than men when it comes to taking gift hints from their significant other. Women are also more likely to take notes on gift ideas all year long, while more men admitted to waiting until the last minute.

If your significant other tells you exactly what they want, Dr. Jane Greer advises to “go the safe route and get them that gift. Clearly, they want it and would like it to come from you, or they may not be able to afford it for themselves and thus asked for it as a gift. Take them at their word.”

Rule #4: Know What You’re Saying

Certain items carry a significance that may reveal more about a relationship’s status to the recipient. In the survey, people who were newly dating were more likely to prefer jewelry or a watch from their significant other. A sentimental gift like jewelry conveys a greater potential for a future of shared memories, which may be what the semi-attached really find themselves desiring. 

According to Ethridge, women more often look for the emotional value of a gift, such as a handmade card with a picture frame containing a thoughtful, special image, rather than the first set of nice earrings that he or she saw upon entering a store.

“On the other side,” explains Ethridge, “a man might enjoy receiving a gift card rather than a nice new shirt that you think complements his eyes. But understand, each sex is doing what they think the other one wants, so don’t use this as a wedge to get into an argument!”

Rule #5: Choose People and Presents Wisely

When deciding on a gift for your loved one, pick something you know they would like and make sure you really know what that is; it’s important for more than just presents. Make it your holiday mission to listen closely, collect clues like you’re Sherlock Holmes solving a holiday-related riddle, and give gifts that won’t force your loved one to put on their best fake smile. 


Ashley McCann writes about family, relationships and women’s fashion for eBay. See the rest of the data from the Giving in Relationships Study at eBay.


You May Also Like...