Guys: How to Transform a “Practical” Gift into a “Romantic” Gift

how to transform a giftBy Laurel House

Holiday gifts carry major weight. Even if you are dating someone brand new who you just met on Instead of just giving something funny, practical, or, worse, thoughtless, use these tips to make an impact and say, “I care.” The good news: you don’t have to spend a lot of money or even a lot of time. You just have to put in a little creative brain power.

You may not realize it, but one of the dating “rules” is to dismiss a guy who doesn’t give a romantic gift to his new girlfriend. The thinking is that if you give us something practical, you don’t view us in a romantic light. You don’t value us. You don’t put any thought into us. You don’t care enough to come up with something that we would actually like, that makes us feel sexy, loved and wanted.

In other words: your gift is a reflection of your feelings for us. I am all about screwing the rules of dating. Still, I get it. There is a disconnect between the fulfillment of female and male needs and wants. Men are practical. You think practically. You like to solve problems. If our floors are dirty and we are complaining that we don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you think “that’s a great gift!” We women, on the other hand, get offended by that type of gift.

I can help connect the dots and assist in the transformation of your practical gift into something hopelessly romantic. Here’s how: Follow Through.

What I mean is to assign meaning and sentiment to the gift.

Example: Business Cards and Card Case

You didn’t buy her business cards and a business card case just because you think she needs them. Think about the sentiment behind the purchase.

Your Sentiment Behind the Gift:

You see that she is trying to build her business. You believe in her. You think she has an awesome idea and you want to support her in whatever makes her happy and fulfilled. You know that business cards are an essential first step when it comes to being an entrepreneur. So you give her a box of cards… and she’s pissed about it.

Why She’s Pissed:

You are all business all the time. She feels like you put business before her and this is just another way of showing that.

Here’s the Problem:

You had no follow through. You may have thought that business cards were a great gift because of the reasons listed above. But she doesn’t know that. You didn’t communicate the significance to her. Think about it like baseball - You can’t get hit home run without the follow through right? Same with golf - that ball isn’t getting into the hole without completing the swing. If you want to score with the gift, give it significance! Write a little card about how much you believe in her. Then have the business cards gift wrapped beautifully. Presentation guys! It goes a long way.

Here are more holiday gift ideas that will land you in the dog house or somewhere much warmer and better based on your ability to communicate their significance:

Gift: Tomato Plant and Potted Herbs

Significance: She always talks about how much she loves gardening. She feels grounded when she puts her hands in dirt. You love to see how happy she is when she comes home from the farmer’s market with beautiful fresh produce and you want her to get to have that feeling every time a tomato ripens or the basil matures.

Up the Romance Factor: Plan an outing together to a local farm where they serve farm-to-table dinners, or plan a picnic somewhere. Write out the itinerary for this fantastic little adventure together so that she sees just how much thought you have put into her gift and you have increased the sentiment dramatically without spending too much more money.

Gift: Dance Lessons

Dance lessons

Significance: She used to be a Dance Major in college or she talks about how free her body and mind used to feel when she took lessons years ago. You want her to feel the freedom again, plus it’s a great way to help her shed some of the stress that she has been carrying from work. Buy her a 10-class pass and let her know how beautiful you imagine she will look and feel when she is moving her body again like that.

Up the Romance Factor: In addition to classes for her, buy a couple partner dance classes so that you can learn something together (even if you have 2 left feet)! Salsa, swing, ballroom… anything will do.

Gift: Tennis Racket or Golf Clubs

Significance: You want to take up a sport together so that you can have a shared activity - something that you can talk about and enjoy on weekends or when out of town.

Up the Romance Factor: Plan a trip to go and put those rackets and clubs to use! And, of course, write out the itinerary in the card. Make it look like a gift certificate to add a little extra effort. She will swoon!

…Because it’s not just the thought that counts if she doesn’t know the thought that went into the gift in the first place.

For more great dating advice from Laurel House and other dating experts, click here!



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