“No-No” Gift List is a No-Go

Match.com came out with a list of gifts not to give your significant other for Valentine’s Day. I have to say, a lot of the list is crap.

1. A bouquet of roses may be cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. My boyfriend bought me roses for our first Valentine’s Day together, and though the surprise was ruined by a not-so-aware roommate of his, I loved them. I love roses. You could give me roses of almost any color at any time and I would be happy. Roses smell good and are beautiful. Just because they are typically thought of as the romantic flower, doesn’t mean you can cross them off the list of possibilities. It might get old to get them every year, and if someone doesn’t like roses they’re a bad idea, but I don’t think it’s fair to put them on the absolute “no” list.

2. A box of assorted chocolates isn’t a horrible idea. It might not always be the best idea, but I’d be a heck of a lot happier with a box of assorted gourmet chocolates than a bowlful of my favorite candy. It’s good to know what your loved one likes, but exploring a nice box of assorted chocolates can be exciting!

3. Jewelry in a ring-sized box… Yeah, that might be a bad idea if you are in a place in your relationship when the woman has some reason to expect a proposal – you’ve been talking about marriage, about a future together, about engagement rings, but without any of that? I think women who get upset that there are earrings in that box instead of a ring just have unreasonable expectations. It’s still about knowing your partner, and you probably know if the one you’re dating would expect a ring-sized box to contain an engagement ring or not.

4. Basically this one is an elaborate way of saying, “Don’t buy complete crap as a gift for someone.” Um, duh?

5. There’s a right and a wrong time for cute stuffed animals. Most people can figure that out on their own. And of course, there are a lot of adults who don’t like stuffed animals. When you’re in a long distance relationship, though, that teddy bear might be just what you need at times. My biggest problem with their number 5 listing is this:

“And when the romance dies, the Stuffed Bear of Love serves no practical purpose, so the recipient feels pathetic keeping it around as a reminder of her ex (that’s you) and donates it to a children’s charity.”

It’s Valentine’s Day, why would you be considering “when the romance dies?” In a healthy relationship that should be one of the last things on your mind.

6. I’m not a huge fan of the whole buying-special-underwear for your s.o. to wear, but it’s not necessarily an absolute “no.” It makes more sense for the woman to buy sexy underwear for herself to wear as a part of her gift to her special someone, of course.But again, here’s my biggest issue:

The point of V-Day is to make couples feel happy about being together, so the last thing you want to say is “I don’t think you’re sexy enough — put this on.”

That’s probably not what the man (let’s face it, this article was pretty heteronormative) is thinking. He’s probably thinking something more along the lines of, “I think you’re sexy, and I would love to see you wear this.” I could be wrong, I don’t have a male brain.

7. No small appliances? I don’t necessarily think this is a good rule. Maybe a guideline, but a rule should have few, if any, exceptions. I think my boyfriend would have really liked to get a rice cooker for Valentine’s Day. If a small appliance shows that you listen to your partner and really know what they want, how is it a bad gift?

8. Okay, yeah, cologne and perfume are expensive and they’re hard to give well as gifts. This is a reasonable rule. The usual exceptions apply – you might have a nose for scents and know just what your s.o. likes.

9. A tie. This is pretty funny. That’s all I have to say.

10. Mostly I agree, but:

Any gift for a service or store your partner doesn’t already frequent could be read as your attempt to change the person to your pleasing.

So if I gave my boyfriend a gift certificate for a massage even though he doesn’t normally get massages, I’m trying to change him to my liking? That’s laughable. There are gift certificates that are acceptable as a Valentine’s gift, most notably my massage example, but also anything that allows your sweetie to try something they’ve always wanted to try but didn’t want to spend the money on.

I don’t like when people try to make gift-giving rules. It messes with people’s heads. We have to specifically tell people if we don’t go in for the special rules of gift giving for different occasions, otherwise they worry about having to buy jewelry for anniversaries and other such nonsense.

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One thought on ““No-No” Gift List is a No-Go

  1. Jimi says:

    I absolutely abhor “sources”, and I use the term loosely, like Match.com, E-Harmony, Dr. Phil, Oprah, etc. when it comes to them telling me about love. How I should love, what I should feel when I am in love blah, blah blah.

    No two relationships are the same, you have to learn the dynamic of your own relationship to figure out all the quirks and bugs. When I am shopping for a gift for my SO I put a lot of thought into it, I wander the store for hours looking for that just right gift for them. In a true meaningful relationship, romantic, friends, etc., the person receiving the gift should recognize more the thought that went into the gift than the value of the gift.

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