With Christmas on everyone’s mind, men should be thinking of gifts for their spouses that their spouses actually want. You hear people say all the time, “I don’t know what to get her” or “I really don’t know what she wants”. If I could ask these guys one question, it would be, “are you really listening?”
While my wife was pregnant with our first daughter, I learned an important lesson: don’t buy a gift for your wife that is actually something you wanted. We have an open gift relationship. The recipient is free to return, exchange, upgrade, or do whatever else they want with the gift, no hurt feelings.
I purchased a great anniversary gift: an internal DVD burner drive for our computer. It was great. Did everything I wanted it to. The only problem was that my wife didn’t want it. So, being that it was non-returnable, she told me she wanted to sell it. So we did. The sale in itself was a fun story, but the point is that she then took the money from the sale and got something she really wanted.
Most women I know say things all the time that indicate they may want something given to them. Often times they are items that are not practical to buy just for the sake of buying, but are great as a gift. These comments happen throughout the year while watching TV, surfing the web, window shopping at stores, or even seeing something at a friend’s house.
Here’s the practical advice:
- Listen carefully – listen all year, and if you haven’t listened this year, perk those ears up right now. She’s probably saying things like, “that’s cool”, “I like that a lot”, or the best “I want one”. Even the woman who has everything wants a thoughtful gift.
- Take notes – When you hear her say she wants something, write it down! Keep a list in your wallet that you can always take a note on and refer back to when you’re ready to shop for her. Check the Resource page for a wallet list template.
- Plan ahead – Listening throughout the year, remembering important dates, and buying gifts at least a week ahead of time will pay off when its clear to her you put thought into the gift and it wasn’t last minute.
Above all else: Love Your Wife