If you’re like me, you love giving gifts. It’s just a nice feeling – ESPECIALLY when you like and respect that person. Hey, sometimes buying gifts for someone else feels 100 times better than it does buying something for yourself.

It’s nice to put a smile on someone else’s face, isn’t it? But in all honesty, when it comes to men that you are romantically interested in; be careful. You may think buying and giving gifts nothing big, but, it does matter; especially when you are only dating and not sure if he is committed to you. (Click here to take the quiz on “Am I Dating a Commitment Friendly Man?)

The way you go about buying and giving gifts matters, and more importantly, WHAT you give and HOW you give the gift sets up the right dynamic between you and a man, or it doesn’t. (Read my article on creating an outstanding surprise)

What you give and how you give it can make you seem low value or high value in a man’s mind. That doesn’t make you less, though, it just makes him less attracted to you – and consequently, makes you less attracted to him (which sucks for you, too).

If you are buying for a male friend, you can THEORETICALLY go all out, because you’re not romantically interested in him. But personally, I don’t even do that with my male friends that I consider to be like a brother.

There’s a reason: it’s because in my BODY it doesn’t feel authentic to do this; it just doesn’t feel like I’m being the real ME.

I know my true gift is in being there in ANY man’s presence at ALL – and being happy, open and radiant. Your radiance and openness is a gift bigger than the size of the number on the price tag of your birthday or Christmas gift.

When it comes to buying men gifts, in the past I’ve made so many stupid and embarrassing mistakes that are pretty much too embarrassing to talk about. And it can be difficult knowing what gift to buy a man on any occasion – these days, so many of us already have everything we need, and it’s easy to buy something you think would be valuable, but a man doesn’t find to be a good gift.

And if you read through these 6 rules and realise you’ve made these mistakes, it’s cool, woman! You, me and every other female on the planet has made, or IS making such a mistake big time.

No problem, mistakes are a gift. Without mistakes, you can’t fully feel the satisfaction from getting things right.

Here are your 6 Rules to Follow:

1) Spending more doesn’t make you more valuable as a woman.

So…why choose the more expensive option? Why spend a tonne on a man when you’re just dating, even if you have as much money as Paris Hilton? Is there even a good reason?

See, if you subconsciously want to flaunt your ability to spend a lot, then you’re not really in your feminine energy – and a man can’t feel you as a woman who enjoys being taken care of. Flaunting your ability to spend a lot doesn’t touch a masculine man – it will touch a more submissive man, or a man who is LOOKING out for a rich woman.

Hey, if you really, truly DON’T want to be taken care of, and you prefer to be the one taking care of HIM, then you can go ahead and ignore this rule.

But if you want the man you’re romantically interested in to be your hero, and to ADORE you, just don’t spend more for the sake of looking good. In fact, where you can, spend less.

2) Buying more items reduces the value of each gift you give.

The idea is simple. Us humans generally like to acquire, to own more, to feel the satisfaction of ‘owning’ material goods in our life.

So this rule is VERY counter-intuitive in practice. But…think about it: if you have 50 items of jewelry, does it make every piece more special?

Or do you still keep one or two favourite pieces that you wear over and over again? You grow attached to a few of the jewelry items; that’s generally what happens.

A man (and anyone, really) will remember the gifts you give that mean something to THEM. They won’t keep in their memory many years down the track ‘oh that person used to fill up my Christmas stocking with 100 items that are useless and meaningless to me!’

The more of something we get, the less valuable it becomes. And this happens subconsciously.

When giving gifts, it’s more important to make an emotional impact on someone than to get a reaction of ‘woah!’ from them in reaction to the sheer VOLUME of gifts you’ve given them.

Remember that saying: “less is more” ?

Hard to remember this in a context where you’re buying gifts for someone, but IMPORTANT.

When it comes to gift giving, if you are going for the whole feeling that ‘yes!’ I am awesome and I have the money to buy a man TONNES of gifts!

Then..the message you are really sending is: “I get my feeling of self worth through PROVIDING for you. I’m the man.”

I am of the belief that when it comes to being romantically interested in a woman, the masculine men in the world around you will find you more endearing and want to take more care of you if you either

1) Get him nothing at all, and just receive what he gives you.

Or 2) make a simple purchase that is meaningful and leave it at that. It could be a mug, or you could make a lamb roast (yum, lamb!) Don’t flaunt riches. Don’t flaunt ‘provider’ abilities. You don’t need to.

You are far more vulnerable than that (that did read vulnerable) 🙂 – you rather him do THAT for you – is that right? Really, are you truly attracted to a man whom you need to buy things for and take care of? Answer honestly for yourself.

If yes, then do things that encourage him doing that to you by NOT buying more, and not buying more expensive.

Your ability to react to and enjoy anything that a man gives you is far more interesting than your ability to give expensive gifts.

3) If you give a gift, make your gift either 1 – useful or 2- sentimental.

When it comes to gift giving….it’s tempting to buy a man several items of clothing…or a cologne or another wallet…because these are the easiest options and it’s what every other girlfriend is giving her boyfriend and it saves time and thought on your part.

If you want to get him ANY of these things, make sure that it has a context and that it’s not just an ‘extra’ on top of all the other clothes he has or wallets he has just for the sake of ‘acquiring’ things.

For example, if you have been dating a while and you know he’s going hiking in January and has no hiking gear, then a pair of hiking pants is nice, because they serve a particular purpose for him in January, and it shows you understand him. (Click here to complete the quiz “How Naturally Feminine Am I Actually?”)

Most men like things with a purpose (tools, etc), or things that are sentimental. Unless a man is very feminine, he doesn’t give a damn about buying more and more clothes and gathering more and more things unless those things serve a clear-cut purpose in his mind.

Most are also not interested in pointless, fluffy, jingly things.

ie: You might appreciate cupcakes. But men aren’t moved by that. It just doesn’t ‘touch’ them if you give him cupcakes as a gift. Avoid it! (yes I see women doing this often!) he might enjoy eating them, but it won’t really touch him deeply.

ie: You might like cute lunch bags – but buying him a plastic zip-up lunch bag with a cute little soccer ball printed on it that a 10 year old boy could also use – he won’t appreciate it (yes, that’s actually also a real story. And the woman’s husband responded to the gift by saying ‘well, that’s not very manly!’). He’s stating the obvious.

Now, I thought twice about putting in the word ‘sentimental’ here, because a lot of women will take that and RUN with it. ‘Yay! I can get him a nice photo with ‘I love you so much’ printed on it!!’ Well…if you are married or have been together a long time, this gift is OK.

But not when you have NO idea where your relationship with this man is going! You have to wait to give such sentimental gifts. (read my article on How to Get Him to Propose)

If you have been together less than 6 months, stay away from sentimental gifts unless it’s the first time you are doing something like that and you are sure that HE has already done something like that for you at least two or three times.

Now, by sentimental, it depends on your relationship situation. If you are in a long term relationship or marriage and you really ALREADY feel like the WOMAN in the relationship, and you feel adored – then do what you want!

Just be mindful and conscious all the way. Be conscious of WHY you’re choosing to buy a gift.

Do you really need to get something extra?

If so, why are you getting it? Are you getting it because you feel you must, otherwise he will think you don’t LOVE him? If so, it’s the wrong reason to get the gift!

Are you getting him the gift because you think you should in order to show him that you are interested in him, although, inside, you’re aching for him to be do for you, and don’t actually LIKE being the one giving gifts to show your interest?

If you don’t feel adored yet, and he is NOT committed yet – then, whether you are dating or having something long term, your focus still needs to be on establishing the dynamic that you want with a man.

ie: not being the MAN in the relationship (unless you want to be). So keep sentimental gifts to something small like a key-ring with a personal joke or personal photo attached, or a mug with a special quote or photo on it.

4) The less time you have spent dating, the better it is to buy less and spend less.

This is to help set up the dynamic that HE is the man in the relationship, and not YOU.

Look, you can make this mistake and maybe things will still work out if you and him are very compatible. It’s just the better choice, but if you’ve already made the mistake, then just do things differently next time, that’s all!

5) When in doubt about whether you SHOULD buy anything  at all, buy nothing at all.

And just make or buy a nice card to wish him happy birthday or happy Christmas.

There’s no need to buy something just because you think you should.

6) When and if he buys you something, make your reaction to the gift honest.

But do not criticize him (that’s not honest). It doesn’t matter if a man gives you something and it makes you want to burst out crying (I’ve done this before. And it only brought my husband and I closer, and he felt far worse about it than I ever did!)

If a man wants to make you happy, you have a good man. If instead he just calls you a bitch and never comes back because you cried over the present, well good! He wouldn’t have come back in the first place anyway!

It was either going to be this Christmas or some other random reason for him to take off. Some men are just not compatible with you like that; and some of them…well, they have a weak masculine energy like that.

Unless you were intending to criticize him and be a bitch about it. That’s just not a good choice on your part. Whatever he gives you, just know that it’s a start that he tried to give you anything at all.

Thank him, always thank him for giving you anything, but don’t pretend it’s orgasmic if it makes you want to cry. If it makes you over the moon, BE over the moon, if it upsets you, let it upset you! If it surprises you, LET it surprise you!

You’re a woman, it’s OK to be real and to feel with a man. That is what I believe, and I’ve done things this way for many years, and it’s never backfired on me.

You don’t want to do this with friends or others, but with a man, it’s OK. Men are funny creatures, you’ll be surprised how much the best men out there don’t mind you making them think and work out why on earth you didn’t like their gift. They’re stronger than you think, and not as sensitive as your Mom or your girlfriends.

Click here to check our popular program Understanding Men. 

Now I am handing it to you. Share your thoughts about buying men gifts. Do you have any personal rules that you follow? IE: you always spend less than a man, or you never buy a man gifts? Share your thoughts so other women can learn from you!


  • Halle93

    Ok I made this guy that a like this card from my heart n I think he liked it but couldn’t tell me he looked down n smiled a little bit when I asked him if he got it.and inside the card on the inside of the card I wrote roses are red violets are blue this poem is stupid but I still like you.But we still Freinds but I gave him that card n I gave him a valentines gift this yr and last yr. this yr a just gave him some chocolate and last year for valentines day I gave him a bag with a card some chocolate and a cute little stuffed animal

  • newlywed

    i recently bought my husband a nice masculine necklace for our first anniversary. He is 54, a man’s man. He said thank you and was sincere, but he has not taken it out of the box, and its’ been 2 weeks. I’m hurt and now getting madder every time I see the box on the dresser. I have asked him about it twice. He just says, well we have been so busy, i haven’t had a chance to try it on. I’m hurt. do I have a right to be? Am I over-reacting? I don’t know how to control my emotions over this.

    • Matthew Dethlefson

      I get it. I was only 16 and spent $70 on a locket for my high school sweetheart. She was a Christian. I thought she wouldn’t mind a cross on the locket because I thought it looked nice. At first she told me she liked it and I was happy, but she never wore it. And when she did she wore it facing the wrong way so the blank silver backside of the locket was showing. She later admitted she didn’t like it. I was so hurt and I wish she just told me the truth right away so I could have returned it.

  • isaac

    …She bought me a good gift…..what massage she is trying to send?

  • Eric Jimenez

    I believe in fundamental equality of the sexes. I find this article offensive because of how strongly it encourages women to have reservations about spending money on a man. That is ridiculous! My “masculine energy” must be too weak because I’d allow someone to spend money on me, simply as a courtesy, even though I consider myself independent and capable of buying my own things. You are just encouraging traditional gender roles.

    • Natalia

      I agree with Eric, I do NOT agee with this WHATSOEVER. What in the hell is so bad about buying an expensive gift for your man? Men like to be spoiled just as much as women do.

    • Ana Cobarrubias

      Jesus Christ, THANK YOU. Eric, you’re a real one

    • cheeze.wiz

      I agree. I make quite more than my dude and I bought him a really nice leather wallet for his bday and had it monogrammed (it had a trex on it) he said it was too much when I asked if he liked it (before I bought it for him. We were out shopping for my sisters B-Day when I spotted it) I know he buys nothing but cheap shit for himself so I bought it online for him and it was on sale spent 120 instead of 200 and he was so surprised and loved it. Almost brought tears to his eyes… While 120 isn’t much for a gift it was to him. I don’t just give gifts for no reason but when I do I try to go all out and I like to spoil him… Plus it’s awesome when guess friends compliment him ask him where he got it and he says… (my kick ads girlfriend got it for 2nd) … I try to make my gifts Personal .. Useful and sentimental… Why should I apologize for my success and hard work. Id rather use my hard earned money to travel and save and make those I love smile

    • Super Janice

      She is a traditional woman.

  • MistyRay

    So I have a friend for 3 months now I got him a 10 dollar gift sane amount as my friends well a gift card but I wonder if that’s yo rushed how will he look at it

  • Monica Bradley

    Hi! This is a great article especially that in going through the similar situations with everyone else. The Christmas is coming.. I wanted to get him something. We knew each other from college days… Now he lives an hour and half away from me. We have been seeing each other since last October (2 months by now)for almost every two weeks (im a single mom myself) when my kid is not around. We agreed to not have any committed yet due to our complicated schedule. So I decided to get him a ticket to American on tap – so we can continue getting know each other and enjoy time together. Won’t it be too much to give him that for Christmas as a gift?

    Your advices, feedbacks, ideas, tips/thoughts would be great!!!

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  • Robyn

    I want to get a new friend I’m interested in a cupcake with spiderman or spiders on it. He doesn’t like either one. But I want it to be a joke cauase I give him a hard time anyway about not liking spiderman. Is this a good gift? I want it to be something light.
    But he does already have a gf.

    • Kristen

      I hope you backed off.
      He already has a girlfriend.
      A bit of solidarity among women yeah?

  • diana

    Does making a favorite meal count as a gift?

    • isaac

      ….good one.

  • Alita Roe-Kreischer

    I recently bought my guy a belated Birthday gift. (He called at the last minute and asked if I would spend his birthday with him) I went, even though a part of me wondered if I should. The gift I bought was a hygiene set based on a previous investment he had told me about. After I gave it to him, all he could say was “It’s Hemp” he acted amazed that I remembered. ☺

  • Chika

    I just wanted to share this with you ladies, I have been casually seeing a guy 12 years younger for 3 Months and he is the most kindest man I have met in a long time, he would pick me up and have flowers for me and another time perfume, I felt very special and I know that he enjoys my company but I wanted to get him a little token to show my appreciation, after a lot of thought and without going to a great expense as I know that wouldn’t of been appropriate I thought of what his hobby was which is his love for 4 x Wheel driving in his much loved Jeep. So I found a Jeep utility knife for him to keep in his vehicle. On our next date I didn’t give it to him straight away I waited probably an hour and said ‘ Oh I have a little something for you’ just to say thank you for your wonderful friendship. He was taken back and was absolutely delighted with it and the fact I had given it some thought and not spent a fortune. He said of course I didn’t have to buy him anything, I said yes I know that but I saw it and thought ‘Hey I’d love to get it for you’ hoping you hadn’t already got one. After our evening together he txt me the next day thanking me for a wonderful time and of course the gift. So ladies, a small token doesn’t hurt when the timing is right. Not something you do often either as that would make them feel uncomfortable. I feel it had bonded us even more…Only time will tell 🙂

    • cjones

      this article helped a little but how do you really know the reaction of the guy? I would love to know what guy is thinking. I like this guy and he has been busy with work, a lawyer. Eveytime he came over he had different types of crazy socks. My first thought, he collects socks and wears with suit since he is so formal and business like in court. I saw these cute beer and petzel socks at dsw when i was shopping and I thought of him. He likes beer and we recently had the beer and pretzels out but also because i know he needs an evening of fun and almost done with court. I fed exed it to his firm from out of town and put a card in it. He got it today but he was in court all day and the socks are for his good luck in trial all week. I know it seems stupid that i am worried about his reaction but it sounds like I did at least follow some rules. I love surprising others and I hope I get some idea from him his thoughts. We will see.

  • Maureen

    Is good for both sexes to buy gift to eachother but, the woman should spend low or less inorder not to under rate her self or esteem her self low to the man. Show him that u love him but, let it be less okay my fellow women. I greet u all

  • angie

    I had been dating the most wonderful man and had known him about a month. He is twice divorced with.grown up children and is the nicest man i have ever met. Whilst in bed one night he said he needed to buy a tv do we could watch films in bed. I had a bad day at work the next day and.use shopping to cheer me up. I got the idea of buying a tv for him as i thought why shud he have to buy one when he wants one for us to watch. When i gave him it he was not happy at all. He made ke take it back the next day and now wont talk to me or answer my texts or answer his door. He said the tv changed everything that he felt rushed as tho i had got him and he was mine and that i wasnt gna let him go. Also that he has been on own a long time and doesnt like being told what to do. I am distraught as i really love him. Ive text him saying how i feel and how hurt i am but he ignores me. He did say the textd were all about me not him but how can i text what he wants to hear when he wont tell me what he wants or is feeling. How can i win him back..help

    • kay

      Truth is he’s selfish. Which is possibly one of the reasons he has two ex wives. You were doing something out of the kindness of your heart and that should have been enough for him. Since it isn’t it may be best to move on to someone who can and will appreciate your thoughtful gestures and just thank him for his honestly. Shoot you could have been the kind of woman that is all about “what can he give me” but instead you were making it known you want to be his equal counterpart and just as he should assist you with your needs its fine for you to do the same.

    • Angelique Campbell

      honestly.. if i was a man and i was with someone for only one month and they bought me a tv i’d feel rushed too. that’s a BIG gift.. and for one month? a HUGE gift. should have picked up a DVD to watch on a tv he bought. good luck.

    • Rene McGarvey

      he told you about the tv, as he probably was planning and it would of been his gift he wanted to make you happy and you took that away from him. in your message did you apologize to him? that would help

    • isaac

      ….Rush in ……could make a man think……you want to steal his love and trust in you.

  • Anna C

    Thanks Renee, for this article. It’s one I continue to visit over and over again. And it gives me all the answers I need.

  • Sarah

    Could you please explain more about the statement that it is not honest to criticize? Thank you

  • Veronica

    Givers shall give, receivers shall receive. Nothing to do with feminine or masculine. If there is an issue, perhaps you are mismatched.

    • I’m open to you expanding on this Veronica, because an ‘issue’ is not reason for thinking and man and woman are mismatched, issues are a part of life. Unless you want to tell me your definition of issue.

    • cheeze.wiz

      I agree. I’m a giver. I really don’t like getting gifts but I love giving them

  • Pedro

    Girls, Just let me say something completing what she said – For the love of God, unless you really hated the present, don’t fight with him for buying you something. My girlfriend fighted with me a lot for 4 times in a row and since then I don’t have the energy or the will to do that anymore. One thing thing is being cute saying he didn’t need to, another is fighting him for buying you something (when you yourself never buy him anything), specially if you have more money than him

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