For many women, a birthday gift for an important man is expected to carry deep meaning for the recipient and the giver, when it really should only be a gift of desire–his, not yours. Gift-wrapped motives with strings attached are the exact opposite way to go.
You want to please him because it’s his special day, not because you see the present as a stepping stone to repair, stretch or secure a relationship. To guys, a thoughtful gift is a stand-alone gesture and that means a nice present should be an uncalculated show of affection.
Unlike the mutual exchanges of blowout Christmas presents and romantic Valentine’s Day surprises, birthdays are one-way gift-giving events. This time around it’s only about him, but which him is he?
* The Freshman Birthday Guy – He’s new in your life, between a good friend and a boyfriend or just beyond the official mark of togetherness.
You date without setting a date because it’s early-on in the love affair. Birthday gifts given to men at this level of romance require fun more than seriousness.
An expensive birthday present to him now will signal pressure he’s not ready to handle. Avoid all indications of over-the-top expressions of love.
*Habit Not Husband – The long-time steady, maybe your co-habitator, is without a doubt your main squeeze and, while there may be plenty of love and shared history, there’s nothing that, as yet, shows a guarantee of forever-ness.
He’s nowhere near being an old, comfortable shoe for you, but he’s a long way past being figuratively broken in as your lover. Since you know him well, you know his needs. Change your outlook and focus on his desires, because those are the gifts he really wants.
*Engaged and Then Some – The life-long guy is a curious birthday creature. He’s probably dropped hints along the way during the year about his favorite things, but if you weren’t paying attention at the time, he’s worth a new evaluation.
Give extra thought to the things that bring him pleasure instead of the ones that just fill a daily need. If his socks and underwear are in dire disrepair, choose another time to replace them.
Forget ties. Unless he’s a tie collector, for him they’re nooses attached to work and on the same level of body-strangling pantyhose.
Quick Study Birthday Buying
Now that you know the kind of man you’re buying for, what’s going to be your best birthday bet? If he’s given no clue to what he’d like to receive, observe him at play.
Is he wild about a game or is he a reading recluse? Does he walk through the woods on his days off or dive into the social scene? Is he a 110 percenter at work and play or a kick-back kind of guy? That’s for you to find out and apply to the following gift suggestions.
The Guy Gift List
#1 – Electronica
Guys are a high-sensory species with special attention to visual effects. Feed the electronics need as far as your budget allows. A USB drive for data transfer, a portable music player, a new cell phone with more uses than he could ever want—generally all the things that beep and bloop, flash and fast forward will suffice.
If computers, video and audio are his happy world connection, don’t deny him his wish for a big screen or Apple-oriented pleasure. If he’s already got it all, upgrade!
#2 – Player Equipment
Gifts that aren’t made for stepping out on you, but for action–either his own moves as a runner, tennis buff, handball champ or sports team player – or — the nightly and weekly action of his best-loved sports team. If he lives and breathes the game, from chess to bowling to any sport that ends in the word “ball”, think gear or tickets.
#3 – Grooms Men
More and more, guys are paying special attention to how they look and how they feel. Sometimes that’s to maintain the executive appearance and other times, it’s just that they enjoy the same good after-spa feelings that you do.
Consider whether your man is in need of a massage (with you playing the masseuse role) or a full day of outside spa treatments from head to toe. Some guys will not be into any of this at all, but they would still appreciate a gift of smelling great with a classy after shave or man scent.
#4 – Gastronomic gifts
The heart-through-the-stomach man advice your grandmother dished out with her prize-winning apple pie isn’t so far from the truth, especially on a special occasion like a man’s birthday.
Good food is a great birthday gift. He won’t be expecting dinner at the upscale restaurant that he has wanted to try and here’s your chance to surprise him.
Of course, if you so desire (and you’re good at it), you can wrangle up a fine spread of his favorite foods at home, but if you’re crunched for prep time, taking him out to let him order his fondest foods will be a gift and a half.
#5 – You
As odd as it sounds, especially if you have one of those guys who is in need of affection lessons, he really does want your company more than any other gift. Having you with him to remember his birthday will mean just as much to him as it would to you.
Uncomplicated guys like simple gifts. He may not want glitter and going out as part of his day. Tune into his mood. It could be that he will be just as thrilled with a box cake and a night of passion as he would his first-ever parachute jump.
It matters less to a guy what you get him for his birthday than you may realize. Just remembering is often enough, but you can do a lot more to make his day happy if you focus on giving him the things he really loves and that includes you.
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