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The Seven Worst Gifts for Men to Give Women

Updated on October 20, 2012
photo: illustratordie on flickr
photo: illustratordie on flickr
ugly clothes photo: mattymatt on flickr
ugly clothes photo: mattymatt on flickr
elineart on flickr is drowning in stuffed animals
elineart on flickr is drowning in stuffed animals
cash photo: Finstr on flickr
cash photo: Finstr on flickr
novelty mug photo: unprose on flickr
novelty mug photo: unprose on flickr
Princess t shirt photo: KYGirl on flickr
Princess t shirt photo: KYGirl on flickr

Women are happy to receive gifts. It shows thoughtfulness, time, and effort on your part and gives us a sense of feeling loved and appreciated. Of course each of us have our own taste, but there are a few offerings that tend to fall short of our expectations. (Not that we have expectations...Ok, so we do. But you already knew that!)

So you find yourself in need of a gift for a woman but don't know where to begin. Since many women are expert shoppers and tend to buy items that they highly covet, it makes it all the harder to find something meaningful and appropriate. Some women may disagree with this list, but I think the majority will concur. Just keep these tips in mind the next time you're thinking about buying her that rainbow-painted unicorn figurine.

•1. Small Appliances.

Or large ones for that matter. If we need (or even just want) a new blender, vacuum, or quesadilla maker, we'll buy it for ourselves. Appliances just send the wrong message. For me, it congers up images of the 1950's housewife who wishes to please her man by keeping the house clean and has dinner waiting on the table when he walks through the door. Like I said, we'll buy it ourselves.

•2. Clothing.

There's just too much that can go wrong with this one. Unless you are absolutely positive of your lady's size and style, I'd steer clear of purchasing clothing as a gift. There are some exceptions, such as nice lingerie, but again, be sure you know the proper size. No matter how good your intentions may be, you could end up insulting her if the garment is too big. On the flip side, if the clothing is too small, she can't wear it. (And that never made anyone feel good about themselves.) Even if it does fit properly, she may not care for the style or print and might feel obligated to wear it around you anyway, since it was a gift. As you see, the whole situation could end up quite awkward.

2 ½. Perfume.

This is an amendment to #2, due to the fact that perfume can be a lovely gift. Just remember that the same rules apply to perfume as clothing. You don't want her to feel obligated to wear a stinky fragrance just because you like it. Giving perfume can be a romantic gesture, if you know what she likes.

•3. Stuffed Animals.

I know a percentage of women will disagree with me on this one, but come on ladies! We're not in junior high school anymore. There's a time in a young woman's life where a stuffed animal is an appropriate gift, and it happens to not be when you are a grown up.

•4. Cash

I'd like a shopping spree with someone else's money just as much as the next girl, but this is just an insult. It shows that you put absolutely no effort into the gift besides a walk to the nearest ATM machine. If you must do this, opt for a gift card to her favorite store instead of cold, hard cash. Although still impersonal, at least you had to set foot into a store she likes.

5. A Cookbook

Unless your significant other is an aspiring chef or just loves to cook and create new dishes frequently, a cookbook is a gift that could be taken the wrong way. She may think that you don't like her cooking or simply see it as more work. She may feel obligated to make a recipe out of the book for you. Let's face it; most women have too many cookbooks sitting in their kitchens already. They're fun to browse through at first, but quickly loose their appeal, only to be stuck on a shelf to collect dust.

•6. Cheesy Novelties.

If you thought it would be cute or funny to give your wife or girlfriend a t shirt that says "I'm a Princess," then think again. If your gift is celebrating her birthday, then by all means, forego the black accessories adorned with her age. Also feel free to pass up figurines, dolls, most collectables, mystical candle holders or incense burners, and the occasional coffee mug. Enough said.

•7. Flowers That Cost an Arm and a Leg.

This one is a hard one to pass up. Most women adore flowers and choosing to send her favorites do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. However, there comes a time when it becomes silly to spend $75 to $100 on a vase full of flowers that will no longer be with you in a week. Now, if you're independently wealthy, disregard this one, but most of us would rather have something to show for that money a little longer than the flowers would last.

Well, there they are. Feel free to print this and refer back to it as you wish. You may be left wondering what exactly you can give a woman. Rest assured there are many other wonderful, thoughtful gifts out there that any woman would be proud to show off to her friends. Just keep these no-no's in mind as you shop, and I guarantee you will reap the benefits of a well-thought out gift.

She knows what I'm talking about...


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Writing is very good and very fortunate enough to see your article, I will introduce it to the people around.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Why do women whine and complain so much? Maybe if you weren't so annoying and needy we'd be more inclined to want to celebrate stuff like Valentine's Day.

    • profile image

      Miz raven  

      8 years ago

      Let's see I hate roses because they die unless they are black or purple - my life revolves around my 1969 Cadillac hearse so any thing I get as a gift for my car makes me happier than anything! Or tools lots of tools! Or paint! Or power tools - and fitness equipment - I love to workout! That's my other passion! I hate chocolate - but then again I'm vegan. I don't know - I think it's easy to shop for me, especially for a guy - but my x kept getting me tools I already had lol! But the welder??? What a treat!!!!

    • profile image

      nfl jersey 

      8 years ago

      Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that I've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

    • profile image

      Ravi Sophocure 

      8 years ago

      Can we gift books?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      why are men so damn selfish and forgetful? Why can't they remember to be loving and caring about gift giving. What is going on in those little minds of theirs? I got a book this Christmas from my guy written by a Priest from our Church. I had not idea he had written a book and this was not a gift I wanted for myself. He actually asked me what I wanted and I guess it was just not ment to be. I don't understand why me even bother to ask. No offense to our Priest but this was not the gift I wanted and I am tired of getting books as gifts I am not a librarian. I m currently in college so I have plenty to read. This is my last Christmas for me to receive a crappy gift on any holiday

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Last year my husband bought me a dinner for two and a hotel room with a jacuzzi. Wonderful gift for himself too. This year I got a 37 inch TV for our bedroom. Wonderful gift for himself too. Funny thing is, I have been saying for months that I wanted an IPOD Touch, even funnier is he said that if he didnt find a good deal on the TV he would have gotten me the IPOD!!!! Why am I not laughing? Selfish jerk!!!!!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Thanks for great information. I'll not give kind of thing you mention above to my girlfriend.I'll give her ferrari, big house, nice penthouse...hahahah. thanks for share.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Reading all the comments is fun as well as your hub. The teeth in the jewelry box is the funniest one yet!

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      thanks, nnain :)

    • nnain profile image


      10 years ago from India

      I really would not mind stuff toys but no clothes for sure... :)

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      lauren: This article was written in good fun. I am most appreciative of ANY gift I am given. I personally can NOT "afford to go to the store any day of the week and buy a kitchenaid mixer" either. These are simply my opinions.

      I really wonder why you read my article in the first place if you "hate 'worst gift' lists." so much. Maybe you should have skipped it.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I hate "worst gift" lists because they are, without fail, written by people of means who do not appreciate functional gifts.

      If you can afford to go to the store any day of the week and buy a kitchenaid mixer, then maybe you should find something else for Christmas. However, if 300 is a whole lot of money to spend on an occasional appliance that will make life a whole lot easier, it just might be a good gift.

    • Lgali profile image


      10 years ago

      nice hub-coolbook is the best...

      Please check out mu hub

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      Thanks for your comment, ForReal511!

      Let's all cross our fingers for great gifts this Christmas!

    • ForReal511 profile image


      10 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, FL

      lol this is sooo true! esp on the novelties and stuffed animals.

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      You're right, JamaGenee. Hhmmm, any guys out there up to the challenge?

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      To be fair, memorable gifts for men aren't easy to come up with either, but that's a whole other hub.

    • 2patricias profile image


      10 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      We quite like cash! and flowers...and undies....But NOT stuffed animals.

      Jewellery is good - so are chocolates. Like theatre tickets. Nights in hotels, meals in restaurants. Champagne anywhere. We might just write that HUB on 10 gifts women like!

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      Wow-horrible gifts, ladies!

      stutin: I agree that flowers are wonderful, especially when given at random, everyday times (not special occasions when they are more "expected") They are a treat, but sometimes are just so expensive!

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      good tips, -- good gifts, require a good amount of thought.

      Sirdent, most women love spa gift cards, a lovely nightgown, tickets to a play or conert that they are wanting to go to...

      (forget the thong and skimpy stuff, go for long and fluffy comfy - but not "granny like" she can buy that one for herself when she's craving comfort. haha) I personally never gripe about something that is pretty and yet practical. I don't like $$ spent on flowers or something that will sit on a shelf. Gifts that mean something personal between the giver and receiver are romantic and win/win.

      Gifts that involve "doing" are always a hit...come to think of it, it can get complicated, yes! But, as CJ's story illustrated, just because it's a lot of trouble, don't just FORGET IT. if you value your life...

    • stutin profile image

      Stuti Nilesh Pardhe 

      10 years ago from Jaipur

      Great Informative Hub! Hmmm I guess for every woman expectations for gift from her husband are different. I am more than happy to get Bunch of roses from my husband on any casual day. This brings smile on my face more than anything

    • 02SmithA profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      I'll have to keep this in mind. Nice #7, flowers sure are expensive!

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 

      10 years ago from Washington state

      Sadly, I think I top tbelgard's bad gift. I had an ex who would, after we finished our intimate activities on a day like Christmas, b-day, Valentines Day, etc . . . proceed to roll off, grin at me, and say, "Happy (insert day)". Yeah. We didn't last.

      On the other hand, my husband has always put so much thought and effort into my gifts that he actually becomes insulted if I try to offer a delineated list (such as the kind I would prepare growing up, as I was in a family of 7 and nobody put thought into gifts). So that's cool, since he actually hits it right about 95% of the time.

    • abowie profile image


      10 years ago from San Francisco

      I hate to say it but my boyfriend has better taste in clothes than I do, so when he buys me clothes its usually a great gift. The best gift he ever gave me however was a photograph that I saw at an art festival eight months prior to my birthday. He remembered!!!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      It came in a jewelry box. He was as proud as any man could be about his "treasure" he was about to bestow upon me. My husband gave me the two ivory teeth he extracted from an elk he shot. His big idea? We could have them made into earrings! Makes a good "show and tell" item for the granddaughters -- under what not to give your wife for a present. Very much needed hub, thanks!

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      So true, Jeanette! To know that you've been heard is important.

      Multimastery: you hit the nail on the head!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I think if you're are creative and give a gift of creativity from the heart this can earn you some bIG brownie points. If you're a writer: maybe a heartfelt poem - An artist: maybe a nice portrait - A music artist: a customized song just for her. The opportunities are endless fellas. It is not so much the cost of the gift but the thought and sentimental value that it holds through the eyes of that special lady. Just be sure if you decide to come up with creative gifts that you actually do have some talent that she has 'Voluntarily' complimented you on. Otherwise you may BOMB and come across Corny! And if I find out about I will write a hub about it and tell Everyone LOL...

    • profile image

      Jeanette M 

      10 years ago

      Oddly, the best present I ever recieved from a man was a set of tools. What made it so special? Well, he listened to me. I had made a few comments a few months before Christmas about how nice it would be to have a set and he remembered! That's what women really want...they want to know you're listening. That is so romantic : )

      Nice hub, MasonsMom, and great advice- J

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      LOL! I'd love to comment for each of you individually, but that would take forever! I'm so enjoying reading your stories of the worst gifts you received (pgrundy & JamaGenee) or bought (mulder) or didn't buy (CJ Stone)!!!!!!

      Glad to hear this has helped you guys out there and that you ladies tend to agree with me:)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      This is a no-brainer. ANY item on my Wish List at It's there for a REASON. USE IT. They'll even gift-wrap it for you before shipping, which can be to your workplace so as not to spoil the surprise. Can't get any easier or less painless than that.

      btw, prior to my birthday one year, I put sticky notes all over the house...the bathroom mirror, the wall above the toilet, the TV screen, the fridge to name a few...with the name of a certain power tool (from Home Depot, not the adult toys store!) that I wanted for small DIY projects like bookshelves. There was hardly a place this man's eyes could land that didn't have a sticky note. So what did he get me? A gift certificate at a fabric store! Said "Women don't need power tools". You betcha this CLOD is history!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Masonsmom, I was grinning while reading your list. I guess in the end, men just needs to know what kind of things their women want (for they vary greatly depending on interest and hobbies) and go buy. Two years ago, I announced to my family my wish list. And they all said, I like the idea. Now they don't have to wonder what to buy for me. Hehe

    • Lidian profile image


      10 years ago

      I really like the old toaster ad - they are trying so desperately to make it sound exciting, but really - it IS just a toaster!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony T 

      10 years ago from London UK

      Everything said here has been noted for when the need is needed!!

      Here in the UK a "rabbit" is quite a popular present for ladies;) Its not a real Bunny rabbit......Its battery operated and NOT a stuffed toy!! and goes down very well!!:D

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 

      10 years ago from Long Island

      Definitely NO to appliances and novelties. I don't see too much of a problem with the others.

      Anytime my hubby wants to give me cash as a gift - I'm not gonna complain - hand it over!!

      Clothes - Not unless he knows your taste or size. Could backfire on him, especially if he gets you something too big (What? Do you think I'm fat!) or too ugly.

      Stuffed Animals - Only appropriate for Valentine's Day (with a piece of jewelery attached) or if it was won at a carnival (must be huge!).

      Flowers - Don't want him spending too much but I did get 30 long stemmed red roses for my 30th birthday - loved those. Usually a bunch of wildflowers will do it for me.

    • CJStone profile image

      Christopher James Stone 

      10 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      The following is a true story. I won't give the names for fear of embarrassing the gentleman concerned.

      Every Christmas they go through the same ritual. The wife buys the presents, while the husband has only one present to get: the one for her. And every year he makes a fuss. “I don’t know what to get you,” he moans.

      One year the wife got a little fed up. “If you can’t be bothered to go into Marks and Spencer and look in the women’s clothing department for something in a size fourteen,” she said, exasperated, “then forget it.”

      So come Christmas day they were handing out the presents. She bought him a nice pullover, all wrapped up in shiny paper with a bow. He bought her nothing.

      “You said to forget about it this year,” he said.

      Oh dear.

    • mulder profile image


      10 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

      what a great hub thanks forthe advice Im afraid I brought all these for my wife .

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Any gift that says "I don't really know you," or "I haven't put much thought into this present" is a bad present to give a woman. We like to be cherished - to be adored - and to have our lovers know who we are and to demonstrate that they really were paying attention to the little details. Thumbs up! Steph

    • summer10 profile image


      10 years ago from my happy place :)

      Excellent Hub!! You know what I'd really love??? a day alone.... awww heck, a week........ ::sigh:: where's my romance gone ? :(

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub. The worst gift I ever got was from my ex-huband on our last Christmas together. He bought me a headlight for my car. He didn't even wrap it up all the way. I was so upset when I opened it, and he didn't 'get it' at all. He was all like, "What? Your car does need a new headlamp!!!!" A month later I moved out.

      The best gift I ever got was three dozen red roses for no reason at all. (Those were not from my ex.)

      I guess you are right though--the roses are kind of a one time thing, can't use 'em over and over. I wouldn't mind though.

    • Chris Fletcher profile image

      Chris Fletcher 

      10 years ago

      Gift cards are a hit :)

    • MasonsMom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      Thanks everyone for all of your comments! I love to hear your input!

      tbelgard: That does top them all! I guess he had something else in mind :)

      SirDent: I'm sorry your gifts have not been well received so far. I have published 10 BESt gifts to give here:

      Paul: I tend to agree that if cash is given in the way you proposed, that it would be appreciated!!! Keep up the good work!

      Playanorte & Lady G: Great ideas!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      10 years ago from West By God

      I like Paul's idea much better. A favorite figt that I would love to get is my husband does something that I do every single day. I would love for him to cook a dinner for me instead of taking me out to dinner. The thought and the doing is the greatest. It shows tht he cares.

    • PlayaNorte profile image


      10 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      very good list, i have been given many of these things as gifts. My husband is pretty bad a gift shopping so I usually go to a jewelry store or large department store and write down the EXACT items that I want. Then he can pick one of them and I am suprised and happy with the gift (this also allows me to control the cost so its not too much or too little :-)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Watch out for the rolling pin, Paul. :P

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Cash can be a great gift. It just depends on how it's delivered. A nice card, with a note that says I'll stay home with the kids. Go out and have a great time. Lunch, spa, shopping, what ever you like.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Ummmmm, not sure what to say here. I did try some of these before. Even clothes knowing size and style I still got it wrong. I challenge you to do a hub listing the 10 best gifts a man can give to a woman. I will sneak on out of here before I get caught and beaten with a rolling pin. :P

    • tbelgard profile image


      10 years ago from The rainy but beautiful Pacific Northwest

      Cute hub, but I think the gift I got for my 40th bday tops your list...edible chocolate thong!! Yeah, that went over real well. Let's just say his bday's coming up. Hmmmm, any suggestions?


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