- Gender and Relationships
Valentine's Gift Guide for Him
How to say I love you
Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day? Is it just yet another opportunity for stores to bolster their bottom line?
We're going to dig down behind the hype, discover why we're celebrating Valentine's Day.
More importantly, when we have decided that this is something we need to do, then, how exactly do we go about it?
Come exploring with me.
Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day?
Roman fertility rite
It is no secret that the ancient Romans and Christians were at odds with each other during the first few centuries after the birth of Christ. It is widely believed that the origin of Christmas, Valentine's Day and maybe other holidays were really ancient Roman traditions with new Christian labels after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire.
Valentine's Day is said to have been a Roman fertility rite.
Today, some would argue that it has turned into an expression of our consumer mentality.
It's good for the economy
Valentine's Day, like other holiday shopping, is discretionary spending. It's not something we absolutely have to do to survive like buying milk, bread and butter. This discretionary spending is an indicator whether our economy is growing or not. If people are unsure of the future, this is an obvious place to cut. If they are confident, it's a place where they will splurge.
Economists are keeping a close eye on this type of spending.
How to show love?
There is not much left of the fertility rite of ancient Rome. A handful of decades ago, it was more of a sweetheart appreciation day, a day guys would take their sweeties out for a special treat perhaps involving a small gift.
Today, it is more along the lines of collectively showing love and appreciation for a special someone or perhaps for several special someones in our lives. The experience seems to have taken a backseat to the gift giving.
Men are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. Not that they are picky about what they get. More often, they just don't need anything and when they do, they prefer to go get it themselves. Furthermore, many men have a hard time showing appreciation. Sometimes it's difficult to know if you got it right or not based on the feedback you get.
On top of that, you might be like me. If you are, you have a really hard time letting go of your own wants and desires and can't really focus on the person you're getting a gift for.
I found two excellent sources for guidance:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
What this means is that first you get out of your own way, forget about what you like, what you want. It is completely and utterly about the other person. Ask yourself: "How does he want to be loved?"
Five Love Languages - The Secret to Love that Lasts
The foundation for this book is the Scripture verse mentioned above. It provides a practical way to implement it.
What the book says is that, unlike Jesus, we're all self centered. Therefore, most of us tend to show love in ways that make us feel loved ourselves. Dr. Chapman is saying you have to learn the love language of your partner for him to understand you're trying to tell him that you love him. He doesn't understand your love language, the things that make you feel loved. He can only understand his own language.
Said in a different way, you need to get into the head of your partner, see who he really is to be able to really get through to him. The beauty of this approach is that he doesn't have to participate in it for it to work. This is something you can do entirely on your own.
Take a look at the kind of gifts you're getting from him. Could they be a clue as to what he likes? More likely than you might think.
Ways to show love
I'm hoping that you have read this far and know exactly what to get for your guy by now. If not, read on.
First, I want to recommend going back and study the Five Love Languages or perhaps the commentary on the Bible verse I gave you, because I'm only able to help you in general terms. The whole idea is to express your love for your particular guy exactly, no one else.
These things generally work, but do adapt to your particular circumstances:
- Praise and appreciation
- Presence, intimacy, experience
Praise and Appreciation
Praise and appreciation arguably gives you the biggest return on your investment of nothing.
Most men love this kind of gift. It makes them feel important.
Try to make it authentic, though. It is better to find a small thing he did well and praise him for it than to praise him when he obviously screwed up. After screwing up, forgiveness and sympathy are hard currencies.
Presence, Intimacy and Experience
It is best not to offer cuddling when he's in the middle of balancing the family budget. Be sure he is ready to receive your gift before handing it to him.
There isn't a guy who won't appreciate sex. Experimentation and spicing it up could be a good thing, but most likely it isn't. Dig deep into his love language to find out about your particular guy.
Generally, guys might treasure a fishing trip or a ball game more than a romantic tropical beach get-away. You may not enjoy fishing or whatever he does, but he will appreciate when you take an interest in it. Just be sure to make it a real gift. If you complain or is not fully present, it will show and he'd wish he had gone with the boys instead.
Give Him Stuff
He is probably not going to appreciate chocolate or roses or anything with pink bows on it. Guys are generally practical and have hobbies. Some like guy toys. Amazon made a handy dandy guy gift helper list. See the poll below.
What type of guy is he?
Come back here after Valentine's Day and let us know what worked for you.