How To Find The Perfect Gift For The Lady In Your Life

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-11-2933

I’m personally not that big on gifts, but lots of people enjoy giving and receiving stuff from each other during various events throughout the year, so I thought to offer a few thoughts on the subject of reciprocal gifting.

The time for giving is coming up and we’ll soon all be finding ourselves wondering about what to get our loved ones. If I can predict what happens, many of us will find ourselves packing the parking lots at the final hour, hoping there’s still something decent that can be found and bought from the department store we’ve decided to head out for, despite the heavy holiday traffic and pouring rain.

But it doesn’t have to be so hard. Though I’m far from being a relationship expert, I enjoy the study of human behavior and would like to share some common sense ideas for helping you connect with your significant other. In particular, if you’re a young guy who’s beginning to sweat over the prospect of gift-giving, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts on trying to impress your girlfriend this joyful time of year (this coming from someone who was once young herself).

romantic gift for your girlfriend

DO: Shop early.

One thing you shouldn’t do is procrastinate. Coming into a department store without a clue as to what to buy leads to a terrible condition called “panic buying”. Doing things last minute may cause you to pay more than you need to, for a gift that comes across as…. well….last minute. Instead, think ahead and you’ll find yourself also saving some bucks in the process. Start brainstorming early (that usually means doing some research online).

DON’T: Buy the first thing that looks shiny, colorful or cute that catches your eye just to get it over with.

Many women have a sixth sense for this sort of maneuver especially if we’re beyond high school age: we can usually tell when we’ve received something hastily chosen or put together. As mentioned, resist the impulse buy and give your gift selection some thought so that your offering doesn’t sadly find itself in the clutter bin or back to the store under “Returns” or worse, earn you the dog house. Honor the cliche: it’s not the cost, but the thought that matters.


DO: Be the type of person who communicates and talks openly with your mate.

Talk is cheap but goes a long way with stoking any fire in a relationship. I couldn’t help but be inspired by Fit Buff’s suggestions for keeping your girlfriend happy through words alone.

DON’T: Buy any of the gifts listed in this list:

the Top Worst Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend #1. Here are some interesting items from the lists:

  • Clothes – women come in all different shapes and sizes, and chances are, you’ll pick the wrong dress (wrong fit, size, shape or style). Why not just get her a gift certificate instead? Oooops, but according to the lists, gift certificates are supposedly unimaginative, boring and therefore a bad choice! Well I beg to disagree — gift certificates are a practical choice albeit not as romantic.
  • Quicken – okay, I laughed at this suggestion as something you shouldn’t give your girlfriend. They say it’s probably the most unromantic gift you could get anyone….well, except me! I’d definitely appreciate such a gift — in fact, I have this in my wish list already! 😉
  • Vacuum or blender – again, I don’t see anything wrong with such practical gifts; I’d argue that these may work for a wife but not for a girlfriend.

DO: Ask your girlfriend what she’d like or at least get some idea what her preferences are.

Women like to drop hints here and there about what they’d appreciate for a special occasion. For the men, it’s a matter of being able to pick up on those hints and “getting the idea”.

DON’T: Buy your girlfriend stuff you believe she’ll enjoy because it’s something YOU enjoy.

A lot of us usually buy gifts based on our preferences, thinking and expecting our gift recipient would be nuts not to want what we’re buying. Unfortunately, all too often, what you like may not necessarily be something your partner cares for especially if your preferences are very discrepant to begin with. Don’t get her a season’s pass to sports events unless she’s a real fan. That would just be a not-so-clever ruse to get yourself those tickets!


DO: Consider the gift of time and experience instead of something material.

How about a nice vacation to a romantic spot? A nice evening out? I’m one of those who prefer the memories over the material.

DON’T: Buy the most expensive gift she’s had her eye on.

If your girlfriend is ogling a pricey piece of jewelry — that pair of diamond earrings for instance — and you can only rely on your credit card to get it for her…. Please don’t do it. You know your head says NO but your heart may say YES; you want to impress her and make things special. But this is a bad idea for so many reasons:

  • You’ll just spoil her into thinking you can afford stuff like this.
  • Your pride is costing you heavily — the ding to your credit will remain and may possibly exist longer than your relationship.
  • You’re defining your relationship in a material manner.
  • A good girlfriend will understand if you pass on the high-priced trinkets.

Caveat: if the lady in your life is your wife, then you may want to rethink this suggestion but only if you can afford it (the wife is another story)!


I wish you luck on getting just the right gift for your girlfriend or wife (rules are less stringent when you’re married 😉 ), just remember that most women would appreciate something personal and thoughtful from you and quite often, it’s the gift of time that we appreciate the most. Quality time rules!

Other Resources:
How To Make Your Girlfriend Happy
How to Buy Your Girlfriend the Perfect Gift
15 Inexpensive Dating Ideas

Image Credit:

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

moneymonk November 29, 2007 at 9:49 am

“A good girlfriend will understand if you pass on the high-priced trinkets. ”

well said

I think men try to overdo it. Which in turn they are set up for failure

Smart. Healthy. Rich. November 29, 2007 at 10:00 am

This probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but my wife and I keep holidays and birthdays simple – we don’t get each other anything. We know that our friends and family will already be giving us plenty of gifts, and the money can be better spent on more important things. Sometimes if there is something that we really want or need, we will go ahead and get it, but honestly, that doesn’t happen very often.

Keith November 29, 2007 at 10:05 am

So I guess I shouldn’t buy her that coffee maker then…

Matt Wolfe November 29, 2007 at 10:07 am

These tips are great. They are just what I needed. I’m constantly struggling to figure out what to get for my girlfriend for Christmas and Birthdays.

10KPortfolio November 29, 2007 at 10:17 am

I had my girlfriend make a list of a bunch of stuff she would be happy getting. Then I went through and picked some items that seemed good and worth the money.

Luke November 29, 2007 at 10:58 am

I have bought gift certificates for my wife – for her favorite jewelry store and with enough value to be ‘useful’. She loved it. I also once got her an appliance, but it was a high-end Kitchen-Aid mixer. I even splurged for the red one because that was the *nice* looking one.

She was very happy with these, and still talks about the mixer, as it sits in the kitchen looking pretty. I think she’s used it maybe three times in the past couple years..?

Both of these were very expensive, and I couldn’t really afford either, but they were well worth it in terms of wife points.

Mary McK. November 29, 2007 at 11:55 am

My husband gave me a vacuum cleaner for my birthday one year – back in the days when we got each other serious gifts. He let me pick it out! Now we make lists of things we desperately need like socks and give each other those (we have a stack of homemade cloth gift bags that we made together, so we don’t need to use wrapping paper anymore). My idea of the perfect Christmas: I wouldn’t have to do any shopping or receive any gifts – I could just have a tree and listen to Christmas music and make cookies and visit people. Well, I confess I would love to receive grocery gift cards…

dong November 29, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I hate buying gifts. I hate receiving them too. My girlfriend is the exact opposite of me – she likes both. However since I keep my gift giving limited, I usually manage to do a pretty good job because I try really hard to remember things that’s she liked. I think most women (and men for that matter) are pretty effusive about things they like. Take note, and get your significant other those things when gifts are required.

Mrs. Micah November 29, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Keith, buy her a fancy coffee maker if she really likes her coffee. If she’s a coffee fanatic then it’s a great present, if not…yeah.

I’d appreciate a blender from my husband because ours leaks. And speaking of coffee, I’d like to be able to make a chocolate chip mocha in the blender, but I can’t swirl the chips and coffee together because it gets everywhere. Disaster!

used vans girl November 29, 2007 at 2:59 pm

My husband used to spend a great deal of time searching for special Christmas presents. My inquisitive nature used to mean I would hunt out all the wrapped up presents that he hid and guess the content. Not surprisingly I no longer get surprises for Christmas only asked what I would like. So If you do spend a great deal of time hunting for that special gift make sure its well hidden.

Cindy (The 15 Minute Dating Blog) November 29, 2007 at 10:16 pm

I think these are great tips, with the holiday shopping just around the corner 🙂

mbhunter November 30, 2007 at 12:52 am

Heh — my wife begged me for a vacuum cleaner! Granted, it was a Dyson, but it’s still something that you push around to suck stuff up.

Atlanta November 30, 2007 at 12:08 pm

I guess I am lucky because my girlfriend is actually my wife of 32 years. By now I think I know the things she likes, and yes most of them are shiny and hold jewels.

Max November 30, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Funny and true. I always get hooked up on the last item you mentioned – DON’T BUY THE EXPENSIVE GIFTS 🙂 I know I can’t afford it, but I already made this mistake at least 3 times within the last year and half. I gotta fix it somehow. Thanks for the read it is truly helpful (as most of your posts).

BTW, looks like people at Digg really liked you post as well

Silicon Valley Blogger December 1, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Yay! I’m so happy — I believe I’ll be getting that Quicken software for Christmas. Now I’ll be able to upgrade my financial organization methods and not feel like a dinosaur. Thanks to my thoughtful husband :). (I’m serious!)

Mrs. Micah December 2, 2007 at 8:00 pm

I was thrilled when I got Quicken software in a giveaway, I totally understand. 🙂 (Though it won’t cooperate with my bank, but I’m changing to Wachovia, not a local bank and that should help.)

rocketc December 12, 2007 at 8:17 am

Your blog always has the coolest pictures. I come here just for the pics sometimes.

Silicon Valley Blogger December 12, 2007 at 8:45 am

That’s funny! There are some really interesting images out there and they’re actually hard to come by. Sometimes it can take me a while to get the right one, or else I just get whatever’s available in the interest of time. I’ve had to ask permission in advance too. Anyway, I hope you like the articles as much as you like the photos :). Thanks for the feedback!

Lindsey December 12, 2007 at 10:33 am

ExpoTV’s Holiday Survival Guide ( is another fun way to find something for everyone on your list

John March 6, 2009 at 7:20 am

It’s a nice thing that to have a girlfriend to love. But don’t let your girlfriend always expect those higher price gifts for her. Explain to her if you can’t afford to buy be practical…

Charles Turney April 3, 2009 at 4:31 am

my husband always buys me jewelry, and bless him he does try… but its always the same kind of thing. So i said to him, maybe look into antique jewelry for something a little different.
and he found a lovely local place…. best anniversary so far!!! cant wait till next year 🙂

so my advice for husbands… just spell everything out 🙂
tell them what you want, otherwise its the same old stuff that you have to pretend to like 🙂

xx jude xx

Jonathan January 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Thank you very much these tips helped me a lot.

Andy November 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I just always try to buy something that’s not necessarily purchasable in the store, and maybe takes a little effort. Like, my wife is learning how to fly an airplane, so I took a series of videos, and I’ve been editing them together for her birthday. Nice to have great resources (like to help out, but still, I think she’ll like it.

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