What Do Men Want As Gifts?

Buying a man a gift can be one of the hardest tasks of any relationship, but thankfully we’ve got some advice.

In my long, long, long dating life there has been more than one occasion on which I had to get a boyfriend, lover or husband (now ex – thank God!) a gift or two, and every time I was faced with the same question: What the hell do I get him?

One thing that I have realised is that men are creatures of necessity. A woman, for example, will see a bag or perfume she really wants and get it no matter the price, but most men tend to be more careful with money and although they probably won’t be stingy when it comes to getting necessities, they won’t nab something just because they want it.

So here’s a guide I have compiled over the years detailing how to buy men the right gift.

Know what they like: I once got my ex-husband a cream and black, polka dotted, Lacroix tie for his birthday. The fact that he slipped it into one of the boxes I was packing with my sister when I was moving out shows how little he appreciated it. The truth is, some men like designers while others think they’re a waste of money; you might not agree with it, but what can we do? Figure out what they truly like and keep that in mind – constantly!

Don’t waste time trying to understand: My current boyfriend is quite the macho man and last time we saw this pair of hideous CAT sunglasses which he just fell in love with. I couldn’t for the life of me understand what he could possible see in them (haha, get it?), but I went out and got them for him as a surprise. He was delighted and now embarrasses me by wearing them everywhere we go, including to a friend’s wedding – when he kept them perched on his head like they were his most-prized possession.

You can be a gift: Back when I was at uni, I had completely forgotten my then-boyfriend’s birthday, and I only realised when he was on his way to mine and a friend texted me asking me what I had got him. I was mortified but decided to go and put on a new pair of knickers and bra that still had the tag on. I left the tag on them and when he opened the door I told him I had bought them for him to take off me. We had great sex that night and I got him a book of buildings by his favourite architect the next day. He was super delighted with both.

Gifts don’t have to be materialistic: My sister was once worried out of her mind about what to get her husband for their 10th anniversary, when she had the brilliant idea to organise a surprise camping trip. Her husband loves camping but she hates the outdoors. A little sacrifice on her part made him the happiest man in the world and he was talking about the ‘awesome’ experience for months!

Don’t expect them to appreciate the price tag: This does not apply to all men. Indeed one of my ex lovers was obsessed with brands and when I got him an out-of-production bottle of Aramis Gold he looked at me with pure admiration. But my ex-husband, for example, didn’t really care much for a Rolex, he only saw the functional value of an object. So learn to take these things in your stride and spend the extra money on yourself!

Do you have any more tips on what men like for gifts? Let us know!