Everyone says that men are simple beings – that they don’t require too much to make them happy. And for the most part I have to agree. I pretty much have the easiest man as a husband because he only requires a few things every now and then: loving affirmations (i.e. the simple “I love you’s” suffice), sharing a meal together, spending time playing one another in a game of Mortal Kombat every so often, and, well…intimacy. And none of those things require a major purchase – they’re all in how we spend our time with each other.
However, we all like to think that when these holidays roll around, such as Father’s Day or even anniversaries, we feel the pressure to gift our men with things. There are gift guides, advertisements, and social pressures telling us that in order for the men in our lives to feel important we must gift them something.
But what do you do for the guy who says, “I don’t want/need anything.”?
Do you listen to him and do just that, not get him anything or do you get him something anyways in hopes he’ll like it?
Well, today I’m sharing with you reasons why most men don’t want gifts (barring the handmade items from the kids, because we’re all expected to love those as parents) and sharing a few ideas about the gifts they actually might want.
“Anything I want I typically get it for myself.”
This is probably the number one sentiment men have about gifts. They don’t expect their spouse to buy them something they really want because they typically purchase it for themselves anyways. For example, my husband is the type to mull a purchase over whether it’s a video game or new designer sunglasses for months before actually purchasing them. Regardless, he makes the purchase himself eventually. So even when I catch wind that there’s something he wants or is looking to buy for himself, he usually purchases it before I have a chance to.
“Most of the time the things I like are more expensive.”
I know first hand that my husband has expensive taste. It’s not that he wants only expensive things for the sake of them being expensive, but living minimally he’s adopted a sense of quality over quantity. Yeah, he looks for sales just as much as I do – however to him ‘sale’ still puts him at $200 on average for a pair of jeans. The things he buys for himself like clothes, sunglasses, or other material things tend to be more expensive, but he wears or uses them all the time, they’ll last him for decades, and he only buys what he needs.
So, it makes it difficult for me to gift him something I know he wants because of the price tag. I’m a SAHM now and even when I was working I didn’t make enough to spend the kind of money he could on his salary. In the end, I’m happy to save up for something I know he’ll appreciate, but I don’t stress myself out about it.
“Receiving things isn’t my ‘love language’.”
Okay, so no guy would ever use that term, but it was the best way to convey this message. We are all pretty familiar with love languages, right? For those who aren’t, there’s a guy named Gary Chapman who wrote a book declaring that in order to have successful relationships we need to identify which love language we, and our spouse, speak. There are five of them: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. I think it’s really important for couples to recognize which of these languages they are so that they can better meet each other’s needs.
And if I can to be so bold as to say: men rarely speak the language of receiving gifts. For some reason they just don’t need things in order to make them happy or feel loved – so why do we continue to tell ourselves that we have to gift them something?
“Even new dads don’t want anything for Father’s Day”
Do you really think your husband will wear one of those matching shirt/onesie sets? Or enjoy using that coffee mug that says #DadLife on it? No. No, they won’t so don’t even bother.
Even new dads are men and operate under the same set of gifting rules as regular men do – so don’t fall into the trap of thinking otherwise just because they’re a new dad. I’m sure he’ll tell you how much he appreciates the shirt/onesie set you bought him (because your husband isn’t an ass), but he doesn’t want it and it’ll end up being something he wears once (to make you happy, of course) then it mysteriously disappears or is ruined on the next laundry day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So what gifts can we give them?
“I would rather gifts be practical or an experience we can both/all share.”
These are the easiest gifts to give to our men.
They don’t have to be things like something made out of leather, a cheesy grill apron with some stupid saying like ‘grill master’, or their initials etched on rocks glasses (although I’m sure some men would appreciate that). Going back to the whole, ‘men are simple beings’ thing, we shouldn’t be overthinking how we can show love on our guys.
Going out for drinks or dinner, seeing a comedy show or movie, and even picking up the bill on something simple like the car registration (I actually did that) are all ways that men love to be gifted. Because it’s less about stuff and more about the quality time spent with us. Or at the very least it allows them to not spend money on us for a day, which is actually probably more of a gift than we realize.
When in doubt…sex.
Okay, that’ll probably be number one on any husband’s list of things they would like or appreciate. But it doesn’t go without saying for a post like this. Again, this comes back to how simple our men are. I’m sure a relaxed evening in with pizza, beer, and the hope of getting some will make any husband feel loved and appreciated (although pizza and beer I can’t imagine would make any woman feel sexy…but you get my point) 😉 Intimacy is important, we all know that, especially once children come into the mix. But spending some adult alone time with each other is almost just as good as not spending money in a man’s eyes.
So, at the end of the day it’s all about knowing your spouse and doing something special for him that a) he’ll actually use or appreciate and b) something that’s practical, helpful, or an experience to share. Also, my husband and I talk out what we want to do for those occasions and we’re very honest about what we want or expect. This way it’s certain that what ideas we have about gifts are shared. We can’t all be mind readers and it’ll save you in time and effort to gift something for your man that he truly wants – even if it’s nothing at all. So keep that communication open and remember that gifts come in many different forms.