One holiday season, I found myself dating a guy who wore suits every day for work. A couple frantic Google searches later, I wound up buying him custom monogrammed cuff links, thanks to some gift guide I found online. Despite having the opportunity to wear them daily, I don't think he ever wore them once. The best gifts for guys aren't the random items that magazines and sites curate for you — they're thoughtfully chosen presents that you know the dude in your life will actually appreciate.
To help you avoid feeling as awkward and useless as I felt that winter... and spring... and summer... with my eyes glued to my boyfriend's unadorned cuffs, I asked guys in relationships about the presents they'd legitimately love to receive from their significant others.
I'm not saying you should run out and buy wireless headphones because Steve (below) says so, or a frying pan because Xander vouches for it. Rather, I'd take their ideas to heart, and encourage you to pick out personal gifts that you know your dude would love, rather than the first thing you see at the mall that happens to be on sale. A little thought goes a long way.
1. Wireless Headphones
Especially now that iPhones don't have headphone jacks and this time of year, people get new phones.
— Steve, 30
2. Bedding To Share
I'm usually not a shopping type, but my girlfriend and I recently bought a super comfy duvet cover recently, and it's enriched our life way more than I could have imagined a duvet cover could. And it's really great that we get to experience it together. If I got that as a present last year, I'd be super stoked.
— Evan, 23
3. A Cool Razor
I've been talking about Harry's razors for a while. It's a great gift because it's low-cost and something I've been meaning to try and constantly need.
— Noah, 24
4. A Big Frying Pan
My current good one needs to be replaced. I cook almost every day.
— Xander, 26
5. Vinyl Records
I recently took my girlfriend to my favorite music shop that is packed full of vinyl. I'd love to get two or three records for Christmas.
— Chris, 25
6. Custom-Painted Baseballs
My girlfriend actually bought me a baseball a while back that was custom-painted. I liked it so much, she started grabbing me one for every special occasion, so every ball has a story. One we got during our first Red Sox date at Fenway Park, one she got on her way to her military training, one she got down South to let me know she was OK there. My mom saw my collection and wanted to think of a cool way to display them, so thanks to the two women in my life, I got the ultimate bro gift for the holiday.
— Ray, 24
Tools. Or a gift card for tools. Can never have enough tools.
8. Lingerie And Cookies
Have her dress up in some sexy lingerie, followed by sex. Homemade cookies wouldn't hurt either.
Still stuck for ideas? Consider replacing a beloved item of theirs that's wearing out, tickets to a show or game you know they'd love, or a winter necessity you know they need. And when in doubt, text their best friend for insider advice.
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