If You Don't Like A Gift Your Partner Gave You, Chill Out & Say This
It's probably safe to assume that there isn't a single person on the planet who doesn't like getting gifted something special every now and then — especially when it's to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, or holiday. Often, new relationships encourage both partners to put their best foot forward when it comes to gifting, but it can take a bit of trial-and-error to figure out what to give the person you love. Naturally, this means that you could end up with a gift (or three) that you're not really into. If you don't like a gift your partner gave you, it's easy to feel guilty. After all, it should be the thought that counts, right? Totally — but that also doesn't mean that you should keep quiet about gifts that really aren't your style.
Pretending to like something your partner gifts you can be tempting for so many reasons — the main one being that no matter how you spin it, you don't want to make them feel hurt and disappointed that their efforts didn't put a smile on your face. As with many other things, feigning satisfaction is a slippery slope, folks. (Orgasms, I'm looking at you.)
If your bae gives you an argyle dad sweater for your anniversary and you pretend to love it, guess what? You're reinforcing that gift as something you like, and the next time they're ruminating on something to get you, they're going to have a misleading impression of your taste. Needless to say, this could go on forever if you don't bite the bullet and be honest.
"If you really abhor the gift (and you know it was expensive), then you must be honest," best-selling author and NYC dating expert Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "The reason your partner gave you a gift was to make you happy. It's counterproductive to not only waste money but displease you."
It might also be good idea to consider why you're not vibing with the gift. For example, a friend of mine started dating a new guy, and in the beginning, he was showering her with some very decadent (aka pricey AF) loot. As their relationship continued, he began scaling it back a bit. Secretly, she felt totally disappointed that he had all of a sudden started giving her "cheap" stuff, even though the gifts were still thoughtful. If this is the case, it's important to remember that you might not yet have an accurate picture of someone's financial situation, and if you truly love each other, then it shouldn't be all that important.
However, if you're worried that their subpar gifting is a reflection of the fact that they just don't "get you," then you should definitely speak up.
According to relationship expert Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, considering your phrasing is key. She suggests that "at the beginning of a relationship, and this includes a few years in," try something along these lines: "I appreciate your thoughtfulness and effort in getting me this gift. Thank you. We are still learning about each other and I prefer/like [fill-in-the-blank]. I am not saying this to hurt your feelings, you know I love you and don't want to hurt you, but I think it is important for us to understand each other as we're still learning about each other."
Both Winter and Chlipala warn against being too critical, and instead, suggest focusing on the type of gifts that are a better fit for you and your personality type. While it's easy to feel superficial for putting emphasis on getting "good gifts," the truth is that this is totally a legitimate way that some people are wired to receive love.
"If your top love language is receiving gifts, talk about that," Chlipala tells Elite Daily. "People erroneously believe this love language means you're materialistic, but it's not true — it really is the thought that counts."
If you're still worried things will come off wrong, Chlipala recommends giving them a positive example of a time they got you something you really appreciated, even if it was small.
"Bring up a positive experience with your partner," she says. "'Remember when you got me that pint of cookie dough ice cream because I was having such a bad day at work? That meant so much to me.' You're showing it's not the amount of money spent that matters, but being in tune with each other and thoughtful that matters."
Being honest about certain things can feel a little awkward, but in the end, open communication needs to be a top priority. Not everyone takes direction super well, but if their heart is in the right place, then they will make noticeable adjustments for the next occasion. Unless it becomes a pattern, don't dwell on it too much.
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