Take The Stress Out Of Gift Shopping

Gift-giving can be such a stressful event for guys, especially if you really want to give her something memorable. The thought of seeing her face crumple with disappointment when she unwraps your present is a powerful enough deterrent for most guys to not want to screw up. Here's a stress-free guide to getting her a gift, for any occasion. 

Research - Questions To Ask Yourself
According to a survey by gift experience provider, uniQgift, generic items like pens, photo frames, and other items that were considered impersonal, ranked as the worst gifts the 300 respondents had ever gotten.

On the other hand, gifts like dining opportunities, spa treatments, vacations and vouchers featured prominently among the top three gifts received. The respondents appreciated that the giver knew them well enough to match an experience that would appeal to them.

Still scratching your head about what to buy her? Ask yourself these questions:

1. "What did we talk about last?"
"People are always dropping ideas," says Lash Fary, who creates gift baskets for Hollywood events. Did she just sign up for a yoga class? Buy her a mat for home. 

2. "Can I tie in a personal experience?"
You know what's better than that iTunes gift card? One to a restaurant you've been to together. "Use nostalgia to your advantage," says Fary. "The thoughtfulness behind it will make a small gift seem bigger."
3. "What does she do regularly?"
Can't think of anything? Then you're not trying hard enough, says Fary. Think about it: Your wife brews coffee every morning. She adores Hello Kitty. She runs every weekend. Your list writes itself!
4. "What's the purpose of this gift?"
If you can't answer this question, keep shopping. "Ultimately," says Fary, "gifts should be a reflection of how well you know the needs of the person you're buying them for."

Set Your Budget
Women we polled said they feel anxious if you spend more on them than they do on you, but don't care if it's the other way around. So set a common spending limit. Most women say that puts the focus on the thought, not the cash.

Been going out for: Weeks
Budget: $25
The key: Share an experience. "Pay for both of you to see something she wants to see, like a museum exhibit," says Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., author of Love in 90 Days.
Been going out for: 3 months
Budget: $50
"A lavish gift may make her uneasy," author Peter Post says. Give modestly, and write a sweet card. It can mean more than the gift itself.
Been going out for: 6 months
Budget: $75 
Buy something intimate, says Kirschner. One woman told us, "Give me a gift card to Victoria's Secret and shop with me. I'll end the day with a fashion show."
Been going out for: 1 year
Budget: $100
If all's well, symbolise permanence with a gift she'll always have, Kirschner says. Earrings or a bracelet are good.
Been going out for: 2 years
Budget: $200 
Stumped? Ask what she wants. People appreciate gifts they asked for just as much as they do surprises, says Frank Flynn, Ph.D., who studies gift giving.



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