(Cosmopolitan) Learn what that hooker negligee and lonely single red rose really mean. Every present is a statement of how your guy sees you and the relationship, says George Weinberg, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Why Men Won’t Commit. Here, Weinberg weighs in on the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
- Swanky sweets — Seems dreamy, right? “This is not the most creative gift — chocolate isn’t exactly personal — but he did extend himself to get the very best. I’d say this is a gift to impress, not one to make you feel truly unique and special.
- Trashy lingerie — “Every woman wants her guy to think she’s beautiful, so it’s disappointing when he gives her something so tasteless. But most men aren’t grand masters of distinction between fine silk and polyester. Deem this an innocent failed attempt at telling you how hot you are.”
- The treat he’d give himself — Video games, an extra-large team jersey, and any gadget you’ll never learn to use all qualify. “He views you as an extension of himself. There’s no sexuality or romance in such an offering. Maybe your relationship hasn’t matured yet, so he doesn’t know what you really like. Hopefully, he’ll learn with time.”
- Bling-bling — What girl doesn’t love to lift the lid of that jewelry box to discover a little sparkly something? “This can be a very sweet gift as long as he knows what you like and it isn’t too early in the relationship. Jewelry means that he sees you as beautiful and wants to let the world know that you’re together.
- Furry friend — “He’s fallen for the girls-like-sappy-things cliche. However, there could be something behind his gesture. Maybe he got you a stuffed bear because he knows you loved one to shreds as a kid. In this case, there’s an element of thoughtfulness.”
- Deluxe dinner — He’s made reservations in advance to ensure that you’re wined and dined like a princess. “He worked hard and clearly wants this night to be another wonderful memory the two of you share together and is anticipating many more great times to come.”
- The budget bouquet — “Here, the significance is in the giving. If he presents it matter-of-factly and moves on, then the gesture screams obligation. But if he giddily urges you to put the lame bud in water, then the spirit is right, though the token is lacking.”
- The “gee… thanks” gift — Think tickets to Disney on Ice (you’ve never expressed interest in it) a gym membership (what is he saying?), or sushi lessons (Hello. You’re allergic to fish). “Obviously, he needs to pay more attention to your interests, but he gets some points for creativity. Although he’s way off the mark, he’s picturing what might make you happy.”