The Art Of Romance

A Gift Guide

Gifts are an essential part of romance. There are the obvious occasions that call for gifts like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. But there are other moments when the perfect gift can say more than words. Gifts can even replace words that don’t come easy, like “I’m sorry I said your friend was hot,” or “I know it’s only been a month but I really like you,” or “Let’s have sex more.”

Gifts can deliver a message, but each type of gift has its own meaning, so give wisely. To make it easy for you, I’ve created a simple breakdown of five different gift-giving scenarios and the perfect gift for each.

“I’m sorry” gifts: Flowers

One way to apologize is to admit you’re wrong and say “I’m sorry.” But contrary to what you may have heard, those words are not a magic wand that erases all the hard feelings caused by your slip up. Trust and healing take time, but you can speed up that process with a thoughtful show of affection that should include flowers. Flowers with a side of groveling can get you a long way when you’ve fucked up royally. And if it’s a minor screw up, flowers may be all it takes.

Resist the temptation to buy the cheapest bouquet at the grocery store, because then you’ll need some apology flowers for your apology flowers. Go to a florist and ask them to make an arrangement featuring your woman’s favorite type of flower, or pick out some stems that match her personality and beauty.

Here’s a quick flower guide:

Roses are sexy and classic. Red roses are like the sirens who look stunning and confident in stilettos and red lipstick. Pink, yellow, and white ones have more of a subtle sexiness.

Sunflowers are, well, sunny. The sunflower girl is bubbly, bright, and sweet. She loves to laugh and doesn’t have a dark side.

Peonies are romantic and feminine and perfect for the pretty lady who loves to wear dresses, read poetry, and listen to female singer-songwriters on vinyl.

Calla Lilies are elegant, alluring, and mysterious. This kind of woman may have a dark side, or at least she’s a little edgy. My favorite flower is the black calla lily (which is actually a very deep purple).

Tulips are sweet, pretty, and traditional. This is for the woman who is young at heart, has a ton of friends, is great with kids, and always decorates for the holidays.

Carnations are for the low-maintenance, down-to-earth type. The carnation woman cares more about the environment than makeup and clothes, and her love is enduring and strong. Also, carnations are one of the few flowers that don’t die within a couple of weeks after you buy them, but be warned, carnations were notoriously coined “filler flowers” on “Sex and The City”.

Orchids are exotic and high-maintenance. The orchid woman can be demanding, but will reward you for your affection by letting you into her beautiful and exclusive inner circle. These flowers aren’t cheap.

Lilies look beautiful and smell amazing, but their pollen stains like a bitch, so I would stay away from them. Some florists can cut away the nasty pollen from the lily before you buy them, but I’m not sure the same goes for that type of woman.

“Because I Have To” Gifts: Jewelry

There are four holidays when you’re pretty much required to give your woman a gift: her birthday, your anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. Don’t waste your energy boycotting these traditions with a litany of anti-holiday buzzwords like Hallmark, corporations, marketing, and bullshit. Just make your life easier by making your woman happy. And if you happen to forget one of these special occasions, then refer to the “I’m sorry” gifts section of this post.

Keep the holiday gift-giving process simple by sticking to what is traditionally and equally adored by all women: jewelry. Don’t worry, jewelry doesn’t always have to involve diamonds or break the bank. However, the jewelry shopping process should involve an understanding of your woman’s style and taste. Before you go shopping, here’s what you need to ask yourself:

What type of jewelry does my girlfriend typically wear?

You have four options: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, or watches. Pay attention to which type of jewelry your woman tends to wear most often, and go with that. Did you notice what I left out? Rings. DO NOT BUY YOUR GIRLFRIEND A RING, UNLESS IT’S THE RING, for obvious reasons.

What style of jewelry should I buy her?

Think about your woman’s clothing style. Is it classic, edgy, glam, preppy, romantic, bohemian, hipster, minimalist, sporty, or eclectic? Does she like to dress up when she goes out or does she keep it casual? Does she wear bold colors or prints, or does she like a more muted palette? Describe all this to the salesperson, and she should be able to point you in the right direction.

How much should I spend?

Mostly that depends on your budget, but here are some guidelines: Don’t spend anywhere close to what you would on an engagement ring, but don’t buy her a cubic zirconia knock-off either. Start with something on the low-end in the beginning of your relationship, and spend progressively more after that.

Is she going to act like she loves it, but secretly wish she could return it?

Probably. Jewelry preferences are so personal and there are so many options out there, it’s really hard to get it right. Some women may want you to do the groundwork, but I’m a big fan of a man letting me pick the piece out myself. You can make arriving at the jewelry boutique a romantic surprise and then let her do the picking. Trust me, this is every woman’s dream.

“Because I Like You” Gifts: Novelty Gifts

Gift giving in the early stages of courtship can really help take your relationship to the next level. But you don’t want to come on too strong and scare the woman away. So the gifts should be inexpensive and jokey, as if to say “I’ve been paying attention and I like you.”

Hopefully you have been paying attention, because the perfect gift sends the message “Hey, I was listening when you told me that really long-winded and detailed story about your childhood.”

The gift is in the details. Perhaps she’s mentioned that her favorite candy was watermelon bubble gum growing up, or that she loves black and white cookies. Get her some and wrap them in a bow. Or maybe she’s obsessed with Beyonce: Get her a coffee mug that says “Flawless.” Make it funny, specific, and inexpensive, and you’re sure to win her over without looking like a sap.

“Because I Love You” Gifts: Romantic Gestures

Money can’t buy a woman’s love, just as it can’t prove yours. The best way to show your woman you love her is with a big romantic gesture. This gift should be a surprise and without agenda. The only purpose is to make your woman feel special, and in turn you win boyfriend of the year. You don’t need to spend money, you just need to get creative and perhaps a bit sappy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Make a video that portrays the story of your relationship.

– Put together a scavenger hunt with a series of clever and romantic clues.

– Take her on a surprise picnic.

– Write her a poem or love letter.

– Serve her breakfast in bed.

– Create a playlist for her commute and include a heartfelt message.

– Call in sick to work and take a spontaneous day trip with her.

“Let’s Fuck More” Gifts: Lingerie

Giving your woman lingerie is a win-win. It makes your woman feel sexy which in turn means more sex for you. Lingerie is the perfect way for you to communicate your desire for more sexy time without coming off as critical.

So if you want your woman to put more effort into being sexy, don’t tell her that–give her lingerie. If you want her to dance around and shake that fat ass, please, don’t tell her that–give her lingerie.

If you do accidentally tell her that you would like her to give you more sex and for her to look better doing it, then give her lingerie, plus some flowers, and maybe jewelry too.

Here’s a guideline for buying lingerie.

Where to go:

Victoria’s Secret- Victoria’s Secret is the Toyota Corolla of lingerie. It’s affordable, and it gets the job done, but it’s not luxurious. If you’re early on in the relationship, start here.

Your local lingerie boutique- a boutique lingerie shop will have a lot of mid-range lingerie lines, comparative to an entry-level Lexus or BMW. This is a good place to shop for your girlfriend of a year or two.

Agent Provocateur- AP is the Porsche of lingerie. Shop here if you can afford it and your relationship has the staying power to justify such an investment. Warning : once your woman tries Agent Provocateur (or drives a Porsche), nothing else will do.

What To Buy:

The best thing you can get your woman is a lingerie set. A set includes a matching bra, panty, garter belt, and stockings. It’s possible to buy each item separately, but that would be like buying your woman a car who without the tires. The key is to hand her a gift that she can take out for a spin right out of the box.

Sizing:

Before you go to the store, sneak into your woman’s lingerie drawer to figure out her size. Determine her bra size (cup and band), panty size, garter belt size, and stocking size. Here are the size ranges:

Bra Band Size: 30, 32, 34, 36

Bra Cup Size: A, B, C, D, DD, E, F

Panty Size: XS, S, M, L, XL

Garter Belt Size: 1, 2, 3, 4

Stockings Size: A, B, C, D

Remember, a gift is only a good as the intention behind it. Even a diamond ring that screams “I love you” won’t feel like enough if your woman doesn’t believe the message. Material things can never replace the gift of love, and your woman wants both. Also, don’t forget that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, because I promise you your girlfriend hasn’t.

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