This post is shade to no one but myself.
As women, or I should say as a woman my constant battle in my romantic journey has been a key desire for loyalty, faithfulness and respect. This seems like an easy thing to request but sadly I don’t think I was ever in a faithful situation. It is kind of sad to admit that to plant the seeds of faithfulness I would line the path to my heart with material items or gifts as we call them…in an effort to anchor a heart that was never planning on docking anyway.
One day a girlfriend sent me a photo of one of my exes wearing a key item I got for him on a special event with his new love with the note “didn’t you get that for him”…I remember feeling like a piece of shit, and I have spent years trying to unpack why I felt that way. The truth is that item wasn’t a gift, it was a plea to stay.
So as holiday season arrives, I write this post for you to consider ahead of the biggest giving seasons of all time.
Are you buying the gift because you love him, or because you want him to love you.
This one is the hardest of all. A lot of times during the courting episode of romance we give gifts in abundance to release a chemical reaction of joy that would hopefully speed up the growth of feelings. This is the core foundation that we need to avoid any heartbreak. Train yourself to ask this question before gift giving whether it is a pack of gum or a car. How I have worked through this has been to ask myself “If he/she doesn’t make a big deal about this gift, will I feel a way”
To help illustrate this, think to when a mother buys her new born baby a toy…she honestly doesn’t care if the baby makes a big deal because she got the baby the gift selflessly. That is the same way you should feel.
Does he need the item or do you want to feel needed?
As humans we all want to feel needed. We want to be able to sit back and say “I did that”. It is such an awful habit and can lead to breaks in our sense of self as it relates to another person. Before you gift someone something, ask yourself if you are okay being a silent donor. Lets say for example your significant other loves basketball, so you buy him the best shoes in the game. If you went to his game and you sat in the crowd and a group of girls commented on how fly he was because of his shoes…would you want to reach over and let them know that YOU got them for him? If yes, please put the shoes back on the shelf.
If he wins the basketball game and gives one of those MVP speeches and touches on having the right gear…would you be offended if he didn’t mention that you got them for him?
If someone compliments him on the shoes in front of you, would you be mad if he didn’t mention that you got them?
When gifting, make sure that your gift doesn’t need to come with constant acknowledgement. If you gave it from the heart(see rule #1), that is all that should matter.
If things ended today, would you want the item back?
LORD, this one is triggering AF. I have never been one to ask for gifts back, but I have witnessed many times where men or women are quick to say ….”oh you don’t want to be with me…then give me back all the stuff I got you”. That my dear is the biggest sign that you gave the gift as a conditional offer of love. There really isn’t a way to dissect this one, because it is simple….a gift should be a gift and thats it.
If he moved on, would you be offended that the item moved on with him?
This brings me back to the example of my own situation. And to be honest I may need someones opinion on this one. I was gifted an amazing necklace in my last relationship and after it ended I put it in a box and have never worn or looked at it since. (Although I once considered flushing it down the toilet and sending the video to my ex…but anyway).
This one is hard, imagine you bought a pair of dress shoes and he wears it on his wedding day to another person…would you be mad? In all honesty I guess I would…which is natural.
This point is a very personal one and will depend on you to gage your emotional strength. But how I got through the situation in my personal life was reminding myself that when I got the item I did so because this was something he really liked, and if he still really likes it then that is all I can be thankful for. And to be honest, I would probably be angrier if I saw a video of him burning it. So I guess that solves that?
Would you be able to afford this if you had to gift this to yourself?
This is the final and most important one. I have been victim to tapping into my life savings for love when I know I wouldn’t do that very thing for myself. However, this point is also a lesson in equating money to love. Sis, he won’t love you more because the gift is expensive, and he won’t love you less because it isn’t. To be honest the best gifts I have ever gotten are the thoughtful ones ….the “ I know you needed this”. A good example is my good friend Dan once got me a backup charger for my birthday (because I always borrowed his charger and he hated it), but he also made sure it was the size of my lipgloss so I could always have it on me. I got several gifts that year, but I actually only remember this one because of the thought and love that went into it.
Focus on getting your significant other something they need, that wouldn’t put you in financial strain. The last thing you want after a breakup Is to say after I bought him that $2000 belt I wouldn’t even get myself, he left me”
PHEW, if you made it through this post, I applaud you. Its a tough topic we don’t talk about often. I have had to make all these mistakes to be able to have healthier gift giving habits. I still have a big heart and do not have a fear of giving in relationships (whether friendships, relationships or family). But before I give anything I always run through this list mentally.
Remember that if someone loves you, they will love you because of you…and nothing else.
Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.