10 Gifts You Should Never Get a Man You Want to Date

If your instincts are telling you to pause right before you buy your crush a gift, it’s probably coming from a sense of good judgment.

The pre-courtship period is one of the most volatile times. Stuff you could get away with saying during a date, or in a casual relationship, might not be something appropriate for someone you just met. First impressions can be cruel.

That’s why there are some gifts you should never get a man you like or want to date. These gifts will change the dynamic of the relationship for the worse.

In this discussion, we’re going to mention 10 gift types you never want to buy a guy if you’re crushing on him. But before we review each one, let’s first talk about the idea of getting a guy a gift. Is it a bad idea if you’re just now getting to know each other?

Do Guys Like Getting Gifts?

According to one relationship writer, women shouldn’t buy gifts for men because of a superstition that says women who pamper their men somehow become their “keepers” and push them towards unfaithfulness.

I don’t agree with that, though I’m sure some bad relationships probably did end that way. But there’s nothing wrong with pampering for a guy who likes to be pampered, right? So it’s not a scientific rule or anything like that. Some men like receiving gifts. No big deal.

It’s safe to say that most men do like receiving gifts from women – that is, if he likes the idea behind the gift, and whether or not he’s attracted to the woman.

The only practical suggestion is on timing. If you’re wondering should I buy him a gift, ask yourself is it too early? Or have you already established a good rapport?
Now the bigger question to consider is the idea behind the gift. If the idea is poorly conceived the gift will be very awkward, or in poor taste, or just plain terrible. Let’s talk about some of the worst gifts a woman can buy a man, especially in the early stages of dating.

Bad Gifts to Give

What should you not gift someone if you’re interested in dating him? The following are universally panned gifts so let’s review each one.

  1. A Pet

Buying a man a pet may be the most blatantly manipulative thing a woman can do. Whether we’re talking an adorable puppy or kitten, or even a hermit crab, the very idea of buying him something alive is terrible. It’s not really a gift but more like an obligation.

What’s going to happen to the pet lobster (or whatever!) if you both decide to break up or not date at all? Does the lobster have to go back to the tank?

Just a warning: no one buys a person a pet because they’re in love or interested in dating. Buying someone a pet is either a family decision (made by a family) or it’s a downright passive aggressive thing to do to someone.

In fact, I remember watching an old TV show years ago in which a supporting character buys the main anti-hero a pet as some form of punishment. As in, you have no soul. Maybe the pet will help you learn not to be an egomaniacal jerk.

Hmmmm. Not the kind of message you want to send!

  1. Cash

Well, it’s not as bad as buying a pet, but it’s on the very bottom of the list for “Tacky.” If every gift has a special meaning behind it, what are you saying with cash?

Cash feels more like an obligation than a gift. As in, I can’t think of what to give you, but I know you need money! So here it is!

Hey maybe that works with family members, I don’t know. But it’s a bad move to start a relationship.

In like manner, buying a guy a gift card is also a bad idea. It reduces the idea of a beautiful relationship down to a “what do I owe you?” sentiment. Or even worse, a “you need the money, so here!”

And if the guy always needs money, maybe he’s not a prime candidate to be dating!

  1. Clothes

I know, it seems like the logical thing to do. Buying a guy clothes (or new dreads) not only shows love and girlfriend status, but it will also help him look better. You know, fashionable. Doesn’t he want to look more attractive to other people?

Buzzer! Wrong. Bad idea. Not only are clothes universally reviled as gifts (ask your nieces and nephews if they loved that Christmas sweater!), but when you start buying him clothes to wear you really do cross the line that separates flirting with him from providing for him.

Providing for him could be seen as a masculine quality, or even worse, as a form of parenting. This is not what most guys want.

What if the situation was reversed? If he bought you a terrible outfit that didn’t match and didn’t look good on you, what are you supposed to say besides a nauseated, “(Ahem) Thank you…”

Well even though most guys are not that fashion-smart, they still see clothing as their own right, and reflective of how they feel about themselves.

Long story short, you do have to become his girlfriend or wife to get dressing privileges.

  1. Cologne or Deodorant

By the same logic, buying a man the “right scent” is a very presumptuous thing to do. It’s also a little embarrassing for the both of you. It implies his own choice in cologne isn’t good enough. Or at worse, it implies he smells like old rotten meat or something.

Probably best not to buy him anything that goes in the “dressing room.”

  1. Toiletries and Other Bathroom Stuff

The fact that we have to shame this next item, says way too much about the deterioration of our social climate. But why in the world would you buy a guy anything to do with the bathroom?

From toilet paper to soaps, to air freshener, or anything in between, it’s all bad.

This just screams, “You are dirty and you ought to be clean for our date!”

If the guy is a quality candidate, believe me, he will shower, smell great, and look his best. If he really needs advice about personal hygiene, maybe he needs a few more years to grow up!

  1. Gym Membership

Well, this gift is not as horrid as the first five we mentioned. But it’s still got an awkward level of +10. If you’re already attracted to the guy, there’s no sense in hinting around at his body shape.

And even if he’s already in good shape, chances are, he’s got a great regimen that he already sticks to and that works for his schedule/lifestyle. Giving him a membership to anything (except maybe a restaurant) feels like a complaint against his character.

  1. Gag Gifts

Sex toys and other adult gags are hilarious…but they’re for bachelor and bachelorette parties, or maybe roadtrips with your friends. But anything too “blue” is going to backfire. Either he’s going to think you’re just one night stand material (since you brought up sex first) or even worse, he’ll think you’re awkward and not quite on his wavelength.

Even if the guy is a player or sexy guy or an obvious fetishist, I would still not recommend buying him anything sexual until much later in the relationship.

  1. A Movie or Sporting Event of Your Choice

Let’s get one thing straight. Sports and movie tickets are an OK gift. The problem is, some women make the mistake of presuming her crush will like this one movie because most guys like it. Or surely, this one guy will love tickets to the game in town, because most guys are into sports.

In other words, they don’t really research the guy. This can be a big problem, especially if you just met him and are trying to break the ice.

First, you can’t just surprise him with tickets if you don’t know his schedule. You have to research what days he has off, if he’s free on his days off, and what kind of sports/movies/events he’s interested in.

You also have to have a few long conversations to establish friendship and a rapport before you start dating him. Inviting him on a date, with the guise of giving him a present, might be too forward if you haven’t had the chance to get to know each other as friends first.

In short, wait until the attraction builds over time. Then make sure of what kind of movie or event he would like to go to, in casual conversation. Then surprise him with tickets to the one thing you know he hasn’t bought yet, but is dying to go see.

  1. Video Games

Is it okay to get a guy a gift in video games? Games are always a gamble, because guys take their gaming very seriously. No doubt, some of the specifications of these game might feel like you’re learning another language!

So sure, if he really wants the new PS5 that’s one thing. But trying to shop for games he might like, or may have already played, or never liked in the first place, that’s a gamble.

  1. Bad Luck Gifts

Now I’m not suggesting that curses or bad luck is real. But if we’re going to mention what gifts are bad luck in the first place, why not talk about just how tacky these gifts are in general?

Some of the worst ideas you can imagine as a gift also happen to be bad luck. From black clothing or collectibles to portraits (yes, creepy and pointless), and even roses. Roses are traditionally romantic gifts for men to give to women. But a rose from a woman to a man might be off-putting…not to mention, bad luck if the color of the rose is wrong.

What Kind of Presents Do Guys Like?

Now that we’ve discussed what gifts should you never give, it’s time to frame it in a positive tone. Rather than list off the most popular ideas for gifts (and check out this article for a list of popular men’s gadgets and such), let’s consider some questions to ask to help you figure out the best personalized gift for the man you know.

Ask yourself:

  • What feelings do you want to convey to him?
  • What is he interested in?
  • What does he do every day?
  • What’s his job?
  • What does he sometimes complain about?
  • What media or culture does he talk about?
  • Who are the most important people in his life?
  • What is his dream?

Answering these questions may be able to pinpoint an idea that he will appreciate. Gifts are not just gifts. Gifts are expressions and they are projections. Gift giving is a very subtle form of communication.

You also have to consider that what gifts do guys like from their girlfriends will differ from gifts to buy your crush.

You don’t want to lead in the relationship. So your gift must come across as platonic, and sweet, rather than too aggressive or romantic.

Gifts You Should Never Get a Man and Why

Remember, the gifts you should never get a man all say something negative about the relationship. Your goal is to keep communication positive, casual, and fun. As the relationship progresses, you will learn more about this man and his likes and dislikes.

Over time, you will learn what should not be gifted to a boyfriend because of his unique personality and what contradicting signals your gift might give him. It’s all about avoiding those contradictions.

Make sure the gift you select projects the right feelings to him. Tickle his curiosity in the beginning. Show him that you’re paying attention to the conversations you’ve been having. Then, as the relationship grows, your gifts can become more heartfelt and sentimental.

And that’s when his feelings of admiration slowly turn into love. That’s my specialty, helping women to get their boyfriends to fall in love. You can check out my programs for the best flirting and relationship tips!

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