Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Bad at buying gifts? Fear not, Dear Di is here for you! Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
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Now that we’re in the holiday season, Di offers tips on how to buy your partner the perfect gift

Dear Di, 

As the holidays come around, I’m forced to acknowledge arguably my worst skill—gift giving. Birthdays, holidays, or whatever occasion, I struggle with finding the right gift for anyone. There’s so much pressure to come up with a thoughtful gift. 

This holiday season, I want to give my partner a gift they’ll actually love, something meaningful—not just one of those pre-wrapped gift boxes you can find in the mall. How do people find such good gifts?

-World’s Worst Gift Giver

Dear WWGG, 

While the art of gift giving does not come easy to all, finding the right gift for your partner can be made easier with a few tips. Before I get into it, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get the ‘perfect’ gift. For the most part, the recipients of your presents will be glad you were thinking of them and appreciate the gesture as long as they can see some effort being put in. 

Just listen to them 

As far as getting your partner a gift, the most important thing is knowing their interests, or knowing some of the things they might need. This can be easily done by listening to them a little extra around gift giving season. People usually enjoy talking about themselves, and you should be able to get a few ideas from the things your partner talks about. If you’re lucky, they may even drop some hints. 

Reach out to friends 

Another trick to gain gift giving intel is to reach out to your partner’s friends. Of course, this is dependent on if you’re comfortable with talking to people in your partner’s circle.  Chances are, their friends will have a handful of great ideas for gifts and might even be willing to help you decide on something nice to get. 

Let the gift come to you 

Sometimes, the best thing to do is head to the store and let the gift come to you. If you feel you’ve exhausted all your brainpower and still can’t think of the right gift, then maybe you need to just head out and look at things. The best gift might be something you never would have thought of without seeing it first. 

Make use of a card 

A card really ties together a gift. To make a gift even more meaningful, add a card that says something your partner would appreciate. Bonus points if you make it yourself! 

In the end, if you put in the thought and the effort to find your partner something meaningful or useful, they’ll appreciate it no matter how big or small. Make sure you and your partner have a mutual understanding as far as budget goes, and you shouldn’t run into any problems. Good luck!