He asks me for gift ideas

Hi Meredith,

I've been dating a guy for two years now and we've known each other almost four. One of my biggest pet peeves is that he always asks me what I want in regards to gifts. We've discussed multiple times that I hate telling people what I want. I've suggested several times that he ask my friends, but he feels that asking them is the same as me telling him what I want.

I know I should keep my expectations low because I'm not helping the situation by not telling him, but by now I was hoping he'd "know me" well enough to know what I like. We both like sentimental gifts and he was good at gifts before we started dating, but now it seems like he's lost that skill and I don't know what I can do besides give in and tell him what I want. I'm just worried that if I do, I'm going to start feeling like he isn't even trying to be romantic and that we've fallen into complacency.

- Help


First, I have to take his side about going to your friends. Asking other people for gift ideas seems a lot like asking you. If he's not going to come up with the idea himself, why wouldn't he ask the person who knows best?

Second, there is a compromise here; you can give him a gift category. Sometimes it helps to tell a partner that you really want concert tickets for your birthday, or that you're looking for some great books for the summer. At that point, finding the right gift becomes a lot easier. The gift will be a surprise, but you'll help him get there.

You should know that at this point, his gift problems might be more about fear than complacency. If he's been told that he's doing it wrong, he might be stressed out about the process. That won't help him with his shopping. When it comes to gifts, it's better to make suggestions than to criticize.

– Meredith

Readers? Think there are other problems here?