get-the-right-gift2 compWhen you buy someone a gift, it sends a message.

…And when you buy a gift for your significant other… you want to be sure that you send the right message.

But here’s the thing:

When you think you’re sending the message of thoughtful and kind… you may actually be sending the message of detached and un-caring.

So… how do you get a gift that sends the right message?

You need to find her a highly specific type of gift… one that shows her that not only put enough time and thought into her gift…

…but also cared enough to get her something that’s timeless, that she’ll love today and for the foreseeable future.

For example:

An inexpensive, customized necklace over an expensive Tiffany necklace. A classic, record player over a futuristic Amazon Echo. An elegant, timeless wristwatch over a trendy Apple Watch:

rose gold peach comp

Sends the right message.

apple watch

Sends the wrong message.

Now:

Finding a gift that sends this highly specific message isn’t always the easiest…

…which is exactly why I put together these 7 must-know rules for buying a gift for your significant other. They’re designed to help you quickly and easily find the right type of gift.

And here’s the best part:

To help you see exactly what the right type of gift looks like, I even found 3 perfect examples that nail each of the 7 important rules!

How to Buy the Right Holiday Gift for Her (+3 Thoughtful Gift Ideas)

Pro Tip: One of the most important rules below (rule #2) defines the importance of planning in getting your girl a thoughtful gift.

…And if you want your gift to arrive before Christmas, you need to order #2 / #3 by December 10th and #1 December 15th.

7 Must-Know Rules for Buying the Right Holiday Gift for Her

Unless your girlfriend has outright told you what she wants (in which case, studies show it’s best to get her that), these are 7 must-know rules for finding the right type of gift for her:

Rule #1: Send the right message

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I touched on this above, but since rule #1 is the foundation for all of the other rules… it’s important that you know exactly what the right message is.

The right message, the one that you want to send, is the message that you’re a specific type of thoughtful… the type of thoughtful that shows her that you care enough to put your time, energy and thought into getting her a special gift…

A gift that you clearly didn’t buy last minute. That you didn’t just buy because it was expensive. A gift that is timeless, that she can use frequently and that she can use for the foreseeable future.

Now… here’s what’s so great about the remaining 6 rules:

By following them, you’ll automatically find a gift (like these three) that sends your significant other the right message.

Rule #2: Get a gift that you can’t buy last minute

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Guys… women know when you give them a gift that was ordered last minute.

…And what message do you think that last-minute gift will send? Do you think it will be that thoughtful, sincere message that you were hoping for?

Of course not… so buy her something that clearly shows her that you put time, energy and thought into it.

What’s the easiest way to clearly show her this?

Buy a gift that you can’t buy on short notice… things like handmade gifts or gifts that are only available for a limited time.

Rule #3: Get something timeless, not trendy

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Because of websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there seems to be an endless supply of cool, futuristic, and innovative products available online.

…But here’s the thing:

While these types of products a new, fun, exciting, etc… they’re rarely timeless.

They’re great for your friends, your parents, your co-workers, even yourself… but not great when you hoping to send that highly specific, highly thoughtful message.

Here’s the bottom line:

Don’t get something that’s trendy… get something that’s timeless. Get her something that she’ll use (and love) not just today, but also for the next year… 5 years… 10 years.

Here’s some examples of trendy versus timeless gifts:

Trendy
ice orb floating speaker
dreamspa color changing LEF shower head
amazon echo
Timeless
etsy-3 2
 the fifth watches rose gold peach1
crosley 2 2

Rule #4: Get something she’ll take with her (and/or see often)

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Perhaps the most important rule when purchasing the right type of gift for your significant other:

Get something she’ll wear or see often.

Why does this even matter?

Because each and every time she looks at or uses your gift, she’ll be reminded of you and your thoughtfulness.

…And you’d obviously rather this happen all the time, rather than every once in a while.

Now:

To help you quickly get an idea of what types of gifts to look for, which do you think she’ll use more?

  1. A beautiful, warm, down jacket that she wears in the snow?
  2. A simple, elegant accessory that she wears with most of her outfits?

It’s clearly number two, right?

Here’s the bottom line:

Look for a gift that’s with her and a part of each and every one of her days…

…and one that will serve as a frequent reminder of you and your thoughtfulness.

Rule #5: Avoid software, tools, books, lessons, etc.

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First, take this rule with a grain of salt… for example:

If you’re girl really needs Photoshop to help grow her business… get it for her.

But keep in mind:

Something that’s highly practical (like a software, a tool, a book or a course) will have little to no sentimental value.

…And the lack of sentimental value will effectively nullify the benefits you gain from rules #3 and #4 (it will quickly become a tool and not a gift to be remembered).

Rule #6: Spend less than $150 (with a few exceptions)

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Don’t buy an expensive, high-end gift hoping that your significant other will be impressed by the high price tag (and in turn be more grateful).

Not only does this show a clear lack of thoughtfulness…

…but also, according to the NY Times, people don’t appreciate gifts more just because they had higher price tags:

In one study, when people were asked to recall a birthday gift they’d given, there was a predictable correlation between price and expectation: the more someone spent on a gift, the more appreciation was expected for it.

But when people were asked to recall a birthday gift they’d received, price didn’t matter. The recipients of expensive jewelry and gadgets were not significantly more grateful than those who had gotten T-shirts and books.

So… don’t waste your money on an expensive gift just to try to impress your girl… instead, get her something that’s thoughtful, sincere and affordable (again, I recommend anything under $150).

Rule #7: Don’t overthink it

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According to psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, when we buy gifts for those we love, our brains are actually programmed to overthink things.

In her article, The Psychology Behind Choosing a Perfect Gift, she highlights three behaviors that she frequently sees in her NY practice:

  1. We try to think our way into our significant other’s head to analyze what they’d like.
  2. We try to think about what we would want, and what the people in our live would want.
  3. We even subconsciously think out the message this gift will convey (and whether that will be the right message we want to send).

Now:

You don’t have to be like most guys who overthink gift giving…

…and here’s why:

You have the knowledge from these 7 important rules for buying a gift for your significant other. Use it and you’ll automatically get the right type of gift for your girl.

*If you’re still not sure what to get, or are just looking for examples, below you can see 3 products that nail each of the 7 rules!

3 Examples that Nail Each of the 7 Important Rules

If you’re looking for a great holiday gift for your significant other, these are three great options.

Each nails the 7 important rules from above… and will instantly send the right message to your girl:

etsy-gold-bar

Gold Bar Necklace

by JewelryBlues

Price: $

Lead Time: 10 days

Get it Before Christmas: Order by the 15th

If you’re light on cash, this gold bar necklace from JewelryBlues on Etsy is a great choice

By itself, the necklace is nothing special… just a small gold rectangle.

…But what makes this such a great gift is the ability to personalize it. You can add any short message (under 9-10 characters) to make it a custom, one-of-a-kind necklace.

JewelryBlues lets you chose from 16 different fonts (including Greek letters and Roman numerals) to add your custom message. What you put is up to you, but here are a few great ideas:

  • Her initials + your initials
  • Your anniversary with numbers (10.7.2015)
  • Your anniversary with Roman numerals (X.VII.MMXV)
  • The coordinates (longitude/latitude) of a location special to the two of you
  • A word expressing your love: “always”, “forever”, or “eternity”

This gift sends the message you’re looking for… it’s inexpensive, personalized, and something that she can wear daily.

the-fifth-watches-rose-gold

Melbourne Minimal Rose Gold + Peach Timepiece

by The Fifth Watches (TFW)

Price: $$

Lead Time: 5 days

Get it Before Christmas: Order by the 10th

A clean, timeless watch is the cornerstone of every woman’s (and man’sstyle and wardrobe.

It’s an investment. A signal of a person’s taste and class. And a quiet reminder that time is limited.

Now:

What makes the Melbourne Minimal so special is it’s minimal, timeless and elegant design:

The Fifth blended a peach Italian leather band with a brushed rose gold case to create a neutral, minimal and sophisticated look. This neutrality is offset by the striking contrast of the white watch face and the rose gold hands and hour markers.

But here’s the best part:

The Melbourne Minimal is a highly versatile timepiece (it has all 7 characteristics of a highly versatile watch), which allows your significant other to wear it with just about any outfit in just about any setting.

…And what about that message you’re trying to send?

The Melbourne Minimal definitely sends the right message:

Timeless and versatile. This watch will be on your significant other’s wrist every day… reminding her of you and your deeply thoughtful gift.

While the Melbourne Minimal Timepiece only has a lead time of 5 days, it’s important to note that it’s only available for purchase between the 5th and the 10th of the month.

Here’s why:

The Fifth Watches are available on a limited-time, limited-availability basis. You can only buy them between the 5th and the 10th of the month (or until they sell out – 3 styles sold out in 24 hours on their last release).

uo-crosley comp

Flower Print Vinyl Record Player

by Crosley and Urban Outfitters

Price: $$

Lead Time: 15 days

Get it Before Christmas: Order before the 10th

We featured a similar Crosley record player on our list of the Top 101 Cool Things to Buy

…and here’s why:

While record players have been around since 1877, they’re not trendy… they’re practical and functional. Vinyl, the material records are made of, actually produces a higher sound quality than today’s digital recordings.

Now:

What makes this Crosley record player stand out is that, unlike most record players, it doesn’t require an amp, tuner or speakers. With the Crosley… all three are integrated into its compact design.

It comes in a beautiful floral design that’s custom and exclusive to Urban Outfitters (you can’t get it anywhere else).

…And the Crosley send the right message:

Timeless, not trendy. Your girlfriend will think of you every time she sees and plays her record player.

In Conclusion

Remember:

Every gift you give sends a message. To send the right message, follow these 7 must-know rules for buying a gift for your significant other.

Need help finding a gift? Not sure if your gift follows the 7 rules? Drop any questions in the comments section below.