Psychology Proves That These Are the Best Gifts to Buy Your Partner
Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus… allegedly. And sure, there are tons of things that both men and women totally swoon over!
But when it comes to gift giving, a thoughtful present can leave an everlasting impression. So it seems only logical to buy something that’s carefully selected depending on certain criteria.
Which is why, if you’re gifting a partner, I recommend really getting to know them but also taking into account some of these hints about what partners love, according to research.
Let’s get stuck in!
1. Experience Over Items
A 2003 study by psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich, centered around what makes people happy. And their ultimate conclusion was that experiential gifts were way more satisfying than material gifts.
This was for a number of reasons, such as the fact that experiences often contribute to a person’s sense of self, and allows for two people to connect as opposed to one person connecting to a tangible item.
What does that tell us? If you’re thinking about Christmas gifts for partners, opt for doing something that they love as opposed to buying them something that they love.
For example, if your special someone has always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, Uluru or Stone Henge, take them there. If they are a lover of flowers and greenery, create a special picnic in a beautiful garden. If they’re a fan of music, find a rare LP or take them to see the opera or a live band, if the pandemic allows.
You could even opt for an evening under the stars, as it’s been said that when you look up at a starry night, you feel less stressed and more satisfied. Or, visit a forest which is said to reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and lower one’s heart rate.
2. Be Kind on Their Behalf
It was found in a 2008 study that happiness is at its highest when people give in a way that fosters social connection.
In Layman's terms, if you’re wondering about Christmas gifts for partners, giving money to a charity that they are passionate about has the power to bring about a sense of wellbeing and happiness that’s greater than if they were to donate anonymously themselves. After all, Christmas is all about giving.
Some examples? If they feel strongly about helping women in need, you could donate to a woman’s shelter. Or if he cares deeply about the environment, you can donate to a cause that aims to preserve the rainforest.
3. Do It Yourself
While store-bought items, brand spanking new, are a treat, it was actually found that many partners prefer homemade gifts as opposed to those that are mass-produced.
In fact, a study in 2015 said that individuals were willing to pay as much as 17% more for homemade presents that were carefully created with love instead of an item that sat on the shelf in a chain store.
Need some examples? If you’re thinking about Christmas gifts for women, if they adore pottery, you could either make them something or have an independent artist, like Potting Along Pottery design, create a gift for you. Or, if they love perfume, you could try to visit a perfumery to create a scent for them, based on their taste.
4. Encourage Personal Growth and introspection
Psychologists at UC Davis found that those who journaled about things they were grateful for, were more optimistic and had greater life satisfaction. These individuals also had fewer physical ailments, like headaches or getting a cold.
In short, it’s a great idea to encourage your other half to spend time on self-care. This could be in the form of gifting her with a beautiful journal and pen so that she can start journaling herself, a spa or yoga retreat, or an array of different self-care items for him to enjoy such as a bath bomb, flowers, a great book they’ve had their eye on, or an appointment for a massage.
5. Say It in Words
Albeit small, a little study in 2012 discovered that people tend to feel more satisfied, less stressed, and more inspired to help others when they learn about other people’s stories or experiences.
For that reason, you could treat him to an adventure novel or a heartfelt book, or you can never go wrong with a piece of writing you’ve created yourself. A poem, a love letter, or even a photo book with photos and quotes will always be appreciated and who knows, you could be the next National Poet Laureate for 2021.
After all, Christmas is all about giving...
Love the idea of winning the lottery? A 2004 study proved that when couples increase the amount of sex they have, from once a month to once a week, the same amount of happiness is generated than if they were to receive an extra $50,000 in the bank. Now that’s worth thinking about.
On the other hand, this result only came about when the sex was meaningful. I don’t think a quick “I love you” afterwards will do...
In short, enjoy lots of love making this Christmas, and keep the momentum going for a gift that keeps on giving...
7. Get Dirty (in Nature)
Fun fact! Breathing in the smell of dirt can actually improve one’s mood!
Scientists proved that the harmless bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil has an effect similar to that of antidepressants. That is, it released the hormone, serotonin.
With this in mind, a great Christmas gift for women would be to set up a little garden patch, or to give them something to get their own plant project started, such as seeds, pots, soil etc.
Try various seeds like different kinds of vegetables, or flowers such as Moonflower, Morning Glory, or Marigold.
At the end of the day, gift giving need not be run-of-the-mill, ordinary, or boring! Getting to know the woman in your life on a deeper level will allow you to wow her this Christmas with thoughtfulness and emotion.
FYI: Using the above eight tips are merely a guideline for you. Of course everyone is different, so feel free to use any of this advice if you feel it applies to the one you’re buying for this holiday soon!
And Merry Christmas!