You might think you’re more into being given things, but I’m here to tell you that being the giver of grand gestures in a relationship really is better than being the receiver. Here’s why I prefer things this way around.
Why should men get to have all the fun? I hate to complain about being treated well because that’s the least that can be expected out of a relationship, but as a woman, I used to feel so jealous of guys getting to make grand gestures for their girlfriends and the girlfriends not really being able to reciprocate in the same way. I love giving gifts and after a while, I realized there was no reason I couldn’t. I may not be giving my boyfriend roses or jewelry, but I do like surprising him with things every now and then and he loves it too.
I hate feeling indebted to anyone. Call me paranoid, but I always feel like there’s some kind of scorecard out there keeping track of everything you do in and out of your relationships. As a highly competitive person, I can’t stand having my significant other beating me at the generosity game. I want my partner to show me how much he loves me on a regular basis, but I don’t want to be outdone either.
Men don’t usually expect it and their reactions are worth more than the gift. Women are accustomed (hopefully) to receiving flowers and spontaneous shows of affection from their partners, but men really aren’t. When was the last time you saw Valentine’s Day gifts specifically marketed towards women shopping for their male partners? Guys just don’t expect romantic gestures, and when you spring one on them, they are usually stunned into some version of astonishment that you should definitely be prepared to catch on video.
I love planning surprises. On a very basic level, grand gestures are just fun to devise and carry out. There is something so exciting about choosing how you’re going to surprise the other person and keeping the secret for days at a time before you finally reveal it to them. Surprise birthday parties only happen once a year, and let’s be honest, they’re never actually a surprise. I like doing the unexpected.
It’s a power play. Whether or not there is a universal scorecard, generosity is a form of power. Why do you think men are traditionally the ones giving women gifts and not the other way around? By making a grand gesture, you’re showing your partner that you are confident enough to display your affection freely and that you have the means to catch them off guard.
You can learn a lot about a person by how they receive gifts. I’m always a little suspicious of people who receive gifts as if it were expected and totally deserved. I’m not saying I need a person to fall at my feet and burst into tears of gratitude, but I don’t want to date anyone who’s narcissistic and spoiled enough to think they deserve huge romantic gestures all the time. If a person responds with the proper amount of gratitude, surprise, and affection, you know you’re in the right relationship.
It’s a nonverbal way of defining the relationship. Believe it or not, grand gestures can be the best way to tell your partner where you are (or aren’t) in the relationship. If you make an amazing candlelit dinner, for example, or get tickets to see their favorite band, you’re showing them that you’re serious, but not weekend-getaway-to-a-secluded-bed-and-breakfast serious. Grand gestures, in other words, are the best way to define your relationship without having to endure the awkward conversation.
It keeps your partner on their toes. One of the best ways to maintain a relationship is to be spontaneous. If you’ve been dating for a while, it’s easy to fall into a routine and start taking each other for granted. By surprising your partner with spontaneous sex or a weekend getaway or a romantic date night, you’re making sure they remember just how lucky they are to have you and how special your relationship is. The more you keep each other on your toes, the less likely you are to fall into a relationship rut.
I’m not subtle about being in love. Some people are really good at playing it cool in relationships, but I’m not one of them. When I’m crazy about a person, whether we’ve been dating for six days or six years, I can’t help but be demonstrative about it. To be honest, most of the people I’ve dated have said it’s one of my most endearing qualities, so the next you feel any anxiety about being “over-eager” around the person you’re with, just remember that most people want nothing more than confirmation of your love.
Gratitude is a much bigger gift than you might think. I’m not going to lie, there are plenty of self-serving reasons to be generous. Not only does it make you feel like the world’s greatest person and girlfriend/boyfriend of the year, it tends to make your partner even more aware of how lucky they are to have you in their life. And there’s nothing quite as nice as a partner who is truly grateful to be in a relationship with you.
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