6 Things Every Man Needs to Know When Shopping for His Wife

Updated August 4, 2020 by Kyle
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My wife’s birthday is coming up later this week and it got me thinking about some hard lessons I’ve learned over the years when buying gifts for her. I should preface this by saying that she loves any “thoughtful” gift and by no-means has to be expensive. Ironically, it’s because of her amazing attitude about gifts that I try hard to get her something she’ll actually like and really enjoy.

With that said, I sure wish someone had pulled me aside right after our wedding and told me these 6 unwritten rules on gift buying as it would have been a real life-saver and may have kept me out of the proverbial “dog house” once or twice.


1. Don’t Buy Her Gifts You’d Dig More

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 1999 and we had just bought our first DVD player for like $299. So with my wife’s birthday on the horizon, I figured why not buy her a couple DVD movies?

So I went down to our local Circuit City (remember those?) and picked out a couple classic flicks, Pulp Fiction and Silence of the Lambs to be exact. Both movies she liked, but I LOVED, and guess what happened?

She opened them up and gave me the look every man dreads. The “What the hell is wrong with you?” look. The “Why in the world would you buy me these for my birthday?” look. Not good.

To this day, she has not watched either one. When buying gifts for your wife, or girlfriend, be sure to only think of her and what she would like, remove the “I would totally want this” gene from your body for at least 5 minutes.

2. Know All of Her Sizes

Do NOT ever make the mistake of buying her clothing that is two sizes too big. Just trust me on this one fellas, never try to “guesstimate” her size, it will end very badly every time.

Discreetly get all her sizes, both shoes and clothing, and write them down on a little piece of paper and put it somewhere safe in your wallet for when you may need it.

3. Listen to Her

If you’re at a total loss on what to buy her, take the dang cotton balls out of your ears and stick them in your mouth.

Every wife or girlfriend is bound to drop a subtle hint or two on what she might like.

If she is constantly swearing under her breath how something in the house doesn’t work, or is a total piece of junk, that might be an excellent clue as well.

Bottom-line: Just listen to her for crying out loud.

4. Just Ask Her

Pretty novel concept, right? With very little effort, you can be pretty subtle about it.

You don’t have to be like, “So, I have to go shopping for your birthday again, what do you want this year?” Bad. Bad. Bad.

Instead, try something like, “So, I saw this cool Whatever in the store, would you dig something like that?” This takes a lot of the risk of buying a crappy gift out of the equation.

5. Don’t Buy Her Anything Work Related

You know what I mean, right? Your vacuum cleaners, your washing machines, new set of pans, your food processors.

You only have the green light on one of these items if she personally asks for it. Otherwise, stay a really long ways away. Don’t even walk past the small appliance or kitchen aisle at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

6. Be Careful With Lingerie

Be careful buying her lingerie that she may consider too risqué. If you go over-the-line you may get the look from #1 above followed by her saying, “I thought it was my birthday, not yours?” Can anyone say “mood killer.” Bueller. Bueller.

Now I’m not saying to only buy her lingerie that completely covers her ankles, but rather trust your gut instinct when entering the hallowed walls of Victoria’s Secret.

Ask the Reader: What smart advice do you have on buying gifts for your spouse?

By Kyle James

Photo by Irina Slutsky.


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