presents that say, “let’s be friends and not date”

in my questions for y’all post last week, i asked yous guys what you’d like to see me write about.  since the answers were heavily weighted on the dealing-with-the-holidays side, i’m going to devote this week to handling christmas.  i thought about waiting until next week to do it, but i’m thinking the sooner the better for some of you.

this is first one is Jeff Seaman’s idea.  thanks Jeff.  click his name or check out his blog here:

presents that say, “let’s be friends and not date”

oh man, jeff.  why don’t you just ask me to explain string theory?  it might be easier.

first of all, giving a girl a gift, any gift, will be interpreted as you wanting to date her if she wants to interpret it that way.  you could give her socks and Starbucks mints (aka: napalm for your mouth) and, if she’s into you, she’ll think, “he wants me to be warm while he kisses me on my minty fresh mouth.”  while you, on the other hand, simply couldn’t think of anything better than socks and you saw her buy Starbucks mints once and figured she was out.

i’m of the opinion that you should err on the side of she’s-going-to-read-too-much-into-this.  if both of you are DEFINITELY on the same page about your friendship, fine.  get her whatever you want.  she’ll appreciate something that took thought and not try to sit on your lap.  however, if there’s ANY question about how she feels about you, you need to be very careful.  anything that could at all be seen as a personal gesture by you, will be blissfully received by her as some sort of declaration.  she may even convince herself that the gift is your subconscious telling her that you feel more for her than you realize.

nope.  i’m not joking.

happens all the time.  girls are weird like that.

even if she doesn’t come to that conclusion, her friends might.  then you’ve got a gaggle of misunderstanding on your hands.

either way, when she finally figures out you don’t intend to date her, you’ll be the bad guy.  you’ll be the one who mislead her with your socks and Starbucks mints.  lame?  unfair?  bat $#!+ crazy?  yes.  but that’s the reality.

since anything you give her can be interpreted as you wanting to date her, i’m going to give some “don’ts” instead.  hopefully these will help you avoid the awkwards.

1.  don’t single her out – make a list of friends (how long is totally up to you) and buy them all gifts.  it could even be the same gift, doesn’t really matter.  but if she thinks she’s the only one you bought for, you’re in trouble.

2.  don’t buy her anything drinkable or edible – wine and chocolate, or the like, are considered very romantic.  don’t do that.

3.  don’t buy her perfume – in her mind, this will only solidify your desire to smell her neck.

4.  don’t buy her “let’s hang out” gifts – movie tickets, dinner for two certificates, tickets to (insert favorite sporting event here).  this will make it way too easy for her to assume that you intend to share in this gift with her.  the exception is if you designate it to be used with someone other than you.

5.  don’t make it too initimate – proving you know her so well that you can pick the exact right thing only she would love, is like defcon 5 of danger-love zone.  you’ve just given her the green light to adore you and expect hearts and flowers next.

i know this isn’t the “buy her rock candy” post you were looking for, but hopefully having some parameters to your gift giving will help you out.  keeping a clear intent behind the gift is much more important than the gift itself.

good luck with that.

all right girls, help the boys out.  what gift would say, “awesome! we’re friends!” if you received it from a guy?


27 comments on “presents that say, “let’s be friends and not date”

  1. Romantic or not, give me vino!!!


  2. tori says:

    “Gaggle of misunderstanding” just might have to be my special phrase this week! Love it!
    I personally love me some rock candy, but really any type of general, not too personal gift is a safe bet (think Starbucks or a sweater for her dog?)

  3. Bryan says:

    for those of you who don’t have time to read this post, here is the Cliff’s Notes version:

    Women are crazy.

  4. Jenn says:

    And if we aren’t crazy our friends are. I would say if you have doubts about the gift, just don’t do it. If you do and it bombs, just be gracious about the misunderstanding – even if it is obvious she was crazy to read into it.

    I say stick with generic things – yes the booze is an awesome gift – I support that but I acknowledge that Sharideth is completely right, some women will read into it. So say away from Bath and Body works while you’re at it to.

    Stick with the neutral-er gifts – books, cd’s, gift card to Sbucks if she’s a raging caffeine addict or a donation in her name. You’re sweet and that’s that.

    The safest bet gentlemen is just ask us ladies here – we can offer you what we would consider a neutral gift for the lady who you think is swell but you don’t want to date.

  5. jaye says:

    gifts I have gotten that made me feel ok with friendship:
    -a music card
    -a coffee card
    -something silly for the desk or something (one friend gave me “panic” keyboard key.)
    -mugs, candy, and other generic, reasonably cheap but thoughtful items.

    gifts I have gotten that made me want to quit my job and move to Australia:

    -a painting still sticky-wet from being up all night to finish it (!!!)
    -concert ticket to a show 3 hours away (so right on here, Sharideth. That’s a gift that says “I’d like to spend 8 hours alone with you.” Depending of course on understanding and level of friendship, this could be fine or dangerous. )

  6. I’d like to say I love this blog and find it intriguing. For example in today’s post, you have 4 responses from women (to a blog that’s a guide for men), now a response from me (a happily-married senior(ish) citizen), and one response from a guy (possibly in your target demographic) who affirms “women are crazy.” Good luck getting a date, Bryan.

    And keep up the good work, Sharideth.

  7. Kate robins says:

    Single men buy Christmas presents?

  8. Katie M says:

    How about buying her a month of eHarmony? :/

  9. MichelleK41 says:

    <~~~~~~~Coffee freak that would never mis-judge a Starbucks gift of any kind, LOL!

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharideth Smith, Sharideth Smith. Sharideth Smith said: new blog post. how socks and Starbucks mints can make her fall in love with you. unfortunately. […]

  11. Tyler says:

    I get my wife the same thing every year, a blank card that says “you’re welcome”

    and a slap bracelet.

  12. jeffseaman says:

    oh man! free publicity. if only that blog didn’t end 3 weeks ago. thanks though, i’ll take it.

  13. Tamara says:

    Great post, Sharideth.

    I’ve gotta say, suggesting that a guy can buy a girl a gift *at all* and expect her not to at least have a teensy flutter of a thought that maybe he really does like her as much as she likes him is to severely underestimate the bat$#!+ craziness of the female heart. If you absolutely must give her something– and I mean, you have to be under serious duress– then you need to make it as trivial as humanly possible. I’m talking mug-prefilled-with-generic-candy-and-wrapped-in-cellophane-to-prove-you-added-zero-personal-touch type stuff here. Tread carefully, fellas, if you gotta tread at all.

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