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romantic gifts



Romantic gift giving has been a practice as ancient as the human condition. Understanding the function behind this behavior, is helpful in dumping a lot of the cultural baggage that we have picked up as kids, as teenagers from TV, magazines, and Hollywood. It helps us remain relatively immune to consumerism.

The latest research in evolutionary psychology suggests that romantic gift giving "is a tactic used by men to both court and retain mates: most commonly for retention."

If we were able to travel through time, back to the Pleistoscene, we would experience a world where romantic relationships where very straight forward. If someone was able to make you laugh, was a good hunter, told nice stories, sparked your imagination, painted beautifully on cave walls, made you feel well cared for then these would have all summed up as indicators of fitness disposing a female positively towards a male partner.

Venus and Adonis 1614 by Hendrick Goltzius

In today's world we would take a female partner out to a restaurant and have a professional chef cook on our behalf, take them to Broadway and have actors entertain them, buy them clothes that others made...the forces of consumerism shape in a big extent how our date goes. And these forces are the ones that also blur the lines between a high impact, original romantic gift idea and the appearance of such a gift as it has been shaped by extensive marketing.

Although we might not be hunters, play writers, chefs, or carpenters, in today's world the ability to identify an original, romantic gift idea is of equal attractiveness and conveys the same important characteristics of our personality.

Here is our attempt to define the ingredients of an original romantic gift, a gift with a powerful emotional impact:

Add a deep, emotional meaning to a gift gesture to make it non-obvious and novel Flowers are romantic, but not original. However the way you frame flower giving could be original. For example, a plant could be gifted as a symbol of your relationship that is to be kept and nourished until you grow old, watching it grow as you mature. Same with jewelry, anyone can buy a pendant. However the concept depicted on a piece of jewelry could be original. Poetry has been for centuries the chief romantic gesture, yet one needs an original means of delivering it to make this an original gift.

Identify a timeless gift. The quality of timelessness has a strong emotional impact. It shows you are dedicated and care for your partner. It shows you intend to stay with them forever.

Create something. at the top of our list is writing romantic prose (or poetry). Designing jewelry or making a painting are equally attractive. Yet, being able to recognize quality romantic art is an attractive characteristic equal to being able to create it. A woman might say she would prefer a man to write his feelings about her in his own words, but take a moment to search for a quality poem and you will see how difficult it is to find one. The romantic poems, destined to be part of a gift for her, have either become uninspired and dull or centered around themes that no longer matter for the people of today. If you decide to put your thoughts on paper and you are not a poet, simply listing all the little things your mate has done this past year that positively affected you is surely a great romantic gesture.

If a product, it needs to be a quality product. If you decide to buy a product, ensure it has good craftsmanship, ensure it is made out of good materials, looks appealing, and is stylish. A woman would appreciate a message in a bottle, but having a cheap $2 bottle on your coffee table until the end of times is a burden and not particularly romantic.

Deliver it with a spin. In certain cases, you might want to employ stereotypes drawn from Holywood to make a high impact when you deliver a gift. It might be common practice in movies yet be original in real life due to the effort required to set it up. Your partner walks in from home one day, rose petals are peppered on the floor creating a stream leading to the bedroom. Candles lit the space and a fresh scent of jasmine overpowers her. In the middle of the bed, on a pillow , her gift awaits. Hiding in the closet might not be a good idea in this case, we recommend you arrive to your apartment after she does.

Another great idea is depicted in movie Amelie. You give a date in a park or some open space location. When she arrives she does not find you there but sees her name written with chalk on the pavement. Arrows lead to an undisclosed location where she find a brown bag with a message in it. The message directs her to a romantic location of your choice where a table awaits her with your gift. Then you arrive...


1. Gift-Giving as a Courtship or Mate-Retention Tactic?: Insights from Non-Human Models Peter K. Jonason, Psychology Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA.
2. The Little Things Antonio Verdi editorial team.
3. The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature Geoffrey Miller.

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