Gift Ideas for The Wife or Girlfriend You Hate / Bad Relationship
The prior discussion is very nice and fluffy – and entirely appropriate for those in love.  But (for whatever reason) if that is clearly not the case, then you still need to purchase her a holiday gift.  I’m not trying to disrespect relationships or the concept of love here at all – just trying to keep things real.  There are good relationships and bad ones – and you know which yours is.   Below are some holiday gifting strategies for those in a bad relationship.  You can adjust any of these suggestions according to your own specific budget.  The real challenge is – you ideally want to purchase something that can have a positive interpretation to it

  1. Any Gift that Causes her to Think about a Flaw
    This is a very general suggestion but you can actually “kill two birds with one stone” if you do this right.  Get her something nice … but when she uses it, it causes her to think about something you would like her to correct.   Possible examples are a fancy digital scale (if concerned about her weight, over or under) … a nice handheld mirror (if she has a complexion problem) … an exercise bike (if she is a lazy slug).  You get the idea – get a nice gift that is constructive, and that can also be interpreted as nice or thoughtful.  [If she accuses you of being a jerk for buying this, your best bet is to deny deny deny and stick with a “I was trying to be thoughtful” story.   Women often think men are oblivious so you should be able to pull this off – assuming your gift is not too blatant.]
  1. Luggage
    Luggage is a great gift because it can imply that you want her to leave.  You can find some outstanding bargains on luggage of all price ranges … try retailers like Macy’s or Marshalls … or (if you want really cheap luggage) your local swap meet.
  1. Airline or Bus Ticket
    Maybe you are thinking some time apart over the holidays would be great – so perhaps in conjunction with luggage, you can purchase her a ticket somewhere … to visit close relatives she hasn’t seen in a while.   You can spin this by telling her that nothing is more important than family, and you want her to spend some extra time with them while she can.  If you are short on cash, then buy her a bus ticket instead of an airline ticket.  If she balks, then tell her that times are tough – and that some very cool people ride the bus.

Recessionary Gifts to Avoid
No matter how you feel about your significant other, this year’s massive recession means that certain types of gifts are best avoided:

  1. Avoid Gift Cards or Gift Certificates
    Gift cards or gift certificates are very impersonal – and you typically would not want to give those to someone you are involved with for that very reason.   This year, however, there is a very real possibility that certain retailers won’t be around three or six months from now … and that means that a gift card you purchase today might be worthless later on.  I won’t mention store names, but last year my girlfriend was given a gift card from a family member … and when my girlfriend went into the store after the holidays, she was told that gift cards were no longer being honored … and she was given a bankruptcy court claim form.  She will be lucky to get pennies on the dollar once the dust settles.  Read the headlines today – you will see a lot more of that sort of thing happening in January 2009 and beyond … so be smart, and don’t purchase any gift cards because you never know which stores will endure the recession.
  1. Avoid Things that Don’t Last
    When times are tough, your money is best spent on items that will last.  I’m not thinking of anything in particular to suggest you purchase – but I am suggesting you avoid things that disappear in a matter of days … like flowers, or food.

Everything in this article is written from a man’s viewpoint, but if you are a woman looking for ideas on what to buy your man, then you can certainly adapt what you see here to fit your situation – as many of these strategies can apply toward either sex.   Today’s economic challenges make purchasing that perfect gift at the best price-point more of a chore – because you will have to really look around in order to make sure you are getting the best deal.  Stretch that recessionary dollar … make each penny scream.  Good luck to everyone!

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About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.