Having a guy as a regular friend can be great fun, but when a birthday or other gift-giving event is coming up, things can get pretty stressful. Chances are you want to give him something to show him what he means to you, but you're afraid to pick out something he doesn't like. Even worse, you're afraid you'll give him something that might make him think you see more in him than a regular friend. Don't worry - choosing the right gift will make it clear that you want nothing more, avoid common blunders, and expect an enthusiastic (but completely devoid of romance) response from your friend.
Part 1 of 2: Choosing the right gift
Step 1. Give him something that matches his interest
Since this person is your best friend, you probably have a clear idea of their hobbies and interests. Then give him something that fits those interests or better yet, something that allows him to do his hobby, and you'll almost always be a good bet. These kinds of gifts are usually warmly welcomed - you give something he likes and will actually use, while also showing that you put some effort into figuring it out.
If you're not quite sure what your best friend likes to do, a quick visit to his house or apartment should give you an idea - just look at the stuff he's got lying around and what's up with the walls. For example, if you see a stack of Nintendo magazines, chances are he's a gamer, and a new game or Nintendo memorabilia is a good option. If you see a poster of Metallica on the wall, chances are he's a fan of that band, so a concert recording DVD or band merchandise may be appropriate
Step 2. Choose something he will find funny or amusing
If you're concerned about picking a good gift for your best friend, lean towards something that is lighthearted or funny - after all, it's hard to dig too much into a present when you're falling back laughing. ! You can also use a joke that only you understand, or just pick something that is funny in a more general way. The latter is a bit more impersonal, but won't give the wrong impression so easily, so use your own judgment. Below are a few ideas to get you started:
- Comedies and recordings of a stand-up comedian.
- Unique gifts - T-shirts with funny texts, strange trinkets, board games and so on.
- Gifts that are meant to be brush - things you know he hates (like a jersey printed with his favorite sports team's rival), things that are funny out of fashion (like ugly sunglasses off the 1970s), bizarre nonsense (like a sack of potatoes), etc.
- Something clever and based on his name - so if his name is Brian, you can give him a movie poster of Life of Brian.
Step 3. Give him something that is functional
One way to make sure your best friend is having a good time, while also making sure there are no misunderstandings, is to give him something that is purely functional - something that is useful to him, but not necessarily very "warm" or intimate. For example, if your best friend spends a lot of time lifting weights in the gym, you could get them a pair of fingerless gloves specifically for that sport, sportswear, or maybe even weights for the home. These kinds of gifts show that you are attentive to what the other person likes to do, but at the same time pose very little risk, because they will not easily dislike him or make him feel that you come across as too affectionate.
- The potential problem with these types of gifts, of course, is that they can come across as cold at times. Giving an mundane, functional gift to someone you've known all your life can lead to hurt feelings if your friend is sensitive to this sort of thing, so rest assured that this could be the result.
- Also keep in mind that certain functional gifts can inadvertently convey an insensitive message. For example, while a subscription to a health magazine can be helpful in itself, it could send the unfortunate message that you think that friend of yours needs to lose weight.
Step 4. Give him something he can use with his friends
Another way to show your appreciation for your friendship without sending the wrong signals is to make your gift about him and his circle of friends (and that includes you, of course, although you don't have to pick something where you enjoy yourself). For example, if your best friend is in a band with some of his other mates, a great gift would be a custom T-shirt with his band's name on it. Alternatively, you can also give him a game that has something to do with music, such as Guitar Hero - that way you can all play with it.
- If your best friend has a girlfriend, the same principles apply, so you can give something that is fun for both of them. For example, you can give two tickets to a performance by the couple's favorite band, a great way to give your friend a nice evening with their sweetheart (with or without your presence - that's your decision).
- This is also a great way to ease any tensions that may have arisen with some of his other friends recently. If you give him something that he, you and his other friends can use together, you're essentially offering an olive branch to say, "I'd like us all to get along."
Step 5. Give him a "manly" gift
Giving your best friend a gift that matches his sense of being a man or his image as a gentleman is usually a pretty safe choice. Things like a pocket knife, watch, car accessories, etc. are memorable gifts and suitable for most younger and older men alike. Below are a few more ideas:
- Shaving Accessories
- A purse - many guys wait a long time before buying a new purse for themselves, so this gift will probably be much appreciated.
Step 6. Save money by making your own
Your gift doesn't necessarily have to be very expensive to impress. Making the gift yourself is a great way to show that you really care about that friend, and while these types of gifts often cost less than the same type of gift from the store, the time and care you put into the gift makes it extra special. meaning to. Below are some homemade gift ideas to get you started, but don't be afraid to get creative and come up with your own!
- A work of art that you have created yourself (such as a painting, drawing, or figurine)
- Something handmade (such as a piece of furniture, skateboard, laptop holder, etc.)
- A homemade item of clothing (such as a knitted hat or mittens)
- Homemade food (such as cookies or brownies - preferably something shelf-stable)
- A song you wrote and performed yourself (if you're really brave!)
Step 7. When in doubt, give a gift card
If you're really worried about that friend getting the wrong gift, let him choose for himself! Gift cards and vouchers are good choices to show that you care about that friend without running the risk of getting personal. In fact, many people prefer a gift card to a regular gift. In fact, statistically speaking, the more commonly used the gift card, the sooner someone will appreciate it. Best of all, all those gifts are really easy to buy - you can usually buy them at the grocery store on your way to that friend's birthday.
Step 8. Don't be afraid to ask what that friend wants
Guys are usually a little reluctant to tell other people what they would like as gifts, especially for their birthday, Christmas, etc. Some guys feel a little shy about asking other people for something, while others just can't do much care what they get. This can be frustrating when you're shopping for gifts, so don't hesitate to pressure that friend to be more specific (very politely, of course). Usually guys who don't talk about what's on their wish list will actually secretly want something really bad, so start digging!
Part 2 of 2: Avoid romantic undertones
Step 1. Stay away from "love" gifts
Regardless of your intentions, certain gifts come with a romantic "charge" that's hard to ignore, so it's best to avoid them. As a general rule, anything you might consider giving your sweetheart on Valentine's Day is not appropriate for platonic friends. The consequences of breaking this rule can be horrific (especially if your platonic friend has a girlfriend), so be warned! Here are some examples of gifts that are considered "romantic" and should be avoided:
- Eau de toilette or personal scents
- Cufflinks or other jewelry
- Luxury chocolates or other treats (especially those in stylish, elegant boxes)
- Expensive accessories (so something like an expensive watch, a fountain pen, etc.)
- Provocative clothing (A funny T-shirt is fine, but silk boxer shorts, terry cloth dressing gown, a stylish jacket, etc. are too personal for platonic friends)
- Tickets to an event just for the two of you
Step 2. Make your card a bit droll or rough
Often it's not the gift itself that makes a guy think you want to tell him something, but the card you included. It can be easy to confuse kindness and ordinary affection with something more serious, so it's best to ignore this altogether by not taking anything you write in your card seriously. Some over-enthusiastic men can detect a romantic signal in even the craziest card, but the risk is much smaller than with a heartfelt text that comes straight from the heart. Here are a few examples of how to disrespect the card with your gift in a fun way:
- Write in SMS language (so something like, "H0p U had gd bday. Thx fr b-in a gd fri3nd.")
- Do bot in a funny way (e.g., "I don't know if you get it, but this card was really hard to find. Actually, I hope I can get it back to use again for Amy's birthday next week. Oh yes, happy birthday.")
- Write his name as a droll acronym (e.g., for a friend named David: d - Daring/ a - Terrifying / V - Terribly cool / etc.)
- Draw fast or bizarre doodles in the margins.
Step 3. Be a little impersonal about gift giving
It's not about what you give to your friend - but how. Overjoying your friend's reaction to your gift can raise some annoying questions, even if the gift is something as simple as a new faceplate for his cellphone. On the other hand, by gifting it like it doesn't matter what he thinks about it, you can escape without taking any damage.
This is a bit of a stretch, because being too impersonal can come across as rude. For example, leaving an unaddressed package on the curb and not talking about it for a week can make it seem like you don't really care about your boyfriend. You know him better than most people, so try to be considerate of his feelings
Step 4. When in doubt, you can also give a gift as a group
Buying a gift with other people isn't just a way to share the cost of an expensive gift - it's also the perfect method to avoid "sending the wrong signal." It's very far fetched to make a group gift come across as a personal, romantic gift from you to your friend. Chances are you didn't even figure it out yourself! Best of all, a simple, polite note on a card is the only personal touch you need to add as a group, so you don't risk falling into the trap of a longer, more personal message.
Step 5. If nothing helps, give obvious hints that you're just friends
If you're really concerned about your gift being misunderstood, use the card as an opportunity to articulate your relationship in purely platonic terms. Do what you can to refer to yourself and your platonic friend as nothing more than that - friends. Use words like "mates," "buddy," "comrade," "gabber," and so on. Avoid all terms that could be taken romantically, such as calling yourself his "special friend" or closing the message with "Your, …".
Unfortunately for some guys even this isn't enough. In those cases, it's best to ignore your friend's puppy love until he's no longer interested. If at some point he becomes so distracting that you can't ignore him anymore, most relationship guides recommend saying it like it is - in other words, tell him in direct terms that you don't want to ruin your friendship with romance. Read the wikiHow article on this topic for more information
- Believe it or not, some websites are set up just for this niche. Search for the perfect gift on sites like Menmerch.com, Coolthings.com and more - these sites are great if you don't know where to start.
- A gift voucher for his favorite diner or restaurant.