Gifting Fail: Presents That Cause Break-Ups

We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas day, a birthday or an anniversary and we receive a wrapped gift from our significant other that we’ve been anticipating for weeks. With ideas of all the incredible things that might be inside that box, we claw away at the wrapper. We’re expecting our heart to leap with joy as we get closer to the big reveal.

Then we finally open it, and what we see instead is a ho-hum item that makes our heart sink with disappointment: an alarm-clock, a knockoff perfume or cologne, a make-up palette with colors that don’t even look good on us.

“Oh honey…you shouldn’t have,” we manage to get out through a forced smile. What we mean is “you really, REALLY shouldn’t have.”

While some of us are master gift-givers, others can use some help in that department. If you’re the receiver, you might gently voice your disappointment or complain to your friends, but you wouldn’t break up over it, would you? It’s the thought that counts.

Tough luck for the gifter. Apparently a significant number of people would in fact end a relationship over bad gift-giving, according to a recent poll.

The annual November event, John Starr Gift Card and Voucher Week, commissioned a study of more than 2,000 men and women and found out one is six couples has had a full-blown argument over a bad gift and one in 20 couples has actually broken up over it.

Starr spoke to MSN ‘s The Heartbeat about the poll and reasoned that women can feel insulted when the person who is supposed to know them best doesn’t have a clue what to get them. But it’s a double-edged sword, he says.

“Even the most thoughtful of presents can be received with caution by women, who seem to assume that with every gift comes a hint,” he notes.

The poll showed that although 80 percent of women thought their partners’ well-intentioned gifts tend to go horribly wrong, they’re not the only ones. A more modest 21 percent of guys also think their partners come up short in the gift-giving department.

What kinds of gifts would men and women rather do without? The poll showed men are unhappy when gifted with shoes and clothes they hate, while women showed a dislike towards receiving sex toys or anti-aging products.

If you’re starting your hunt for gifts for the holiday season and want to come out of it with your relationship intact, take a cue from the following lists and stay away from the worst rated gift items, according to the study.  

Gifts women get wrong:
1) Clothes
2) Cheap gadgets
3) A man bag
4) Soft toys
5) Shoes
6) Jewelry
7) Chocolates
8) A meal out
9) Aftershave
10) A framed photo

Gifts men get wrong:
1) Underwear
2) Toiletries
3) Perfume
4) Kitchen utensils
5) Cheap jewelry
7) Shoes or slippers
8) Vacuum cleaner
9) Flowers
10) Exercise clothes or DVD

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