Don’t wind up with a new appliance for your anniversary. Learn the subtle (and not-so-subtle) art of hinting to get your best anniversary present yet.
While your family's 20-year-old refrigerator may be on its last burst of compressed cold air, that doesn’t mean a new one is what you want for your next anniversary.
Some men have the strangest way of thinking about gifts. Sure, we’re about to generalize, but if a man can combine a practical gift into a special occasion, he will. Maybe it just feels safer to him. Who knows? But if you’ve had your fill of wrong-wrong-wrong gifts or are looking to derail a habit before it starts, we’ve put together some ways to keep the peace in your home; and get you what you want.
Subtle hints rarely work with men — proven by hard research, actually — but we understand if you want to start there. In can be so embarrassing to ask for a specific gift. What if he says “No” outright? It would be awkward. Or start a fight.
If none of your hints are landing or your relationship simply doesn’t work like that, straight-up ask for what you want.
Subtle hints let you communicate what you want to your partner without coming on too strong, giving him the choice of how to react. It's important to be considerate and not hit too hard. Imagine yourself in your husband’s shoes, and think about what he — and you and your family — can afford in cost and time.
We hint for the same reason we joke — to get the truth out in a way that the listener can choose to notice or ignore. It’s about coming in sideways. But in hinting, as in joking, it is important to be considerate and not hit too hard. Imagine yourself in your husband’s shoes, and think about what he — and you and your family — can afford in cost and time.
When you start hinting, you want to have the conversation at an appropriate time. Don’t just throw out a jewelry idea when you’re weeding the flower beds and he’s watering the vegetable garden. Be near a prop — a magazine with a piece you love that you can point to and say, “Isn’t this pretty? Don’t we have an anniversary coming up?” (Which does the double duty of reminding him that your anniversary is near.)
You could be at a dinner party and point out a friend who has a piece of jewelry you admire. You could mention a necklace you were interested in or how much you’d like an anniversary ring while you’re near a parent or sibling (sisters tend to work better here), who can back up the hint with an off-the-cuff, “Wouldn’t that be a nice gift for Trisha?”
Hints with a harder edge
If the subtler hints aren’t working, it’s time to be more blunt. Leave magazines on the coffee table open to a certain jewelry-intensive page. Or put stickies on the pages of the ones you like, so he understands you’re marking something important.
Use social media! Scan websites with social sharing functions, and “favorite” jewelry that you then share on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or whatever social networking site he’s on the most. Create a “passion” for Instagramming other people’s jewelry that you covet. Get on Pinterest and pin jewelry you love. Again, make sure it’s well shared. Have conversations with your girlfriends and family about certain pieces when you’re on Facebook; and make sure you “Like” your favorite jewelry designers, jewelers and shops. Then “Like” the images you really like so they post to your newsfeed. Or simply use the share feature, so your husband has no excuse for not seeing them.
Many websites have wish lists that you can populate with your favorite things. List the bling and make sure you leave the wish list page open on your computer at a time your husband will be nearby. If he actually asks what you’re doing, tell him. “I’m looking at jewelry I wish was mine.” If he furthers the conversation, go with it!
Pulling out the big guns
If none of your hints are landing or your relationship simply doesn’t work like that, straight-up ask for what you want. All the earlier comments still apply: Be considerate of what he can afford, and make it easier on his time.
Send him an email with links to your favorite pieces; show him pictures; or take him for a spin around your favorite jewelry websites. Take him to the store. Point out the beauty as well as the value of the objects you’ve chosen (“Platinum is 30 times rarer than gold, honey”), so his practical side is engaged. If you’ve gathered some special knowledge about a type of stone you like, tell him. It will help him understand why you love it and what it would mean to you to have it.
Choose items you think will fit the family budget, not blow it. This way, you’re more likely to see that gift awaiting you in the breakfast nook the morning of your anniversary — or at a special dinner that night.