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  • Writer's pictureConstantina Stamou

"You Keep Buying Me Things I Don't Want!"

One of the contested subjects in relationships is often what present we get to buy for our partner and how they receive it.

We can spend very many words on the subject, and since we are getting closer to the festive days, I thought it would be a good opportunity to touch on this.

How do you buy presents for your partner? Have you ever thought about it?

Did this ever happen to you, do you remember a time when you bought a present for your partner and were met with dim enthusiasm?

Or do you remember a time when you were in their position, you were given a present that you were not very keen on?

We tend to start the gift journey based on what we see, what we like, and what excites us (in the best of cases, some people don't even go through this process!) and when we feel happy about our choice, we convince ourselves that our partner will like our present, too - after all, we are buying it for them, how can they not see that?!

Often they do, they like our present, and sometimes they don't (like, we don't when it's our turn), which makes sense, as we are all different people, and even though we think we know each other well, we still sometimes do not get it quite right.

For some of us, however, a present that does not quite hit the spot starts to create friction in the relationship, we start to interpret our partner's reaction in an unfavourable light, somehow and pretty quickly the situation extends to encompass the quality of the entire relationship, not just the exchange of presents, and things escalate at the speed of light.

Repeating this cycle enough times, it is not unsurprising to hear that we start to question our partner's commitment to us, and whether we are in the right relationship.

But there is a shortcut to happier times once we become to willing to view the buying of gifts from the point of view of our partner, and not ours.

It often comes down to the kinds of questions we can ask to figure out what it is that has pretty high chances of making them as happy as we would hope for - such as, what, indeed, would really make them happy right now? What is it that they need which aligns with their interests (not ours)? What could be something big or something small, that could expand their horizon, or make it easier for them to have what they really like? (even if it is something you would absolutely never engage in and or that you would never have a genuine interest in!)

And see how they respond :)

If you give it a go this year, would love to hear how it goes for you!

If you would like to improve the way you connect with your partner and you are unsure how, I offer a 45mins Complementary Clarity Session to help you get clarity and form a plan of action. To arrange your session, you can email me directly on or choose your time from my online calendar by visiting


Constantina Stamou is a certified Life & Relationship Coach, has trained with the Robbins-Madanes coaching school and Strategic Intervention, is an NLP Master Practitioner, has attended Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, and has a PhD in how we change the way we put sentences together as we grow older. Her work experience includes university tutoring, charity research, and entrepreneurship which has so far translated into the TNT Dance Salsa Club in London, her Reformer Pilates Studio at Kensington Olympia, London, and The Lantern. She is also currently volunteering for the mental health charity Mind.

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