Author Topic: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's  (Read 1042 times)

maisymouser

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Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« on: May 27, 2021, 06:05:32 AM »
There might be another thread around this place somewhere on this topic, but I am running out of ideas for nice things to do for DH. He's on a trip right now and I would LOVE for him to come home to a nice surprise or gift, but... I dunno, I guess I'm feeling fairly uninspired.

What do you like to do to show your partner you appreciate them?

uniwelder

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 06:11:06 AM »
Pick some wildflowers!  Especially this time of year.

Edited to add--- flowers are for my wife.  If your husband doesn't appreciate flowers, maybe his favorite home cooked meal?  A massage? with happy ending?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 06:15:07 AM by uniwelder »

Steeze

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 06:22:48 AM »
I asked my grandfather on his 50th wedding anniversary what his secret was - he told me, when she finally sits down for the evening after a long day, rub her feet, do it everyday.

Personally, my DW is motivated by food, so usually I will cook an elaborate breakfast and plate everything really nice, or order take out from one of her favorite spots.

For me - I don't know, I guess her going out of her way to look her best is a great treat. Go running, do yoga, take a shower, put on a nice dress, wear something sexy to bed, etc. She isn't really that type, so when it happens a couple times a year it is a real treat.

One thing I will say, is just to think about what they are motivated by, similar to the love languages idea. I like to work out and stay reasonably fit - when I am choking down a nasty shake or doing pull-ups sometimes I think to myself that I am trying to look good for her, when in reality she probably doesn't care. I am trying to look good for me, and hoping she notices. Likewise, she will sometimes cook crazy elaborate dinners with a half dozen different dishes. To her she is doing this great thing, but I don't really value food the same way, I could hit a protein shake or skip dinner altogether and be fine. We are probably both missing the mark on a regular basis, doing things we value instead of things the other person values.

Malcat

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 07:37:47 AM »
Oh, that's easy. The most thoughtful and romantic things are free/cheap.

Now, I'm not an overly romantic person, my love language is acts of service, so if I'm feeling loving, I'll cook a complicated meal or on a very rare occasion bake (I hate baking), I'll offer a massage, take care of a nuisance task that I know has been bugging DH or just upgrade something around the house that I know he would enjoy, etc.

DH on the other hand is, uh, kind of excessively romantic, so there are a lot of flowers and cards with deeply moving writing in them, he hides loving notes in weird spots, like pockets of my coats, or stuffed in a pair of socks, so that I find them randomly, he plans whole day-long fun days where he'll scout out and find a perfect picnic spot, figure out a movie I would enjoy, or finds an event in the community, or even all of the above. He's done elaborate scavenger hunts, in the dead of winter he's decorated the house to look like a beach, cranked the heat, insisted I wear a bathing suit, and made summer cocktails because he's a total nutter. He knows I hate having to decide things, so he puts his effort into planning the entire thing so I'm never left having to choose what to eat, or where to go, or what to watch. He makes sure it's seamless and effortless for me.

And that's the thing, it's really the thought he puts into it that has value. We could easily together organize a nice day of things to do, but what makes me feel appreciated is that he puts all of the mental work in for me, I just have to show up and have a nice time.
On the flip side, he is not great in the kitchen and not handy at all, and not the best with boring logistics, so when I take care of those things, he feels appreciated.

Just figure out your DH's love language and do things that fit it. Would he love to come home to his walls covered in ridiculous "Welcome Home" decorations or would he more appreciate walking in to the smell of fresh baked pie? Or would it make his day to return to find a home repair completed that has been put off for ages? What would make him feel appreciated?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2021, 11:49:50 AM »
The top three in our house are:

1. Do one of "his" chores. We divide chores mostly that we'll take on doing ALL of one chore, rather than split days or whatever - so he does ALL the dishes, I do ALL the laundry. Nothing says "I love you" like loading the dishwasher :)
2. Purchase ingredients for and cook a meal that he likes much more than I do. We have some joint favourites, but there are some that he really likes and I don't and vice versa.
3. Short cute note hidden somewhere he's sure to find it, like inside his folded laptop. It's the surprise factor rather than reams of romantic poetry, so normally just "I love you!"

jeninco

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2021, 02:52:09 PM »
The top three in our house are:

1. Do one of "his" chores. We divide chores mostly that we'll take on doing ALL of one chore, rather than split days or whatever - so he does ALL the dishes, I do ALL the laundry. Nothing says "I love you" like loading the dishwasher :)
2. Purchase ingredients for and cook a meal that he likes much more than I do. We have some joint favourites, but there are some that he really likes and I don't and vice versa.
3. Short cute note hidden somewhere he's sure to find it, like inside his folded laptop. It's the surprise factor rather than reams of romantic poetry, so normally just "I love you!"

4. 50 (or 30, or whatever) smallish paper hearts with love notes (can be just a few words) on each one hidden everywhere. I once did a series of "I love you because..." and he was finding them for months. (it's probably a good time to do that again, coming up on our 25th anniversary!)

pbkmaine

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2021, 10:35:08 PM »
For DH’s birthday last year, I wrote “Happy Birthday” on a bunch of little rectangles of paper. These led from the bedroom door to the kitchen table, where I had a vase with wildflowers and a plate of cinnamon chip scones drizzled with icing.

MayDay

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 12:52:54 PM »
It's so person dependent.

I would hate 50 notes hidden around the house, or a day planned for me without my input.

Really anything traditionally romantic will probably have the opposite effect on me.

wenchsenior

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 01:11:17 PM »
It's so person dependent.

I would hate 50 notes hidden around the house, or a day planned for me without my input.

Really anything traditionally romantic will probably have the opposite effect on me.

I agree that it's person-dependent. Notes would be fine for me, but a day planned without my input is a HORRIFYING idea lol.  Traditionally romantic gestures like flowers are fine, though not my personal 'happiness sweet spot'. 

Although I find most pop psychology books to be pretty silly, I think the 5 love languages thing really is pretty useful for figuring out questions like this.  My husband's are touch and acts of service, while mine are words of affirmation and time together.  I have to consciously work to use his love languages b/c they do not come naturally to me.

Malcat

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2021, 01:49:07 PM »
I'm fascinated by people who are horrified by having someone else plan a day for them.

Is it a control thing, or that your partners have never been good at planning things you would enjoy?

FTR, DH actually plans multiple options for any given day so that he can pivot easily depending on how my health is that day, so it's not like I have no choice. If he presents a plan and I don't like it, he always has at least one or two backup options for each phase of the day.

It's so nice because I'm basically guaranteed a great time without having to put in any effort or mental labour for it to happen.

wenchsenior

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2021, 02:07:31 PM »
I'm fascinated by people who are horrified by having someone else plan a day for them.

Is it a control thing, or that your partners have never been good at planning things you would enjoy?

FTR, DH actually plans multiple options for any given day so that he can pivot easily depending on how my health is that day, so it's not like I have no choice. If he presents a plan and I don't like it, he always has at least one or two backup options for each phase of the day.

It's so nice because I'm basically guaranteed a great time without having to put in any effort or mental labour for it to happen.

I should clarify.  If I know generally what we are doing already and I've agreed to it, then I love for someone else to plan it. Like, I love traveling but would not travel that much if left to my own devices, b/c I HATE dealing with details of travel...planning itinerary, picking places to stay, booking hotels, cars, planes, etc.  So THAT part is great if someone else does it.  What would absolutely 100% not work for me is someone springing a 'surprise weekend getaway/party/visitor' etc on me.  I don't like surprises in general:  partly it is a control thing; partly it's b/c I usually have concrete plans for my time at all times, and surprises screw that up; partly it's b/c I have a lot of health issues and physical challenges that mean I need to kind of manage my environment and activities fairly carefully to be happy and comfortable and be sure a health problem isn't going to be disruptive; partly it's b/c if it's a physical gift I probably won't be that excited about it (b/c I don't like to clutter my environment with stuff and have pretty particular tastes so I'm hard to buy for); there's probably other reasons that I can't think of. 

But again, my love languages are words of affirmation and quality time together, which handily don't require elaborate plans or surprises or travel or gifts or much effort or planning on the part of the giver.

ETA: Interestingly, I don't think it's about control in terms of specific activities either...I'm very easygoing and am fine with doing lots of different activities (as long as they don't involve highly energetic social environments).  I have traveled in groups several times and am fine doing most of the stuff that various individuals are really excited to do.  So it's not that kind of control issue that I have...

ETA2: My partner handles almost all of our travel planning for reasons outlined above, and it's awesome.  But he knows the type of stuff that I love and the type of stuff I dread.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 02:13:51 PM by wenchsenior »

Malcat

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2021, 02:31:29 PM »
I'm fascinated by people who are horrified by having someone else plan a day for them.

Is it a control thing, or that your partners have never been good at planning things you would enjoy?

FTR, DH actually plans multiple options for any given day so that he can pivot easily depending on how my health is that day, so it's not like I have no choice. If he presents a plan and I don't like it, he always has at least one or two backup options for each phase of the day.

It's so nice because I'm basically guaranteed a great time without having to put in any effort or mental labour for it to happen.

I should clarify.  If I know generally what we are doing already and I've agreed to it, then I love for someone else to plan it. Like, I love traveling but would not travel that much if left to my own devices, b/c I HATE dealing with details of travel...planning itinerary, picking places to stay, booking hotels, cars, planes, etc.  So THAT part is great if someone else does it.  What would absolutely 100% not work for me is someone springing a 'surprise weekend getaway/party/visitor' etc on me.  I don't like surprises in general:  partly it is a control thing; partly it's b/c I usually have concrete plans for my time at all times, and surprises screw that up; partly it's b/c I have a lot of health issues and physical challenges that mean I need to kind of manage my environment and activities fairly carefully to be happy and comfortable and be sure a health problem isn't going to be disruptive; partly it's b/c if it's a physical gift I probably won't be that excited about it (b/c I don't like to clutter my environment with stuff and have pretty particular tastes so I'm hard to buy for); there's probably other reasons that I can't think of. 

But again, my love languages are words of affirmation and quality time together, which handily don't require elaborate plans or surprises or travel or gifts or much effort or planning on the part of the giver.

ETA: Interestingly, I don't think it's about control in terms of specific activities either...I'm very easygoing and am fine with doing lots of different activities (as long as they don't involve highly energetic social environments).  I have traveled in groups several times and am fine doing most of the stuff that various individuals are really excited to do.  So it's not that kind of control issue that I have...

ETA2: My partner handles almost all of our travel planning for reasons outlined above, and it's awesome.  But he knows the type of stuff that I love and the type of stuff I dread.

Yeah, I'm not really talking about anything complicated, just normal spending the day together doing fun activities kind of days.

I'm always given a lot of heads up on the date so that I don't plan anything else, and as I mentioned, I have very serious health issues, so he accounts for that as well with having flexible options in case I can't do anything.

So what it amounts to is quality time together doing nice activities where everything is seamless and easy, where I don't have to put in any effort to make it happen.

I guess I'm just surprised at multiple people reacting to that as if it's horrifying.

wenchsenior

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2021, 02:51:14 PM »
I'm fascinated by people who are horrified by having someone else plan a day for them.

Is it a control thing, or that your partners have never been good at planning things you would enjoy?

FTR, DH actually plans multiple options for any given day so that he can pivot easily depending on how my health is that day, so it's not like I have no choice. If he presents a plan and I don't like it, he always has at least one or two backup options for each phase of the day.

It's so nice because I'm basically guaranteed a great time without having to put in any effort or mental labour for it to happen.

I should clarify.  If I know generally what we are doing already and I've agreed to it, then I love for someone else to plan it. Like, I love traveling but would not travel that much if left to my own devices, b/c I HATE dealing with details of travel...planning itinerary, picking places to stay, booking hotels, cars, planes, etc.  So THAT part is great if someone else does it.  What would absolutely 100% not work for me is someone springing a 'surprise weekend getaway/party/visitor' etc on me.  I don't like surprises in general:  partly it is a control thing; partly it's b/c I usually have concrete plans for my time at all times, and surprises screw that up; partly it's b/c I have a lot of health issues and physical challenges that mean I need to kind of manage my environment and activities fairly carefully to be happy and comfortable and be sure a health problem isn't going to be disruptive; partly it's b/c if it's a physical gift I probably won't be that excited about it (b/c I don't like to clutter my environment with stuff and have pretty particular tastes so I'm hard to buy for); there's probably other reasons that I can't think of. 

But again, my love languages are words of affirmation and quality time together, which handily don't require elaborate plans or surprises or travel or gifts or much effort or planning on the part of the giver.

ETA: Interestingly, I don't think it's about control in terms of specific activities either...I'm very easygoing and am fine with doing lots of different activities (as long as they don't involve highly energetic social environments).  I have traveled in groups several times and am fine doing most of the stuff that various individuals are really excited to do.  So it's not that kind of control issue that I have...

ETA2: My partner handles almost all of our travel planning for reasons outlined above, and it's awesome.  But he knows the type of stuff that I love and the type of stuff I dread.

Yeah, I'm not really talking about anything complicated, just normal spending the day together doing fun activities kind of days.

I'm always given a lot of heads up on the date so that I don't plan anything else, and as I mentioned, I have very serious health issues, so he accounts for that as well with having flexible options in case I can't do anything.

So what it amounts to is quality time together doing nice activities where everything is seamless and easy, where I don't have to put in any effort to make it happen.

I guess I'm just surprised at multiple people reacting to that as if it's horrifying.

Yes, I get you. I'd modify my statement to Surprises are usually horrifying, but having someone plan logistics for me is awesome, assuming I'm not surprised.

chasingthegoodlife

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2021, 02:54:22 PM »
I LOVE it when my SO plans a day for us. Even the simple gesture of making a reservation at a restaurant he knows I like or has researched (that we will pay for with joint funds) gives me the warm and fuzzies.

I think it’s partly that I’m usually the planner in our relationship and enjoy a break from making decisions, and partly because I feel ‘known’ - that he has taken the time to notice and remember what brings me joy.

RE: original question. I got back from a week long trip in January and my husband greeted me with a clean house, fresh sheets on the bed, a roast chicken in the oven and a glass of red wine on the table. After I’d settled in he took me on a tour of my beloved garden to show me how well he’d looked after everything. For me, no physical gift could be better than that.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2021, 03:28:54 PM »
If I'm coming home from a trip, I'll ditto a PP who mentioned a clean house/fresh sheets/a great meal, etc.

My husband's birthday is coming up, and it's always the same week as Father's Day. He's hard to buy for in the best case. I try to think of things that will enhance one of his current hobby (running). He wants to go longer distances, but doesn't really make time for it. I've adjusted one of my morning meetings, so he'll have more time to run one day/week, and then got a few (small) themed gifts. Another of his favorite pair of running socks, an amazing (and inexpensive) pair of running sunglasses, and a small handheld water bottle designed for running. All of this together was less than $50, and matches his interest well.

Fish Sweet

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2021, 05:04:07 PM »
I really appreciate this thread because giving gifts that match other people's wants/needs does not come naturally to me at all - it actually is a point of anxiety for me and I always feel like I'm blindly groping around trying to figure out what would make a good gift for them, not a good gift for me.  That said, my partner loves experiences so I'm always looking up fun places and activities for us to do together when gifting time rolls around.  Not actually very frugal, but I'm gifting for her and not for me lol.  So far, I've done pottery lessons, botanical garden trips, zoo memberships, high tea at a fancy place, museum trips, beer tastings, concert tickets, that sort of thing.

For small things (not full blown birthdays/holidays etc.) I'll pick up a fancy beer or ice cream I think she'll like, or prep and plan an elaborate dinner that's not our usual fare.  Maybe a videogame or boardgame for us to play together, or a nice back/neck massage.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2021, 01:09:33 AM »
@chasingthegoodlife
Quote
partly because I feel ‘known’ - that he has taken the time to notice and remember what brings me joy.

I feel this kind of warm fuzzy when Mr SLTD recommends a book to me that he's read about in another book. We're both interested in history, though different time periods, and sometimes he'll find something in a bibliography that sounds like me and email me with a title and author. Or mark a paragraph to read to me later.

It's the feeling of "Yes! That is exactly what I'm interested in!" that's so nice.

@Malcat I wouldn't mind having a day arranged for me as long as I had a THOROUGH briefing beforehand. I am very much the admin half of our marriage, so it's never happened in a big way for me. But if I plan something then I can research my own personal level of detail beforehand (e.g. I like to read the menu before going to restaurants so I can preselect my food). I am not spontaneous.

elaine amj

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Re: Mustachian gifts/surprises for SO's
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2021, 01:49:28 AM »
It's a control thing for me. And also a big part of my fun is the planning. E.g. I would hate a surprise vacation. If we are spending that much money, I want to make sure it is optimized. Hard for me to trust someone else with that. My DH is happy to go where I point lol.

One time we were in Switzerland for a very rare, precious 2 days that I was super excited about. My stepfather really, really wanted to give us a hassle free vacation and had arranged for someone to plan our day and take us about. I had the day already planned but seeing how much it meant to him to do this for us, I quietly put my plans aside. It was a 3hr round trip from Zurich to Interlaken in hopes of great views. Unfortunately the fog had rolled in and we saw nothing and just walked around the (ugly) town. We detoured to Lucerne on the drive back but our views continued to be spoilt by the fog. Thankfully it's still a beautiful city for strolls. Anyway, I still regret we didn't get to spend the day in the pretty village of Appenzell closer to Zurich like I had planned (and spent way less time in a car). But it made my stepfather happy to give us that "gift", so I would graciously do it again.

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