The Worst Gifts People Have Gotten from Their Significant Others

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The holidays are a time of giving, and it's all too common to spend a lot of time and energy deciding on and acquiring what you think the perfect gift for your partner will be.

Sometimes you succeed, and that feels great. It can make your heart grow exponentially when you see the look on your partner’s face that says, “OMG, you nailed it!”

But other times, you fail—or your S.O. does. Here are just a few examples…

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“One year a while back, my then-girlfriend gave me a Lacoste sweater, an Ed Hardy T-Shirt, and a Diesel wristwatch. All thoughtful gifts, but none of them were things I would regularly wear. It seemed pretty obvious to me that my girlfriend was using her gifting as a message to me that my fashion sense wasn’t on par with what she hoped for in a boyfriend, which I guess was a cast member of The Jersey Shore.” —Scott M. 
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“One time, a woman gave me a picture for my office. A picture of herself. If we had been together long enough, I’d probably have eventually adorned my desk with a picture of her, but I didn’t think we were at that point yet, and I really couldn’t wrap my head around how absolutely vain it is to give your boyfriend a picture of yourself for Christmas. Also, I don’t want to sound like a prick, but that’s not very costly at all.” —Sean P.

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“An old boyfriend gave me one of those homemade coupon books where I was supposedly able to take a coupon from the book and present it to him at any time, and he would have to do whatever the coupon said he had to do. This was a nice gesture and a gift I assume he gave me because we’d moved in together not long before the holiday season, and I often dropped hints about how he wasn’t pulling his weight when it came to keeping our apartment looking cleaner than a frat house bedroom. But more than half of the coupons were for sexual things or acts he thought would lead to sexual things—back massages, running me a bath after a long day, going down on me for at least 30 minutes, etc. It seemed like more a gift for him than a gift for me, which it obviously was.” —Missy S. 

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“I am an unapologetic smoker. I like my cancer sticks almost as much as they like me. My girlfriend knew this about me when we got together, but it has never stopped her from trying to get me to quit. I realize that this comes from a place of caring, but it rubbed me the wrong way when she gave me a package of nicotine patches on Christmas Eve. As her only gift to me. It didn’t help at all that I opened this gift in front of her whole family during the first weekend I had ever spent with them, which is the one environment I could find myself in that requires heavy, heavy nicotine intake! Like, why not give me something nice for Christmas and then spring this shit on me on New Year’s Eve, when I’m vulnerable and likely to agree to something as insane as quitting nicotine cold turkey? It ended up working out pretty well, though, because I found out her mom was a closet smoker who was down to smoke a few outside while everyone else sang carols and shit.” —Marcus F.

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“I love books, and so does my boyfriend, but not in the same way I do. I love to have them in my hands, and I like to keep them on shelves in my home. He likes to read them on his tablet but doesn’t really care about actually collecting them or having them around. When we moved in together, he didn’t really get why I wanted to keep all of my books because they took up a lot of room we didn’t really have to spare. For Christmas last year, he gave me an e-reader loaded with books he knew I wanted to read. It offended me that he was trying to convert me by simply thrusting a loaded e-reader into my hands. But it did work, kind of. I’m about 50/50 on buying print versus digital books these days.” —Alyssa E.

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“My boyfriend and I were preparing for a six-month period of long distance that would start just after the New Year. He gave me a scrapbook he’d made that I could look through whenever I was missing him. I appreciated the gesture, but it kind of fell short. We’re friends on Facebook, so I don’t exactly need a scrapbook. A vibrator may have been more appropriate.” —Shannon H.
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“When we first moved to the suburbs, my wife and I had a bunch of arguments about whether it was worth spending the money for someone to take care of our lawn and landscape for us. I lobbied for it because I didn’t want to spend my weekends taking care of a yard. She was against it, even though she had no real desire to help me out with those chores. For Christmas that year, she got me a leaf blower and a push mower, thinking I would feel obligated to use them. But I just hired someone who already had his own equipment, so joke’s on her.” —Chris E.

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“My boyfriend is an avid hunter. I am whatever the polar opposite of that is. This didn’t stop him from buying me a gun last Christmas, though. He wanted to ‘teach me how to shoot and maybe take me hunting someday.’ I have no idea why he wants to do this. I don’t want to take him with me to my yoga classes. I had to be honest and tell him that I didn’t like it, that I didn’t want a gun—and in today’s society, how is it even possible to give a gun as a gift anymore? He returned it, and I got credit for the sporting goods store. So yeah, last Christmas wasn’t the best.” —Danielle G.

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