Becky has a post on relationships and stuff. I have mixed and unintelligable thoughts on the subject itself, so I will instead throw my two cents on one little portion:
Receiving Gifts – Gifts are visual symbols of love, whether they are items you purchased or made, or are simply your own presence made available (ahhhhh…I do believe I hear a massage in there).
I have some bad experiences with this one that ultimately caused some bad blood in a previous relationship. So I’d like to yell this advice from the highest mountaintop:
If a guy gets you a gift, do not criticize it!
If he gets you jewelry, don’t immediately point out what would have been a better pick. If he gets you flowers, don’t get angry cause he didn’t know that yellow roses were symbolic of non-romantic love. If he gets you a coke, don’t complain that he should have gotten you caffeine-free instead.
There are ways to communicate how he can do better rather than pointing out what he did wrong (particularly within an hour of the gift presentation). If yellow roses are inappropriate, let him know at some point in the future. Instead just assume that he didn’t know and be appreciative that he was thinking of you.
And that’s the big thing about gifts: it doesn’t matter what they are, it only matters that he was thinking of you when he got it.
A guy finds out enough times that getting her a gift will result in something negative (a lecture on what color roses mean what, for instance) or why flowers from this shop are better than flowers from that one), he will eventually stop doing it. Then you’ll wonder what’s wrong. Then you’ll start to pine for the days that he got you gifts that you used to criticize.
[I’ll probably tell the story behind this one, which is a little less one-sided than presented above. And in case anyone is concerned this has nothing to do with Clancy]