Listen Up, Fellas: 5 Rules for the Perfect Gift

His Side: Whether it’s the holidays or another occasion, getting a good gift for your lady is a year-round responsibility. Here’s how to be ready at all times.

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“Men pay attention, but we have problems remembering things,” says Donte Flanagan, a restaurateur in Atlanta. That’s why he says you have to make a list. “I have to make a conscious effort, so if I see her eating her favorite candy, I have to write it down to remember.” But Flanagan isn’t saying to go old school and keep a pen and pad handy. Nor does he suggest keeping the list in a place where she can see it. Instead, he says, “In my phone, I have a Notes section under the girl’s name, because no girl is going to read the notes under her own name.”

Don’t Just Buy It; Build It

Brown tells the story of a friend who once bought his girlfriend an XBox One. “He’s a tech guy, so he hooked everything up for her and had it all working by the time she was home.” Whether it’s a new phone, a tablet or even a home appliance, none of these items come in a heart-shaped box. They’re certainly nice products to give, but delivering them unassembled can leave them falling flat. Take the time to have everything in as close to working condition as possible. We’re not all handymen, but we either know someone or can find someone who will take care of all the things we can’t.

Let Her Five Senses Be Your Guide

This last bit of advice is something I came up with on my own, and it’s never let me down. We tend to think of gifts as items on a list, a list of things that we may not have. Another common dilemma I hear from guys is, “She has everything she already wants.” Whether or not that’s true, she may not have everything she likes.

Instead of waiting for her to guide you, what you should do instead is think of her favorite among her five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, sound. Think of the things she enjoys that engage one, two or all five and work from there. It’s like a road map to her heart.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Jozen Cummings is a writer living in Harlem, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog,

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