First comes what we call love, then marriage, then all kinds of exciting yet super stressful life events that must be commemorated- like anniversaries. It’s been a while since you first got married and so much has changed since. Perhaps you have added to your family or you found your perfect forever home and settled in it. You might even have crossed a few great things off your bucket list together.
In the midst of all of life’s challenges, disappointments, and curveballs though, one thing has remained consistent. And that is your love and admiration for your husband or wife. Your spouse is your person, your bestie and bulwark; your ride or die if you please.
He or she has been there through everything. So why is it so darn hard to shop for anniversary gifts? A lot changes when we get married. When you vow to be with someone until death parts you, that level of commitment provides a sense of security and comfort, which is great.
However, it can also cause us to drop the ball when it comes to celebrating those special moments. Additionally, after living with someone for a while, you also begin to understand their likes and preferences. This will work in your favor during those first few anniversaries. But after a while and having set the standard, the task of finding a gift becomes all the more challenging.
Sure, crowd-pleasers such as chocolates and flowers are one way to go. But as your anniversaries become milestones, the pressure to find the perfect gift increases. And those that crumble under the pressure typically feel anxious, instead of feeling warm and fuzzy on the most romantic day of the year (apart from Valentines’ Day).
So what can you do to make gift shopping easy when you’ve been married for long?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re commemorating a 3 year or a 30th anniversary, at this point in your relationship; any habits that you and your spouse had set at the start of the relationship have been cemented, for better or worse.
It is at this juncture that strong couples start to appreciate the security supplied by the relationship. You probably know a lot about your partner and your partner knows a lot about you, which means that you can be at ease with each other.
Whenever you are struggling to pick an appropriate anniversary gift, use the knowledge that you have picked up about your partner over the years to help you shop. Some more things that you can do to make the process easier on you include:
Skip the gift and go for the experience
After you have been together for decades, sometimes the best gift that you can give a spouse is the gift of a new experience. Material gifts are always great but nothing beats the sense of adventure shared between couples.
Picking from the plethora of experiences out there that you can try will be a fun affair and you will never run out of ideas. There is so much out there to see and do; the world is literally your oyster. Whether you are outdoorsy or you would much rather spend your time indoors at the spa, there is no shortage of great activities that you can try.
Take a look back
Sometimes shopping for a spouse is as easy as taking a look back at previous gifts that you exchanged. Which ones were your greatest hits? Once you isolate those special gifts that you deem unforgettable, consider replicating them in some way or form.
For instance, if a staycation was one of your most successful gifts, why not plan a surprise trip abroad to really up the ante? The travel industry is booming. So if you have always wanted to explore other countries besides your own, the best thing that you can do is to experience the adventure of travel together.
When you have tried everything to no avail, sometimes the only thing left to do is to stalk your spouse- online, that is. Most people have a wish list on popular stores like Etsy or Amazon. You will be surprised how easy it is to check one’s browser history these days as most people generally forget to delete their browser history.
As such, all you have to do is take a look and you will know just what your spouse needs without even asking them. You could also try talking to your spouse’s close friends and colleagues to see if they have dropped any hints that could make the process more straightforward for you.
Instead of spending money on a readymade gift, why not make something yourself from scratch? Finish that DIY- project to give her a walk-in closet, create that piece of art or write that song- you get the general idea, right?
It is almost impossible not to appreciate a personalized gift; one that has been made specifically for the recipient. If perhaps you are shopping for a spouse who already has everything that they need, find a charity that they are passionate about and make a donation in their name.
Time flies when you have been married for years. Although this is something worthy of celebrating, it also means that as the years go by, it becomes harder and harder to shop for your wife or husband. As a result, anniversaries can start to sneak up on you, catching you unawares.
When this happens, you might settle for a decent dinner to make up for things. But if you are too occupied, with kids and busy work schedules, you might end up not doing anything at all. And if you allow this to become a habit, it can weigh your relationship down, which is the last thing any married couple wants.
Well lucky for you, these tips should help you come up with great anniversary gifts whenever you are feeling stuck. Remember to personalize your gift with a little message to let your loved one know that you care and that you appreciate their support through all the years.