If you and an ex are trying to be friends, you’re going to have an awkward moment when you have to buy that first birthday present. It’s especially hard when his birthday comes first because you can’t simply base your ideas off of what he got you for your birthday.
In choosing a birthday gift for an ex boyfriend, it’s important that you select something that accurately portrays the right feelings. For example, something personal may signal that you like him more than you do, whereas other gifts may tell him that you don’t really care to see him again.
Here are the underlying meanings behind some gifts:
A tool set. Something that’s practical, without having much of a personal touch sends the message that you’re not particularly interested in him. You realize that the two of you are technically still friends, but don’t feel a very strong bond.
Underwear. Something this sexy and personal will show him that you still have strong feelings for him, but it may not be in the way that you want. He may think that you are interested in only the sex aspect of your relationship and that you want to start a “friends with benefits” type of arrangement.
Gift card. This is a safe choice. It signifies uncertainty. He’ll know that you didn’t want to get him something that was either too personal or too thoughtless.
Ear and nose hair trimmer. Yes, it’s practical. Yes, he may need it. But this gift is a bit insulting and may hurt his feelings. If this is the gift that you get for your ex boyfriend, be prepared to not hear from him for awhile. He may get the idea that you don’t even want to be friends.
CD of a favorite band. This is a great gift to give if you want to get back together. Try to get a live recording of a show that you went to together, or a copy of a CD that has “your song” on it. Music creates a sense of nostalgia and he’s likely to start remembering the good times that the two of you had together. This could give him a push in the right direction.
Of course, these meanings and ideas are just general guidelines. You know your ex boyfriend better than most people. For example, if he’s always complained that he didn’t have a tool set, then suddenly a tool set becomes a much more personal gift.
The important thing to remember when buying a birthday present for your ex boyfriend is to think about how he will interpret that gift and whether you are sending the right message.