How bad gifts affect relationships
It has long been theorised in academia that the reason why gift-giving plays an important role in interpersonal relationships is that they act as a marker of the compatibility between two people in a relationship.
It has also been theorised that spouses base their gift decisions on their own preferences, therefore, a spouse who accurately predicts their partner’s gift preference may perceive that they are similar to their partner therefore compatible.
It has also been noted by researchers that the more committed a relationship becomes, the more important the perception of similarity (compatibility) becomes.
In 2008, Dunn et. al. released a research paper on the role of gifts on relationship progression or perceived similarity (compatibility). The paper is based on an experiment conducted by the team with couples to determine whether receiving a perceived bad or good gift had any impact on the couple’s outlook on their relationship.
How bad gifts affect relationships – Experiment Results
The results of the experiment were broken down between the reactions of men and women. Men had a more negative outlook on the relationship after receiving an “undesirable” or “bad” gift from their partner. Despite being displeased with receiving an “undesirable” or “bad” gift from their romantic partners, women were quick to smooth over the transgression of their partner and there was no impact on the outlook of the relationship.
The moral of the story? Don’t be flippant with your gift choices. Happy husband and wife = happy life.
To read the full research paper, please follow this link.
If you require assistance finding the perfect gift for your significant other, please contact me.