Dear Shopping Savage,
My boyfriend and I have been going out for a little over a year now and he's starting to surprise me with gifts. I wouldn't have a problem with this if they were things that I like, but they're not my taste at all. I really appreciate the gesture but I'd rather he not spend his money on things I'd rather return. Can you give me some tips on how to break through to him without hurting his feelings?
Its rather hard to believe that after a year of being together that he still doesn’t know you well enough to get you a gift you would like; but then again, as most men can attest, if a woman is faking it its not always easy to tell.
So it sounds like he's a little off the mark with these surprise gifts - where's the harm in that? It's not as if its your birthday or anniversary. Maybe these are things he wants you to have, or things that made him think of you and so he's considerate enough to take the time - and funds - to get them for you. It sounds like you've never asked him why he got you the gifts, but feigned warm feelings for something you would never want. So you can't really blame the guy, especially since his actions are earnest and pure. Yours on the other hand are up for debate.
Even if you wanted to put him back on target and drop subtle - or blatant - hints about the gifts its a lose-lose situation. You will have to come clean about not liking any of the gifts he's given you which will make you seem not only deceitful but ungrateful considering these are unsolicited gifts.
Either way you should let him know so he can stop wasting his money. Just be prepared that after you lift the veil you risk him withdrawing gift giving all together. But that’s the price you pay for not being honest upfront and for having your boyfriend of a year lavishing you with things that you didn't appreciate. He has every right to feel foolish or even a bit deceived because, well, both are valid responses.
On a much more optimistic - yet unrealistic - note, the two of you could laugh it off and he’ll take cues from you from now on whenever he wants to surprise you with something, or maybe just reserve his giving spirit to holidays and special occasions. Either way, let this be a lesson to you: honesty is the best policy. Especially when you could have saved him and yourself from this unnecessary situation if you would have nipped this in the bud early on.
Just prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best. Not the most comforting advice but its the most realistic.
Scary thought though, isn’t it?