What Your Partner’s Christmas Gift Really Says About Your Relationship

Christmas is coming and everyone and the Whos down in Whoville knows what that means: good food, family, and (barring a surprise visit from the Grinch) presents. You might not be spending your time anxiously awaiting the results of your office’s holiday Christmas swap. We wouldn’t blame you, however, if you were stressing (just a little bit?) about what your significant other has planned. 

Neither would Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. Trombetti was straight in her exclusive interview with The List from the get-go. “When it comes down to the status of your relationship, nothing can reveal where you stand more than what your partner’s Christmas gift says about the relationship,” Trombetti said.

Trombetti tells us that annually on December 26, she gets a flurry of calls from disappointed partners who had hoped to receive an engagement ring. Even if you’re not banking on diamonds this Christmas, you’re likely looking forward to something that says “I care.” Struggling to decipher the secret code behind your partner’s holiday gift? Trombetti gave The List her master key to decoding Christmas presents and what they say about the state of your romance.

The one holiday present you don't want to get from your partner

Unwrap a “frying pan, vacuum, or alarm clock?” Yeah, we’ve been there too. Trombetti says that she “once received an alarm clock, and the guy was a terrible gift-giver.” But having a partner who is awful at gift-giving, or receiving what Trombetti calls a “practical gift,” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to end things (at least not right away). “I think vacuums and pots and pans spell a man that will be your side project. He isn’t very romantic for sure, and you will have to clearly tell him so once you are past this gift-giving occasion,” Trombetti explains. “It’s okay to be disappointed. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.”

There’s only one gift that should seriously ring your warning bells: nothing at all. “The only time you could ever get past this is — never!” Trombetti exclaims. “This usually tells you all you need to know and speaks volumes. Please be sure to listen because it’s loud and clear.” Need us to decipher it for you? If you didn’t receive a gift at all, your romantic partner most likely isn’t “thinking of you at all and you don’t occupy a spot in their heart.” Trombetti’s advice is to rip the bandaid off: “find someone new,” she says.

There are warning signs in wrapping paper

While no one needs to tell you that getting a clothing iron as a Christmas gift from your significant other is less than ideal, some gifts are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Trombetti tells us to be on the look out for “a really over the top expensive gift, such as a tennis bracelet or even a car” … especially if “you receive a gift like this early on.” (Yes we can picture ourselves riding around in a new Lamborghini, too. But it’s worth focusing on the bigger picture.) Enormously expensive gifts are “usually the sign of a narcissist or con,” Trombetti warns The List. She clarifies that “if you receive something like this at three months, you need to beware of this man trying to sweep you off your feet … that’s never a good thing. Relationships take time and anything that is too good to be true usually isn’t true.”

Another surprisingly “nice gift” that may smell trouble? “Really nice diamond earrings,” Trombetti says. Getting a pair of diamond studs is a particularly bad sign when you’re waiting for some finger candy. “If you have been seeing someone three to five years, this may be a stalling tactic and gift. Nothing says it more,” Trombetti explains.

Gifts you can feel good about getting from your partner

Not all Christmas gifts that aren’t diamond rings spell ruin. Knowing whether you’ve received the right gift is largely dependent on timing. If, for example, your Romeo or Juliet gave you pearls for Christmas, that’s positive. “This means this person thinks of you in a traditional way and will commit, and you are the person they want to be with in the future,” Trombetti say. She stipulates, “They might not be there yet, but no fear because it is going in the right direction.” Another solid gift to get from your flame? “Perfume or chocolates and/or a gift card,” are great presents to unwrap “when you have been dating less than three months,” according to Trombetti. Such gifts “acknowledge your new spot in [your lover’s] life, but [are] also not over the top because [the relationship is] new.”

Lastly, heart necklaces are often a gold mine. “You have to look at … value,” Trombetti says. “This is a timeless gift that can be given anytime in a relationship because it has varying price points.” For example, we asked? “Was it his grandmother’s heirloom piece? If so, we all know you will be around a long time with him to pass this to your grandchildren,” Trombetti explains. “If you receive a heart necklace at three-six months, that’s really lovely. It can work at three years as well.” Cheap ones, of course, especially later on, may mean it’s time to hit eject.

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