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The Four Things A Man Should Never Have To Buy For Himself

When I was in high school, I worked at a restaurant part time. One of my co-workers was this really fly hostess who was a few years my elder. I think she was in like community college or something. In any case, every now and then, she would put me on to the ways of women, what they liked, what they didn’t like.

Much of her lessons have been forgotten, admittedly, but there was one lesson she taught me that has stuck with me forever. It goes as follows:

A woman should never have to buy her own flowers, jewelry, or perfume

I believe her father told her this, and I thought it good and fair advice. My mother also once told me a man should buy his woman flowers at least once a month. This is good advice as well. Over the years, I have also noticed another item or purchase a woman should never have to make on her own: A day at the spa. All men should get their special lady a day at the spa, whether it be for a special occasion or not. So those are the four things a woman should never have to buy for herself, which begs the question: What should a man never have to buy for himself? Even if he has the means to do so, I thought, there should be some items men should receive from others instead of treating themselves.

I’ve thought long and hard about this list and I’m finally ready to share it with everyone else. Feel free to add anything both to the list of things a woman should never have to buy for herself (which I’m sure my woman readers are going to do anyway) and the list of things a man should never have to buy for himself.

Here it is, four things a man should never have to purchase for himself. No further explanations necessary.

A Watch: We all keep time on our cellular devices these days, so the watch has seemingly been put on the back burner, but it’s also resurrected the importance of a nice time piece. These days, no man is wearing a watch for its functionality, we’re wearing one because they’re fashionable and demonstrate our appreciation for the old school.

Tickets To A Game: I’ve mentioned this gift before, because I just think it’s so obvious for the woman who is dating a sports fan. Unless he’s already a season ticket holder, nothing will please a man more than two or so tickets to a competitive sporting event. A rule I’d like to add to this purchase: If bought as a birthday/Father’s Day/Christmas gift, encourage the man to go to the event with one of his friends. If bought just for the sake of being nice, the woman has a right to impose herself on the second ticket.

Cologne: The funny thing about this gift is how possessive women are over it. I remember I once put on some cologne before heading out on a date with an ex-girlfriend of mine. As we were walking to our destination she says, “What are you wearing?” I forget what the scent was, but when I told her she then asked, “Where did you get it from?” I said, “It was a gift.” She asked, “Who got it for you?” I said, “Umm, an ex of mine.” She said, “Okay…” Then there was silence. We continued walking down 34th street, which for those who know is a haven for bootleggers and street vendors. Out of nowhere, my ex stops at a table filled with name brand colognes on the cheap. She’s sampling, smelling, asking me to smell this bottle and that before she finally settles on D&G. I liked it too. She tells the vendor she’ll take the D&G, pays for it, and then hands me the bag. “I’ll get you another cologne later, but until then, the next time you put some on, you put this on. I don’t want to smell what another woman bought you.” To me, this still makes sense, so ladies, buy a man a scent. He should smell good on his own but he should smell magical because of you.

Gadgets: This is strictly for those who are in a committed relationship because gadgets are expensive. Though the watch may seem like the jewelry equivalent to a man, it’s actually gadgets. This sort of gift can range anywhere from Beats By Dre Headphones (any woman who wants to buy me a pair, I would love you for it) to an iPad 2. Although, I wouldn’t trust a woman who bought me an iPad 2 out of fear she added a hidden tracking device app that she keeps tabs on at all times, but I digress. The point is, gadgets, ladies. Get them for that special guy. And yes, Madden 2012 counts as a gadget.

Hats/Tailored Suit: Here’s the deal with this purchase, it doesn’t look good on every man. But hey, I can’t speak for every man here, I can only speak for me and I make hats look good. If you’re dating one of those guys who looks ridiculous in hats, go with a tailored suit. A reader actually emailed me about this very thing a couple of weeks ago, saying she took her man on a date to a customized hat shop. I thought it was a great idea. Like a man should know a woman’s ring size, a woman should know her man’s hat size, or if applicable, his suit measurements. I actually had another ex-girlfriend of mine go in my closet, take one of my tailored suits along with another suit I hadn’t gotten tailored yet, and had the tailor make the necessary adjustments as a Christmas gift. But it didn’t get done in time, so she gave me the pick-up ticket as a gift. Unfortunately, we broke up soon after, and she sure did take the ticket with her.


The Process: My friend ER incidentally gave me a catchy title for this whole fitness process. “From Salamander to Samurai.” Video footage, soon come.

Poppin’ Questions Podcast: I was going to post Episode 31 of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast today, but I decided to write a post for you all instead. None of you are mad about it. There’s still time to hit me with a question for consideration over here on my Formspring. If you haven’t already, Episode 30 is here for your enjoyment.

She Smashed The Homies: So I shot this video with the four lovely lady hosts of a show entitled WWMD (What Would A Man Do?). The show is of their own creation, and right now exclusively a web series. I enjoyed it and if anyone has any brains, they’ll throw their support behind it and help the show grow. Click here to watch.

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  • Candy

    This is SO true. In the last five years, I haven’t had to buy myself any perfume because the man I was dating at the time bought it for me. I do buy myself flowers because most men don’t know that I like irises and I just love fresh flowers in my home.
    However, I don’t buy men cologne but I do love getting guys little gadgets, no tracking devices though…lol

  • justoneofyourwomenreaders

    A gift that shows CARE for that special someone should be on the list of things an individual should not buy for themselves. However, to care for someone with or without a gift is the most valuable attribute.

  • Kema

    I think these are nice gifts to buy a man but most of them do not seem like the gifts a man should not buy himself like the list you have for women. I would say colonge may be one.

    My parents are still together so Im thinking about the item I know for sure my mother buys. lol! Underwear, socks, watch, dress clothes and random stuff that men never buy for themselves and could probably do without but appreciate when they receive them.

  • JP Stunner

    Um, can I switch out flowers & perfume on the women’s list for gadgets? I know it’s sweet and everything but past exes did not understand that I appreciate gift card to eletronics, gaming, or gadget store. Hay fever & allergies prevent full appeciation of flowers & perfume.

    I like the reasoning for the list. I may have to avoid the gadget one cause I might end up getting something more for ME than HIM. lol.

  • Mike

    I would somewhat disagree. I think cologne, tickets to a game and gadgets are fine a man should buy a watch or suit for himself. These are rights of passage in my mind. If we are talking about high end watches: Panerai, Patek Phillips, Rolex these are watches that should be handed down or a gentleman should buy for himself. They are highly personal. Also a suit is also very personal. A suit is something that should be very easy but could also go very wrong. Especially when it comes to sizing matters.

  • Coolbaby2001us

    You sound like you want to be spoiled by a woman. A tailored suit? Really? I was raised that if you want anything to buy it yourself.

  • The Divine Miss E

    Loved this post, but do agree that the tailored suit one is a bit much in some instances. A man should DEF be ready, able and expecting to buy that one for himself. You can’t have bespoke tastes with an off-the-rack wallet.

  • AlesiaMichelle

    Yeah, what happened to flowers? I don’t know if it is an age thing, but men don’t buy flowers like they used to. I like the fact that a watch is on the list. I bought my ex a really nice watch… I kinda want it back… lol jk. Traditionally women aren’t supposed to buy men watches (old wives tale). Perhaps, I should have listened to the old tale…

  • dsm

    I’ve been happily married for 20 plus years and I’ll admit to buying my own perfume, spa days, flowers and most of my own jewelry. I really don’t think there are specific types of items that one partner should always buy for the other. I do, however, think it is important to surprise your partner at unexpected times with small thoughtful items that you know they’ll love. These could be anything, a book, a special cookie from the bakery, that new video game or, yes, even flowers. It’s the unexpected nature and the thoughtfulness of the gift that matter. For example, my husband recently surprised me with a bottle of the Belizian hot sauce that I loved so much while we were there. I’d run out of the stash I’d brought home and was lamenting that I’d never have it again. It’s those sorts of gestures that keep a relationship on track through the years.

  • Honey

    I am a woman and I approve this list. I don’t think one should mk these purchases in every relationship but if your $$ is right as well as your relationship upgrade each other. It’s one thing if a man does not own a suite it’s another to switch up the style/ add to it.

  • Ashleybaca

    I’ve bought my ex all of those things including the dre beats but minus the suit!! I think men should buy women all those things above and it totally true about u wearing ur ex’s cologne! Lol

  • esoteric

    I approve these lists and though I know it’s not the bible of gift giving, I hope others recognize that as well. Take it from the gift giving guru it’s not always about what you give but the timing and presentation makes a world of difference. I see a few people are wishy washy on the suit issue… depends on the guy… if he’s into his appearance he will definitely appreciate it and most likely he will be into your appearance… it didn’t make the list but in this case I’m sure you won’t ever have to buy sexy shoes or the hottest handbags cause he’ll have you on that… and if neither of you are into fashion (don’t knock it until you try it) or you think the price points are a bit over the top… consider cuff links, sports coats, button downs, collar stays, and bowties… and if all else fails I’m sure basketball shorts will go over just as well!

  • Guest

    We don’t write to please anyone, we just come here to write our thoughts whether others agree or disagree. who cares what others thinks.

  • yllneverknow

    Ow Ow…how handsome do we look on the show…and a little shy to boot…adorable…and good job!

  • Moni523

    You put cliches and labels on how a relationship should be but yet you haven’t had a successful one. All the things you listed are just materialistic stuff. Being with someone for many many years and that stuff just get old and then it’s like, “Oh thanks you got me cologne/perfume again.” Come up with new original stuff and not everything costs money. Maybe putting these kind of unoriginal expensive stuff into people’s mind is what drove people to live outside their means and now look what the country has turned into.

  • Ann

    woman has a right to “impose” herself on the second ticket… lol… is going to a sports game with a woman that bad??

  • Guest

    I thought this was funny.  I would think that you buy something for someone because you care for them not because the person shouldn’t have to buy it for themselves.  I would gladly buy myself a suit, a phone, tickets to the game, etc and not think nothing of it, nor the person I’m with. 

    I will say that I was in a relationship where my partner bought me NOTHING and that was off putting to me because it demonstrated a lack of consideration and care.  Particularly, when I had identified things she needed and bought them without being asked.  Good stuff as usual sir.     

  • truthful taco

    the point of the original quote about women is this:

    we are the caretakers of the young and old. our bodies are used as receptacles for mens “needs” (though no one has ever died from lack of intercourse…ever). our lives are risked for this “need”…every time. we create the sons that men so desperately need to feel immortal forevers and evers.

    and any man who can’t see that and desperately want, thereby, to give a woman the entire world? is not worth his salt. period.

  • factual filly

    You miss the point. Life will not hand a lazy man a woman. He must be a full gentleman and generous with the oppressed sex. Or he is not worth it.