Psychoanalysing Christmas: What your partner is trying to tell you with their gift

They hate you

Whether you’re happily in a wet relationship or just settling down with the bit of skirt of your dreams, working out what your other half means with their Christmas gift is tough.

At the end of the day, your love isn’t special. All relationships can be boiled down to meaningless, soppy clichés and tired generic stereotypes.

We sought guidance from a range of behavioural psychology experts. But they were all too busy so we got a Psychology 3rd year from Loughborough instead.

The incredibly happy Sarah is on track for a first and happened to be free when we needed her.

This is Sarah

This is Sarah

She told The Tab: “Most gifts given around this time of year are fairly shit.

“The huge deal that is made of Christmas, forces couples that should have broken up to stay together and give passive aggressive gifts.”

She gave her two cents on what your partner might be trying to tell you with their gift.

Personalised gift

A personalised gift says “I love you” but in the needy way that screams “I never ever want you to forget how much I love you.”

Your name will be on everything from chopping boards to hip flasks and when you break up, you get to keep all the useless named shit as a painful reminder of what your love once was.


Sarah says: “Personalised means needy and needy is never ever a good thing.”


At first glance, a nice shirt or pair of jeans may be a thoughtful gift.

When in reality, they’re trying to mould you into their own little Ken doll.


Sarah says: “This is such a power move, they want control over all aspects of your life, I say get out of there while you can.

“They’re telling you they fucking hate all of your clothes, wish you’d look less appalling in public, so they treat you like Simon from The Inbetweeners.”

Shit clothes (pants, socks, scarves, etc)

If it’s a new romance, then they don’t know you well enough to get you something that you’ll actually like, so they’ve gone for something boring they know won’t offend you.

But if you’ve been together longer, they’re basically just saying they can’t be arsed any more and a pair Debenhams socks is what your love is worth.


Sarah says: “They don’t care about you or they think they’re being funny – either way you can do better.”


They’re basically hoping that you two can miraculously stay together long enough to commit to a thoroughly generic city break where you can take some truly average pictures in front of famous shit.

They’re also probably hoping you’ll think twice about dumping them if you have to go to Amsterdam together.



Sarah says: “They’re planning for the long term, they can already hear the church bells, you’re in this shit for the long haul.”

Sex stuff

They’re saying: “I’m bored of having sex with you, and your naked body makes me uncomfortable.”

Hopefully adding this full latex body suit, mega dildo and glass butt plug will spice up our love to the point where I don’t hate seeing your cum face.


Sarah says: “Sex stuff probably means they’re a bit nuts, if you handle the wild behaviour in the sack, you’re probably on to a winner.”


The good news is they don’t think you’re fat, bad news is they’re both cheap and lazy.

There’s a strong chance that they just went to the nearest Sainsbury’s local and picked up the first thing that was on offer.


Sarah says: “They’re trying to be your mum, or they have a thing for chubsters and they’re trying to plump you up.”

Bath crap

They couldn’t be bothered to even go on the internet, so they got their mum to go to Marks and Spencer on their behalf.

And you smell, so use this so they can bare having sex with you.


Sarah says: “Scented bath gifts smack of laziness and an inherent lack of respect in the relationship, just be glad it wasn’t a candle.”

Joke presents

Almost as bad as your uncle’s try hard jokes this Christmas is the overpriced book from Urban Outfitters about that cute dog with the oversized head.

“I’m trying really really hard to pretend that i’m fun, so I got you a book about poop and this candy g-string.”


Sarah says: “They’re probably quite neurotic and desperate to prove they’re a hoot. Let them have this one, it’s easier than them ever finding out how boring they are.”


They’ll ask everyday if you’re wearing it. It weighs you down as a permanent reminder of your relationship. Don’t take it off – they’ll only cry.


Sarah says: “They’re in this relationship in a serious way and you better get on board fast or get out of there even faster.”

Fancy electronics

Now you can never leave them, they’ve just given you a bloody iPad. The guilt is too much to get past, and you’d have to give it back while frantically wiping your internet history.


Sarah says: “They’ve clearly got some issues and are insecure about the relationship, they know you don’t give a shit but aren’t ready to face that fact.

“It screams: ‘I don’t care if you ignore me to play it, just please don’t let me be alone.'”


They care about you, but not enough to get you anything remotely nice, or useful, or that you’ll actually want and use.

The ridiculous amount of time it took to make the slightly grubby and ripped up scrapbook is supposed to scream “I love you” – but it’s just disguising the fact you’ll be over by Easter.


Sarah says: “Whilst they’re trying to be romantic, handmade gifts are usually out of necessity rather than love.