boyfriend

Tis the Season: What to get your Guy for Christmas

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AMMA

It’s the holiday season… and the spirit of giving is upon us. I for one, know this can be a supremely stressful time for buying gifts… especially buying for guys. I feel like the world wants us to believe they are super simple and that meeting basic needs will prove satisfying enough for the holidays— not the case when you are dating a man whose fashion sense precedes him… or who insists he wants nothing (because he already has… everything.)

So in these harrowing moments, when your back is against the wall— what does one give to one’s man that is not insulting but won’t break the pocket (see Kim Kardashian’s gift to Kanye… #girlsabr3)

Here is what we believe to be suitable gifts from the heart that are genuine and will remind him daily of what an insanely awesome girl you are  and if he were to ever leave or forsake you it would be God’s wrath and not yours he should be worried about. Sorry. Crazy Person Moment.

1. Signature Apparel

So I dated a guy who dressed super well. Better than I did. I can admit this now.

Buying him things was like torture.

However, I figured out that if I got him something that no one else could get him but was essentially exactly like everything else in his closet, I would be #winning in the gift giving department.

I really like Ohema Ohene’s line of clothing items (and they’ve recently opened a shop in East Legon!—no they did not ask for an endorsement—yes I am doing this from my heart). There are some really bold pieces but also more subtle ones for those guys that don’t want to say much with what they’re wearing— that sort of casual appeal that we have all come to know and love.

CARDIINSTBLK

work and play come together effortlessly!

Afua: I won’t lie, I’m not so sure how much this is my cup of tea nor the type of guy I’m into’s either, BUT if this is your man’s swag, definitely run with it.

2. Tech— Accessories.

Look… I haven’t yet reached the Michelle O. level of dropping thousands of dollars on the newest Bose speakers, but I can definitely get you a boss iPad cover that lets all your friends, family and enemies know that you mean business. This is especially clutch because everyone else sees how great you are and it’s important during the season of giving that you spread your cheer (and style savvy) to all of his compatriots.

Plus, it’s actually handy.

(These could totally be made in Bolga… and then inscribed!)

Afua: I really like Amma’s idea of personalizing gifts. I once got a guy a money clip with his initials engraved on it… and I definitely came up on top that year. I am also a fan of patronizing the north of Ghana, so this gift idea is winning all around. 

3. Musical Compilation

This might sound a bit cheesy, but I once did a nice little compilation of songs that were meaningful in our relationship and it was a hit. Now I am NOT suggesting this gift be given as a standalone… as the sentimentality of it won’t compensate for it being sort of cheap and seemingly ad- hoc… but it’s a great complimentary gift. And there are so many cute little ways to package it now.

music is the language of love they say…

Afua: Personally I don’t see the problem with this being a standalone gift… it sure is better than just a ‘cake’ to me, *shrug*

AFUA

When Amma told me she wanted to do a holiday special on what to get your man for the holidays, I thought it was so appropriate. In our (Ghanaian) culture, where an appropriate present for your man on his birthday is a cake, I often wonder if women get creative with their gift giving, because there are some neat things out there… things you can really dress up or make as chill as you want, depending on the message you want to send.

First things, first. Kaftan.

kaftanAmma and I share many similarities in life, but our love for men in Kaftan stands above all most others.  I’m not one to call myself a fashionista, nor do I fuss about my any man’s clothing, but there is absolutely nothing like a man in Kaftan. Nothing. The way God designed our traditional dress to bring out all the qualities of sexiness, swag, masculinity (indeed everything a woman needs to feel about her man), it’s absolutely mind boggling. Kaftan has the ability to upgrade any man’s status instantaneously- Amma’s words, which I totally agree with. Long sleeve, short sleeve, shirt-level, knee-length or to the ankle, royal blue, grey, gold, take your pick… and don’t let it be white…wooowee *le sigh* Ok, I’m done. 🙂 Now that I’ve clearly stated how this gift is obviously for my benefit, let’s get into how it is a suitable gift for your man. It’s practical: other than men needing clothes, it is a great outfit for weddings, parties, and even everyday wear (you can get away with a lot). And he’ll definitely be getting some love action from you, if you’re anything like us.

Something I just thought of that would be really sexy would be if you engrave a naughty cute little message on the inside of the shirt or trousers… this is the beauty of getting something made in Ghana, you can be creative… 🙂

Amma: AGREED! *swoooon* Honestly, in the hierarchy of men’s apparel… white tee and cargo at number 4, suit and tie at number 3 and kaftans tied at number 1… 

2. Krachi Bowties.1016226_484262954987086_1398472065_n

It’s interesting how they say a well tailored suit to a woman is as lingerie to a man, but my next pick is just one aspect of the suit: The bowtie. I don’t think this is something that Amma vibes with as much as I do, however I like a man in a bowtie, and if your man is that kind of man that rocks bowties, do it! It’s a clean simple gift, and we’ve found some 8ad770ac987211e2984822000a1f9707_7really nice ones at Krachi, a local company just taking off which makes local print (and other patterned) bowties. The company is just about to launch a new line of bowties so watch out for that!

Amma: I am not one for recommending neck wear for guys, largely because I think it’s really easy and sort of unexciting. But I love Krachi ties… so if you are going to make this your move, I’d say make it one that matters by getting something that stands out.


3. A Weekend Gateway

I think more creative gifts like creating a playlist or going on weekend getaways are actually the best types of gifts. Even though women probably prefer these types of gifts more… I’ll admit I once had my guy promise to take me on a weekend trip if I lost a bet we had going… I still think a man would really enjoy you putting together a nice weekend getaway for the two of you- And by putting together, I mean planning, PAYING, driving, etc. I’m not sure what man wouldn’t turn down fine dining… quality time together… and, couple massages. Done. Even though it’s been in small intervals, Ghana has stepped up it’s tourism game; I just returned from a really nice wedding in Aburi, so I can say for a fact that you don’t have to look far for some really nice (long) weekend getaway spots. See some suggestions below!

Hillburi

Beige Village

The Royal Senchi

Sisimbo Beach Resort

Brenu Beach Resort

Sankofa Beach House

Amma: I loved Beige Village… and I definitely think it’s a cool chill spot for guys to get away and hang around without prostitutes and debauchery distractions. Golf… massages… buffet meals and excellent service. Annnnd all the OG’s go out there to relax (there’s this great pic of Amoabeng and co. as a reminder, haha)… so obviously their spirit of OGness will rub off on him. Honestly… everyone wins!

Clearly this list isn’t exhaustive, similar to our date spots in Accra post (look out for part 2 of that soon btw!), however this is a decent list to get you coming out on top this gift-giving season. So a Merry Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours, and we’ll see you in the new year for more ramblings!

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Let’s Not Complicate Things With Labels

A friend and I were chatting the other day, and he was amazed at the differences between dating in the US and in Ghana. ‘Dating in Ghana is simple’, he said. I beg to differ on that statement (particularly as more Ghanaians who have lived a Western-style of life move back), but where he was coming from was understandable. Our conversation had begun with us talking about a mutual friend, and me telling him that me and our mutual friend had dated in the past. ‘Oh, really? We’re not the closest of friends, but I think I would have known if he had a girlfriend.’ Clearly, I had to revise my statement: ‘I never said I was his girlfriend, I said we dated.’

He turned over to me with confusion, ‘I don’t understand.’ From that, I knew that our definitions were way off so I went on to explain what I refer to as dating. ‘Mr. x and I hung out a decent amount, but we weren’t exclusive.’ ‘So the difference between dating and going out is exclusivity?’ <- errmmm yes, and no. You can be dating exclusively (ie. neither party is seeing anyone else in that capacity), however if you haven’t had a discussion about being exclusive, then you’re not in a relationship. It’s not something that just happens, you both have to know what kind of relationship you are in. My friend turned over to me still in disbelief. Honestly was this something he’d never heard before?! ‘Is this like an American thing?’ …I don’t think so. In fact, I know it’s not an ‘American’ thing because I dated this guy IN Ghana. But this got me thinking, have we complicated the simplicity of ‘boy meets girl (or girl meets boy), they like each other’s company and get along really well, and they enter into an exclusive relationship’? I didn’t go into more detail with my friend, because I don’t think he could have handled me defining other dating terms like ‘talking’, ‘seeing each other’, ‘friends with benefits’ (see HERE for a more comprehensive dating terms list).  I wanted to explore this issue with another friend of mine, a female living in South Africa. Although she wasn’t as dumbfounded at the idea of dating, she did say that in her experience things are much simpler in Africa, “to me, after we’ve gone on about 3 dates, I’m considering you my boyfriend.” I laughed at that, ‘That’s presumptuous much. I’ve dated guys for over a year without ever considering them my boyfriend.’ ‘Ya, but why would you continue to see someone for a long period of time without being exclusive.’ …I had to think about it, I’ve really never had to explain this concept to someone before:

“Dating can be less messy/stressful/time-consuming/ and just less work than being in a real relationship, and perhaps you’re not ready for such a commitment, or the timing is off, or you live in different cities, but you both still like spending time with each other. I had to add a cautionary statement with my explanation: dating can also be MORE messy/stressful/time-consuming/ and generally more work than being in a committed relationship. It’s the best of both worlds (no commitment, but still companionship) when both parties are fully aware of what is going on. And it gives you a chance to get to know other people in the same way (yes, people do date multiple people at the same time).”

Of course at some point casual dating stops- it’s not cute to be dating multiple people after a certain age (you fill in the blank when that is). But how do you know when you need to stop? How do you know when you’re being too picky? Well according to Peter Todd, a Professor of Informatics and Cognitive Science*:

“In the face of this conundrum, the best strategy for picking a mate is to date enough people to establish some baseline standards, then settle down with the next person you meet who exceeds the bar.”

In Todd’s research, he found 12 to be that magic number when it comes to finding out what you want in a relationship. 12. Is that high? Low? And what if you generally don’t date much? Todd says that, “After dating 12 people, most people have enough information to determine what qualities they’re looking for in a long-term partner. Statistically speaking, that’s the point when people who want to settle down should basically end their search and settle with the next person they date who meets (or surpasses!) these expectations.” Sometimes too much choice can be a negative thing, so:

  • If you’ve dated fewer than 12 people, feel free to keep looking (AND dating)
  • If you’ve dated, say, 30 people, you’re probably being too picky

I don’t know about this science to figure out the right number of relationships situationships you need to be in before knowing when it’s time to bow out of the game (the author himself states, “some people find [love] on their first try, while others find it on their fourth marriage”); however, at least this provides some type of ‘numerical baseline’, eh?

So what’s your dating/relationship number? And what are your thoughts about my take on ‘dating’ on African vs. Western terms?

*ARTICLE