If you count yourself among the ranks of gift-challenged men — men who find buying gifts for their gals stressful — one of the reasons is surely not knowing what to get her. Even the best gift-buyer runs into this dilemma on occasion, but for the gift-challenged it’s almost a given.

And how can it not be? Amazon alone offers over 100,000,000 products. And you’re expected to narrow that down to 1 or 2 that she’ll love? You’re like…

Man lying face-down on floor on store the words Too Many Choices

Well, let us suggest an approach that can help make that redonkulous task manageable.

What drives her? Emotion or logic?

Our brains are divided into 2 halves that work in concert. An overly simplistic view is to think of one half in control of our emotions, the other logic. At any given moment you’re using both sides, but not always equally. Sometimes emotions dominate, sometimes logic, and sometimes they’re perfectly balanced. It all depends on the situation.

However, every person has a “default” state. That is to say, we have a natural balance of the two. Some people are more emotional/logical by nature. Think of it on a scale of 100. A person’s natural balance might be 55/45 emotion/logic.

Balance scale with Heart on one side, a Brain on the other

So what is your lady’s default state? Is she more emotional, logical, or balanced? Is she 60/40 emotion/logic? 40/60? 50/50? Whatever her natural balance, the good news is it can really help you when picking out what type of gift to buy because gifts kind of fall onto a spectrum that match our brain halves.

Hedonic vs Utilitarian

Products can be characterized by one of two types… Hedonic or Utilitarian.

Hedonic means relating to pleasure or emotional gratification.

Utilitarian means relating to usefulness.

So Hedonic maps to emotions, Utilitarian… logic. Like this:

spectrum with emotion/hedonic on one end, logic/utilitarian on the other

When you go to pick your lady a gift, it will likely be either hedonic — meaning it appeals to her emotions (desire, beauty, fun), or it will be utilitarian — meaning it will be something useful that fills a need.

Prime examples, jewelry is hedonic, a set of frying pans is utilitarian.

So back to the original question, what is your lady’s default state? Let’s use that as a guide for gift buying. If she is 80/20, you should probably buy her a gift that is high on the hedonic scale, like jewelry or a day at the spa. If she’s the opposite (20/80), get her something that she needs and will use frequently, like headphones or running shoes.

Here are some common gifts in each category:

Hedonic Products Utilitarian Products







Night Out

Technology (tablet, headphones)

Cooking gear



Gift Card

Fitness equipment/membership

Hair/Beauty products


Notice Clothing/Shoes and Purse are in both. In fact all products to some extent are a combination of both appealing AND useful. Just like someone might be 50/50 emotion/logic, a product might be 50/50 hedonic/utilitarian. Or 90/10 hedonic/utilitarian for something like jewelry.

The point is, if you don’t know what to buy your lady, a good place to start is to look at types of gifts that match her natural emotion/logic balance as close as possible.

To borrow from the late, great John Candy… you’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with your butt cheeks than finding her the perfect gift out of the hundreds of millions out there, but by choosing the right type of gift, you can improve your chances of making her happy.

If you like this tip and want more ideas, signing up for Yacho is a no brainer, and it’s FREE. We’ll not only give you ideas on how to be the most awesomest partner ever, we’ll kick it up a notch by helping you pick out great gifts for all her special days, like her birthday or your anniversary. Did we mention it’s FREE?

Vive la revolution