By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 23rd, 2021

In theory, giving someone a gift should make them like you and want you back, right? Not always. Today I’m going to take you through what happens if you give your ex a gift.

If you’ve read any of my articles or seen my videos, you might know where this is going…

Spoiler alert: I am NOT the biggest fan of giving gifts to get your ex. In fact, I honestly think it can further harm your chances rather than helping.


Well, no ex is going to base their decision of getting back to you on the gifts you give them (unless the reason for your breakup was bad gift-giving).

The gift shows no real change in your personality, so why would they take you back? And if something doesn’t help you get them back, what’s the point in wasting money?

I still want to dig deeper, though, because I’ve seen clients in certain situations where they’re convinced that giving their ex a gift will make things better, either because of social customs or unrealistic expectations.

I’m going to address all those situations and dispel them with logical reasoning as to why gift-giving is more harmful than helpful in all of them.

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Situation # 1: Holidays

Holidays like Christmas, birthdays, or even Valentine’s day make people especially volatile after a breakup because they miss their exes and push themselves to send gifts to prove themselves. Social customs dictate giving gifts to people who matter to you, so it’s not outlandish to want to include your ex on that list.

However, those gifts are often misdirected because they’re sent to make you feel better instead of your ex.

After breakups, women want to make themselves feel better, and one of the ways to do this is to give a great gift to their ex that makes him feel better, and that, in turn, makes them feel better.

You really shouldn’t be giving someone a gift if it’s all about making YOU feel better.

It doesn’t always have to be about you and using your ex to make yourself feel better that way means your intentions for the gift were not pure.

People often use holidays as excuses to make themselves feel better this way but for the most part all that does is let your ex know that you are still obsessing over them.

That can feed their ego and drive them further away from you, which is not what you want.

Situation # 2: Giving An Ex A Gift During No Contact

If you’re reading this, you probably know that I’m a huge proponent of the no contact rule after a breakup, regardless of what outcome you want. Hitting the reset button is an excellent idea if you want your ex back or if you just genuinely need space to move on.

The no contact rule requires you to ignore your ex for a period of 21-45 days completely.

Most of my clients find it extremely difficult to abide by the no contact period fully, so they’re always looking for loopholes and ways to communicate with their ex. In fact, we estimate that almost 80% of everyone trying the no contact rule will break it at some point.

Why do people keep breaking the rule, despite its success? Because no one wants to be forgotten. People who want their exes back think that their ex might forget them and move on during the no contact period.

How do people cope with this fear of being forgotten? They send a gift to their ex. A gift doesn’t need to be huge; it can be a simple card or flower bouquet too. But what does sending a gift during the no contact rule do?

All it ends up doing is undermining all the built-up tension from the no contact rule, and this premature lapse makes it that much more difficult to see fruitful results from the no contact rule. It’s basically self-sabotaging your journey of making your ex want you back.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Situation # 3: What Happens If You Give Your Ex A Gift When The Two Of You Are “Vibing?”

So, you’re talking again and getting that spark back, seems like a good time to send a token of appreciation, right? Well, your ex will not make the decision to take you back because of a gift.

In reality, they might see the gift as more of a love “bribe,” and it could put them off or they could just take you for granted.

An example from one of my clients is extremely relevant here, and this one isn’t a success story.

Let’s call this client Ashley for the sake of simplicity. Ashley had just been through a devastating breakup, so she started following my no contact rule, and it was working really well.

She was back in contact with her ex, and they were exchanging “I miss yous” regularly.

They even made it to the in-person interaction stage, where they started seeing each other again after the no contact rule and building enough interaction through text.

Here’s where it started going downhill.

Her ex was a musician who was super into rock and roll, so Ashley thought it’d be a great idea to get him a $500 guitar.

He loved it so much that they ended up sleeping together. Sounds great, right? Well, this story ended with him disappearing with the guitar after they slept together.

Why would he do that? Simple. This was a man who knew that he could easily get her back and take advantage of her as much as he wanted. He even had the audacity to reach out to her after a month of ghosting her for a booty call!

So, did the $500 guitar help her in getting him back? NO. If anything, it probably primed him to take advantage of his kindness.

A man does not deserve a reward for breaking up with you.

Think of a pet who’s not house trained. Do you give them treats for peeing all over your new carpet? Of course not. But why is that? Well, because you don’t want to reward and reinforce negative behavior.

Instead, you discipline your pet until it knows what to do.

The same way, your ex needs to EARN the right to be in your good graces again.

He will never try to do that or change himself if you keep showering him with presents. Building attraction and feelings back up in an organic way is almost always more powerful than giving someone a gift by itself.


Giving your ex a gift is like trying to take a shortcut to get them back but ask yourself this: do you really want someone who just takes you back for a gift? Probably not. Besides, most people do not take gifts into account when deciding whether to get back with their exes or not.

You’re better off trying to reestablish a connection based on open communication instead of trying to ply someone with gifts.

Be particularly careful about giving gifts in these situations:

Holidays like birthdays and Christmas – because it could be about making you feel better instead of them.

During the no contact rule – because it resets your clock and reduces your chances of success.

When you’ve established contact, and things are looking good, because your ex could take you for granted and take advantage of you.

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20 thoughts on “Should You Give Your Ex A Gift?”

  1. Milo

    January 24, 2024 at 6:47 am

    Hi re valentines day I will be coming out of no contact should I get her a rose to break the ice with a fearful avoidant

    1. Coach Shaunna

      January 25, 2024 at 10:15 pm

      Hi Milo, no if your NC ends the week of Valentines – extend for an extra 5 days.

  2. Christine.

    January 14, 2024 at 6:55 am

    Thank u so much for the information.. I was just bout to buy my ex boyfriend a gift for his upcoming birthday,.. and wanted to confirm if it’s OK to buy him a gift or I’m acting desperate..but suddenly ive searched and bumped into this message and it has really open my eyes and see what a mistake I was about to do..Thank u.

    1. Coach Shaunna

      February 10, 2024 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Christine, so glad you seen this article first! Hope your ex recovery is going well!

  3. Frances

    December 23, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for writing something worth reading:)

  4. Christine Osborne

    June 11, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    My boyfriend’s ex is using her daughter to try to get him back. She’ll tell him the daughter wants to see him, so he’ll go and see her. Last night they had dinner and she gave him a birthday gift. I’m not okay with this. Am I just being paranoid?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 15, 2022 at 5:29 pm

      Hey Christine, it sounds as if there is possibly some “being there method” being used. However, you cannot show you have an issue with the mother of his child as you will not have an easy relationship as she is going to be a CONSTANT in his life and there is no option about this.

  5. Clarissa

    March 27, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I broke up with my ex December 22nd and still have his Christmas gift saved since it is a custom gift of a video game he loves. It’s been 3months since the breakup and we have talked here and there but I am not sure if I should save the gift for later or give it to him soon? I also havent given items back to him that are his yet.

  6. France

    December 17, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Just needed help. Me and my ex are already 20 days in a breakup i just wanted to give my last gift as truly saying goodbye. Is it okay?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 17, 2021 at 8:49 pm

      Not if you want to use this program to get your ex back, no do not give the gifts to him.

  7. Ann

    October 16, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    My ex boyfriend we were in a pause about a month, then had a mutual breaking up. We always had a good relationship for over two and half years, but no marriage has been the problem. He was allowing me to borrow his car and I gave it back, but a couple times I had to communicate, because of the car. It’s over a month the no contact, I gave him a gift, btw are second breakup. I’m like is there any hope for me? Honestly is appreciated.

  8. Vanessa

    April 8, 2021 at 1:31 am

    My ex broke up with me. I tried to get him back but I did it all wrong I called everyday texted and even went looking for him at the beginning he was nice then later he got nasty and told me many times very upset to stop. I haven’t look for him since middle of last most. His birthday is middle of this month and want to send him something. All I want is for him to like me back and have me still as a friend at least. I love him deeply and it hurts me that he doesn’t want me in his life anymore.

  9. Caroline

    January 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    My ex who broke up with me sent me a Christmas gift that he’d bought pre-breakup. I’m 10 days into NC, should I respond and send him a text to say thank you?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 8, 2021 at 10:46 pm

      You can reach out to thank him for the gift, but if you are in a no contact for 30 days then you need to avoid speaking with him about anything else

  10. Michaela

    December 29, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    So In my case it’s the other way round.
    My ex broke up with me mid September after 6 years and sent me a Christmas gift
    It was a photo made into a puzzle he got from my Facebook with my favourite dog that I work with, he gave the present to my flat mate.
    Is this a guilty present?
    I really do not understand

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 15, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Michaela, if you want this ex back – this could have been his attempt of breaking the ice to get a conversation started again.

  11. Aaminah patel

    November 25, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    I was wondering if i can give my ex boyfriend a necklace to rekindle what we had.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 11, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Aaminah, no this is not going to rekindle your relationship – you need to follow the program

  12. cha os

    June 29, 2020 at 11:42 am

    my girlfriend ask me to be as a friend because of her mother. We are lesbian actually and her mother was worried about her if she is not gonna married. I love her so much and i would not leave her untill we grow old. But maybe her mom does not trust me anyway.. i still want to be with her and untill now im not leaving her and we still stay in the same room but just as a friend.. what should i do to win her back

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 3, 2020 at 11:43 pm

      Hey, so if she is not willing to stand up for herself to her mother then I suggest you find somewhere else to live and start following the program starting with a No Contact