Fathers are great, and one day a year, you can make time to honor that significant man in your life – your childhood protector and role model, your Dad.
But what about those other men who feature in your life, like your boyfriend, should you get your boyfriend a Father’s Day gift?
It is an interesting question, and the answer depends on the circumstances.
Bear in mind that Father’s Day gifts are for fathers or men who fill the father role in your life. Your Father can be different from the man who donated half your genes. And you can have more than one father figure in your life.
That said, your boyfriend is not your Father. Buying your boyfriend a Father’s Day gift because he is your boyfriend is not a good idea. However, there are a few scenarios where the question of buying a Father’s Day gift is hazy, and maybe you should buy a gift, or perhaps it would not be the right choice. The right decision depends on the details.
1. Divorced, Single Dad
You are in a relationship or friends with a man who is now divorced and has children. His children are likely going to want to buy him a Father’s Day gift, and the Ex might want anything to do with the process of getting her Ex a gift.
Assisting the kids to buy their Dad a Father’s Day gift is the decent thing to do. You are not purchasing the present, they are, even if you are funding and buying it for them. The younger the child, the more involved you will be with the process.
In this scenario, you are acting as an agent for the child buying the gift. You are not buying your male friend a Father’s Day gift from you because he is not your Dad.
2. Widowed, Single Dad
Losing your partner and the mother of your children is tough. It is hard on the kids when it comes to events like Father’s Day because they would have had their Mom to help them.
You are going to need diplomacy and compassion towards the children to be able to help them sort out a gift – depending on how old they are and how recently they lost their mother.
Your role in this situation is to enable the children to surprise their Dad on Father’s Day with a gift, card, and maybe a home-cooked meal. You are acting as the kids’ assistant, and it is not you buying the Father’s day gift.
3. Divorced or Widowed without Children
The definition of a father is a man with children. In the absence of any children, then neither you nor anyone else will be buying this man a Father’s Day gift.
It is a simple rule – children buy their Dad a gift on Father’s Day. If that relationship does not exist, then there is no reason for a Father’s Day gift.
If you want to give this man in your life a gift – then do so; you do not need to wait for a fixed date in the calendar.
But avoid giving him a gift on Father’s Day as he will probably become uncomfortable if he is not your Dad, Stepfather, Grandfather or Father of your children.
4. Married with Kids
The point of Father’s Day is for children to pay attention to their fathers on one day a year. It is a reasonable assumption that your married friend’s children will take care of the gift and card buying for Father’s Day.
The nature of your relationship is your private matter, and there are many unconventional friendships and family arrangements out in the world.
When it comes to Father’s Day, keep in mind that the gift-buying goes from child to father. That is the only relationship that counts in working out if you should be buying a gift on Father’s Day.
5. What About Your Ex?
As we go through life, we acquire many relationships that move into the past tense – ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. Father’s Day comes around, and what exactly is your position regarding your Ex.
Should you buy your Ex a Father’s Day gift? Strip the problem down to its fundamentals – is there a child involved?
If the Ex is your child’s father, then you are probably going to want to help your child buy a Father’s Day gift, assuming you are maintaining a decent relationship.
The role of a father in a child’s life is crucial, and if the man is not abusive towards his children, you will want to help that bond to flourish.
6. Do You Need to Buy Your Boyfriend a Father’s Day Gift?
Relationships are complicated; you have friends, intimate friends, acquaintances, and family.
In the past, there was a strict set of rules covering gift buying, courting, and general behavior. These rules varied from culture to culture. You got to know what the rules were at an early age, and there was no confusion.
Everything changes, and now you live in a connected world where relationships form cross boundaries and cultures. You no longer have a written rule book that tells you when to give flowers and gifts.
You connect with many people in many ways, and it can be confusing working out what is the socially accepted path, especially when it comes to something as personal as buying gifts.
You may be buying more than one man a Father’s Day gift and wondering if your boyfriend needs to be on that gift list. You do not want to embarrass yourself or your boyfriend by buying an inappropriate gift on Father’s Day.
Concentrate on the simple rule that a child gets their Father a gift on Father’s Day. You buy gifts for your Father or fathers, and you assist any children in your life to buy gifts for their Dad or dads.
In which case, you can focus on the types of gifts that are suitable for men such as tools or gadgets that relate to their interest, or edible gifts such as tea gifts or a bottle of wine.
Under no circumstances do you buy a gift, from you, for a man that does not play the father role in your life.
When you apply that rule, you can see your way through any scenario to the right answer. Then you avoid embarrassing yourself and the other significant men in your life.