How to buy a present for your loved one that's actually for you

BUYING a present for your other half when you’d prefer to spend the money on yourself? Here’s how to give a gift you’ll later receive: 

Keep it communal

If you stick to buying your partner gifts for communal areas of the home, they’re yours without them ever realising. A stylish new kettle, a coat rack in the shape of a tree, a cocker spaniel puppy – all theoretically for you both, but chosen by you, for you, under cover of being thoughtful.

Sandwich it

Confuse your partner by sandwiching a big gift that’s clearly for you between two tiny gifts you know they’ll really get excited about. If you present them with a giant Chupa Chup and a thoughtfully-chosen book either side, they’ll be too distracted to stop and think ‘wait, an expresso machine? But I don’t drink coffee’.

Plant the seed

Gaslighting takes time and planning, so start a few weeks in advance with gentle reminders about how much they’ve always adored whatever you covet. Comments like ‘remember how much you love novelty table mats?’ or ‘stop banging on about how much you want a 75-inch Ultra HD TV’ repeated five times a day will do the work for you.

Something to do together

Yes, you’re a massive Foo Fighters fan and they’re not really bothered, but these tickets to see them in Birmingham are a romantic gesture so of course they’re pleased. And it’s not until June, so plenty of time for them to admit they don’t want to go so you can sell their ticket to your mate Tim.

Be patient

At first, you may have to pretend the gift is theirs. That bedside light might sit on your partner’s side of the bed for weeks or even months before you suggest a swap. But bide your time, waiting and watching, and it will return to its true owner.

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Ten jobs you told your careers officer you wanted to do vs what you're doing now

BACK at school, you told your careers officer what you wanted to do. Two decades later, this is what you’re doing. How did it work out? 

DREAM JOB: Pop star

ACTUAL JOB: Night shift at a distribution warehouse where sometimes you sing ‘You’re shit and you know you are’ over the tannoy when Macca’s reversed his forklift into the pallets again


ACTUAL JOB: Dog walker picking up approximately 48 shits per day


ACTUAL JOB: English teacher dealing with kids who can’t read and hate books and hate you


ACTUAL JOB: Ocado driver who sometimes on country roads pretends he’s in a low-flying plane

DREAM JOB: Travel agent

ACTUAL JOB: Travel agent, but for some reason you thought it would involve going on holiday all the time not being stuck in a small shop on the high street booking coach trips around the Yorkshire Dales for pensioners


ACTUAL JOB: Security guard at a disused former television factory, walking around the perimeter fence watching Ant Middleton bully Wes from Love Island on your phone


ACTUAL JOB: Brand consultant, which is nothing like being an artist but there’s shitloads more money in it

DREAM JOB: Footballer

ACTUAL JOB: Manager of five-a-side pitch having arguments with red-faced middle-aged men insisting they’ve got another ten minutes and kicking a ball at your head when your back’s turned

DREAM JOB: Film star

ACTUAL JOB: Telesales, which employs a lot of the same skills for far less money and far more career stability

DREAM JOB: Careers officer

ACTUAL JOB: Unemployed on income support, because nobody hires careers officers anymore because they’re f**king useless and have no transferable skills