Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Penelope Young.
Many new couples are concerned about dating and gift giving. What’s the proper gift giving etiquette for various relationship stages?
While it’s a delicate balance, it’s important to show each other how you feel without over/under doing it. Depending on your relationship status and other variables, the point of giving your partner a gift is to show how much you care/love about them while strengthening your bond. It’s the thought that counts no matter what stage you’re at.
Give them a gift that makes the right impression. Not the wrong one. Although you don’t want to go to big or to small, you also don’t want to give them something like the holiday gag gift you received at your Christmas office party. Good gift giving requires time, preparation and thought. You want your gift to be meaningful. Take the time to brainstorm.
New or First Date Gift Ideas
Low/no pressure gifts are ideal for meeting someone new. While giving a gift on your first date is by no means required, it’s a nice way to show that you’re excited to meet and get to know him/her. Stick to things that are inexpensive but thoughtful. Stay away from big or over-extravagant gifts. Think of something fun and exciting you can do together. For example – Buy a banana split to share on your first date, or share Miracle Berry tablets to make everything taste sweet (including lemons or hot sauce) as a fun experiment. Try to only spend between $15-30.
Think of something you can both enjoy. Try not to think of anything too personal until you get to know them better. Movie tickets or a gift certificate to his/her favorite bar or restaurant can easily be transitioned to another date.
Add a level of intimacy and texture to your relationship by introducing something slightly personal. If you know they’d like some new grill accessories or a pair of sleek wine glasses they’ve been talking about then go for it! Books can also be a nice way to let someone know you’ve been paying attention. (Only go this route if you know exactly what they’d want and haven’t read already.) Flowers and chocolate are also nice gestures. Make sure nothing is pre-wrapped or pre-arranged from the grocery store. Edible creations can also be fun.
If you decide to go with flowers, make sure you spend some time at the flower shop picking out your own arrangement or better yet, save some money by utilizing nature and picking wildflowers. DON’T order flowers or other various gifts only to have them delivered by someone else with a note in another person’s handwriting.
I Love You/Facebook Official
Do something together to deepen your connection. Think a couples massage or inexpensive jewelry (NO rings – don’t scare the person off by jumping on the marriage band wagon). Start by letting your sentimental guard down. Start with something sweet, and thoughtful like a small necklace with her first initial is a fail proof gift idea.
Think of something to commemorate your special occasion with engraved jewelry or a mini-vacation. Even a couple’s portrait would be a great gift at this stage in your relationship. Think of ways to show your better half that you love them without overdoing it.
Starting your lives together can be a fun and exciting phase but it can also be a scary one. Start thinking of dual presents that go hand-in-hand with spending your lives together. Think matching his/her bicycles, camping chairs, sleeping bags, etc. Summertime? – A hammock is something you can add to the appeal of your backyard for romantic cloud/star gazing, snuggle time.
While it’s important to keep the passion alive, especially if you’ve been married a while, think romantically. Steer clear of things like video games or cooking utensils. Instead, seduce him/her and surprise your spouse with a candlelit, carpet picnic for a private winetasting along with edible creations like chocolate covered strawberries.
While it’s common to talk about the little things that matter in relationships; gifts and other material goods count but not as much as you think they do. DON’T over think it. It’s also about how you love the other person that makes your gift worth giving. Love letters, mixed CD’s or simple reminders (I love you’s) throughout the day are also meaningful gifts that will make your partner shine. Take the time to be a gentleman and open the door for your lady (or) care for your man by putting the game on and handing him a beer at the end of a stressful day.
Penelope Young is a freelance writer & web coordinator. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time while taking life in stride, and learning to live, laugh, and love. Her favorite hobbies include: exploring the great outdoors, hot yoga, and cliff jumping/swimming on hot summer days…