You have just started dating someone, it has been a whole month! You couldn’t be happier with your choice, and then, you find out that the following week is their birthday (at this point, you are half willing to break it off, in order to not deal with this awkward situation). Now, you really like this guy and this puts you in a conundrum; it is too soon to buy him something really expensive, but you can’t not get him anything at all….
Birthdays, special occasions, graduations, and all other ‘present giving’ situations are very pressuring when you first start dating someone new (and for some people, until they figure out that that’s what his/her best friend is for).
Presents, like ALL things, when you are first starting out, should build up; start from small and inexpensive and get better over time. If you set the bar too high at the beginning, you will find that you have to try harder and harder to find better gifts for each other.
So how does one navigate this tricky minefield of early-dating gifts?
Rules for Bestowing Gifts:
1. Your newly acquired male companion has a birthday! Take him out for drinks. Cook/take him out for a nice dinner (not five starts; a veggie burger and a few beers will do). Buy a huge tub of chocolate ice cream and download his favorite film (spend a quiet night at home together; a three-hour John Travolta marathon is a small price to pay).
These things are fun, cheep and show that you care (they also mean you don’t have to mortgage your car in order to pay for them…)
2. It’s your birthday! Resist the temptation to accept fancy things! Suggest an evening at home together, or a nice dinner. Tell him flowers are quite enough! (Don’t do this if, like me, you are highly allergic to anything with pollen).
Unless you are dating the man for his money, you are not in it for the spoils! So, in the beginning, things should be symbolic, rather than shiny. (Only cake icing ladies!)
3. If a situation like a holiday arises, and you decide to exchange gifts; choose a sum, that you are both comfortable with, and stick to the budget.
4. Presents are a great way to show the other person that you listen and pay attention to their likes and dislikes. (This of course means that you need to pay attention to such things).
Learn to do stuff for, and with each other, that doesn’t cost a fortune