Holiday gift-giving can be a major source of stress for people in new relationships, and for good cause. If your present is too small, cheap or generic, they’ll think you don’t care. If your gift is too grand or expensive, you may scare him or her off.
If you just started dating, you need to strike the right balance between too-much and not-enough, while showing that you recognize your lover’s interests and passions. Play it cool but have fun with it!
• Gifts of Experience – Tickets to a music concert, art festival or sports competition will create a shared memory and strengthen your relationship. Win-win! Just make sure that he or she will like the outing even more than you – otherwise, it’s a gift to yourself.
• Treats – Indulge their interests with treats that they wouldn’t buy themselves. If he likes to read, don’t just pick up a book from Barnes and Noble. Instead, order a rare print from his favorite author online.
• Gourmet Food – Give a gourmet food basket, box of chocolates or special bottle of wine or liquor. You can enjoy the sensual pleasures together!
• Home Cooked Meal – Spend an easygoing evening together and whip up something tasty to eat. Enjoy a cozy night with dinner and a movie.
• Clothes – Buy the wrong size or the wrong style to say “I don’t know who you are” or “I want to change you” – not very romantic!
• Jewelry or Watch – Women like jewelry and men like nice watches – but you might scare off your date with these gifts, which are better suited for a serious relationship.
• Gift certificates – These boring, unromantic gifts are perfect for distant relatives or work buddies, but not for your new boyfriend or girlfriend.
• Candles, lotion, ties and picture frames – Impersonal and generic, these run-of-the-mill gifts express that you don’t care.
• Animals – Puppies and kittens look cute under the tree, but don’t force a major life commitment onto somebody else.