When you’re starting a new relationship with someone, there are all kinds of questions and milestones you’re not sure how to handle. One example is gift giving. This makes navigating the holidays and birthdays and other special occasions a little stressful. Are you going to exchange gifts? How much is too much? How much isn’t enough? Will you set a dollar limit? What does he even want?
No matter what, the first few times you exchange gifts is going to be a little nerve-wracking, but there are a few general guidelines you can use to make it easier.
Sorry, but this is quite literally the first step in figuring anything out in a new relationship. When you’re approaching your first gift giving occasion, you need to have a chat with your new significant other to determine the expectations for gifts. If the holidays are looming, then ask your boyfriend if he wants to exchange gifts, and if he does, ask if he wants to set a dollar limit on it. Or even better, talk with him about doing creative gifts for each other instead of spending a lot of money. The heartfelt gifts are always way more special, anyway.
After you’ve discussed your expectations for gift giving as a couple, you can get to the fun stuff: GIFT IDEAS. Whether you’re trying to come up with birthday gifts for him or figuring out what to get your boyfriend for Christmas, the best way to create some kind of vision is by brainstorming. Write down every possible gift idea you have: things he’s mentioned he wants, things you know he needs, and any thoughtful gift that would mean a lot (like a picture of the two of you).
When you see all of these things written out together, you’ll have an easier time determining which ones are best for the occasion. Above all, make sure you’re thinking of things he’d like not things you want him to like — trying to change someone in a new relationship is not only futile, but also damning.
3. Consider Your Level of Commitment
Not to be a Debbie downer, but you need to think about the stage of your new relationship and the longevity you expect from it when deciding what to give him. Is this still super fresh and new or are you already seeing a break up in the near future? Even if you think the relationship has promise, you don’t want to come out of the gate at 100 mph with a $500 gift. Opt for something smaller and find a gift that won’t make him uncomfortable in terms of cost but will still show that you care and listen. For example, if he loves a certain superhero, try to find something that relates to that, like a comic or movie or something.
If your relationship is approaching the serious stage and you’re both emotionally attached, then consider a gift with a lot of sentimental value. Framed pictures of the two of you, a handmade gift with a sweet note, or a list of the things you like about him are all great options that show you care a whole lot. (But again, these sentimental gifts can be a bit much for those brand spanking new relationships.)
4. Honor the Agreements You Made
It’s easy to get caught up in gift giving for someone you care a lot about, but you have to make sure you’re staying within the agreed upon price limits and any other specifics (like if you both agreed to give a gift that you made instead of purchased). If this new relationship is going to last, then you’ll have plenty of time to buy all of those other gift ideas for future holidays and birthdays.