The holidays are upon us, which means lots of shopping to get the perfect gifts for friends and family. But there is someone else in your life who you are not sure whether you should add to your list. Should you get something for the person you’ve been dating?
The short answer is: it depends. It depends on where you are in your relationship and where things might be going. Here are some tips below to determine if this year, you’ll play Santa for that special person in your life, and also some gift ideas.
You’ve Only Been On a Few Dates: No
This relationship is still too casual for you to be giving a gift. Maybe you can go do something Christmas-y together, like go ice skating or to a work Christmas party. But don’t feel obligated to get your date something. If you do feel like you should at least give something, a thoughtful card will do, maybe even with a $5 Starbucks gift card inside.
Your Date Got You Something: Yes
Of course, no matter where you are in your relationship, if your date gets you something, then you should definitely get something in return. What did they give you? Try to give something in return that is about the same price and tone (silly, romantic, practical). For example, if your date got you a gift card to your favorite store, return the favor. But what if your date gets you something super expensive and maybe a little… above your relationship level? Talk about how you weren’t expecting such an elaborate gift, and then offer something appropriate as a return gift.
You’ve Both Decided to Give Each Other Gifts: Yes
This one is obvious. Now, what to get your date? Your safe bets are a bottle of wine, a gift card, tickets to an event, a book, a box of fancy chocolates, some funky socks, a t-shirt, etc. If you want to get more personal, really pay attention to the things your date talks about the most and their passions in life. If your date loves to play the piano, you might get some sheet music for your date to play. If your date loves art, you could purchase a series of art lessons.
Your Date Doesn’t Celebrate the Holidays: No
If your date is very against the holidays, then skip the gift giving for now. Of course, this will change if your date gets you something. Casually bring up gift giving to find out if your date does it; their reaction will tell you whether or not you need to pursue it.
You’ve Said “I Love You”: Yes
If you’ve exchanged the “I love you” or are on that level of your relationship, then you’re both committed and it’s obvious you should exchange gifts. If you’re at this point of your relationship, you could even ask them what they might want as a gift. But as a general rule, go for something more romantic and expensive if things are this serious. This could mean a piece of jewelry, a weekend away, cologne, etc.