The first gift – it’s a social minefield.
You’ve just started dating and suddenly there’s a birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day on the horizon. Spend heaps, and you’ll freak him out; buy her a giant car washing sponge at the local service station on the way to her party, and you’ll have convinced her that her loser-magnet is in full working order.
So how do you get it right?
The secret to a great gift in an early-stage relationship is to make it personal. You don’t have to spend a fortune; the key is to show you partner you’re paying attention. Try these top tips to ensure your first-ever gift to your partner maintains that tricky balance between sweet and sappy.
- Don’t confuse gifts with love
The more you spend, the more she’ll love you, right? Ah – no. Extravagant displays of inappropriate gift-giving are embarrassing rather than cute, and you risk coming off as needy. Tom Cruise bought Katie Holmes a $30 million Gulfstream jet, and look how well that turned out.
- Make it thoughtful
Does your new partner love mountain biking, home brewing, French literature, death metal or ornaments in the shape of squirrels? If you base your gift around your partner’s interests, you’ll have a better chance of getting it right – or at least of being appreciated for your thoughtfulness.
- Be spontaneous
Take fish and chips to your partner’s favourite beach so you can watch the sunset together, deliver an awesome breakfast in bed before work, or make a reservation at a restaurant your new partner has always wanted to try. Your surprise will be remembered long after anything you could have covered in gift wrap would have been forgotten.
- Consider homemade
If she is obsessed with music, give her a playlist of the songs you’ve listened to together, plus an iTunes gift voucher. If he says he always loved lolly cake as a kid, consider making him a batch. And if you’re dating a partner who doesn’t appreciate Nigella Lawson’s awesome recipe for Andy’s Fairfield Granola, time for a rapid rethink of the relationship.
If you’re completely stuck for a gift idea, ask your partner’s friends or family for suggestions. They probably have no clue, but you’ll gain mega brownie points for your caring nature and advanced sucking-up abilities.
- Don’t be weird
Scarlett Johansson gave then-boyfriend Ryan Reynolds one of her extracted wisdom teeth, which she’d had encased in gold and set into a necklace. Just no.