Socially Single: Gift-giving quandary

Kelsey Foster

โ€œHelp! I’m done with my Christmas shopping except for one person. I have been out with a new woman who I like a lot but we’ve just gone out a few times. What is the best way to handle gift giving when you’ve just started dating someone but aren’t yet in a relationship with them?”

Oh wow, that is such a common question this time of year. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer but I think it is best to avoid an expensive gift and go with something thoughtful yet simple.

Think of something personal and meaningful that you could give. This is a great opportunity to show you’ve paid attention to what she’s shared with you. Maybe there is a book you’ve talked about or a favorite author, books make a very sweet gift. If you know her favorite color, a pretty scarf is a good idea.

A great bottle of wine with an invitation to share it together is a romantic gift. If she has a favorite manicure place, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi would be a nice surprise.

Anything you give should be well under the $50-100 range (or even lower) especially if you haven’t discussed exchanging gifts. Sometimes even a small $10 present that has a lot of thought behind it is way more exciting to receive than an impersonal but more expensive gift. So think meaningful over money spent.

You could totally forgo the gift giving and instead plan a holiday-themed date. Touring local light displays, going ice skating, even going together to complete last-minute shopping and then out for a meal are all ideas that would serve as great first-holiday-together memories.

What I definitely advise against is buying a full-blown extravagant gift at this point. As tempting as it might be when you are newly smitten at this time of year, overwhelming someone new with something grand is not a good idea. One year, a friend of mine was gifted a very nice silver necklace from Tiffany and Co. from a guy she’d been on two dates with in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It was a lovely gift but she felt so uncomfortable accepting it! Especially when she had nothing to give him in return. Awkward!

Bottom line: There will be plenty of time to give more expensive gifts in the coming months should the relationship develop. After all, Valentine’s Day is just a handful of weeks after Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kelsey Foster is a dating and relationship coach in Edmonds. She is released a new book titled Improve Your Love-itude available on Amazon. Find out more information about Kelsey on her website or join her on Facebook.

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