Every year, once we get past Thanksgiving and Black-Eye Friday and the Christmas Shopping Season officially begins, young men around the world start to panic as they wonder: Do you go with the practical or the romantic?
The sentimental or the sexual? How do you thread the needle when it feels like every gift is practically soaked in unspoken messages about commitment, intent and expectations?
The trickiest part of holiday shopping for a young or entirely unofficial relationship is understanding the relationship between the length and type of your relationship and the budget for the gift. After all, no matter how much we try to tell ourselves that a gift is just a gift, what you give to your sweetie carries an intrinsic message about how you feel about them and your relationship.
One of my best friends once got a ring for Christmas from her boyfriend. It screamed neediness and serious over-attachment.
Sometimes it was an innocent mistake. Sometimes we legitimately were trying to bowl them over and effectively buy their affections. At worst… well, it can be the incident that causes your honey to start rethinking how they feel about you.
Maybe a home cooked dinner and a good bottle of wine. Anything more substantial than, say, a book by her favorite author is going to be a bit much.
Giving something practical like, say, cookware, implies a more committed relationship than you actually have. Concert tickets, especially for a band she likes, are a great idea here. This is the honeymoon period — sweet and sappy gifts are going to be the most appreciated.
One of your best bets is something that you can do together. This is also a good time to prowl through Amazon wishlists for inspiration. You should have a pretty solid idea of what your sweetie is into and is appropriate. In long term relationships, taking time to be romantic and remind your honey that you care is a big part of relationship maintenance.
And with that in mind:.
One of the keys to picking the perfect gift is keep her personality and interests in mind. This means being willing to do the research when it comes to what somebody who engages in her hobbies might really love.
To give one example: She was a devoted cook and who read William-Sonoma catalogs the way other people watch porn. He, on the other hand, could barely boil water without setting off the smoke alarm.
It was perfectly balanced and razor-sharp, with just the right amount of heft while still being sized for her hand… and it was possibly the greatest thing he could have gotten her. It said that while he may not have quite understood her love of cooking, he was willing to do the footwork to find something that she would really appreciate instead of trusting to luck or just buying something because the clerk behind the counter told him would be good.
The best way to avoid that issue? Want to look like a genius?
Put a cheat sheet together. If you have a smartphone then you have the ultimate tool at your fingertips: If you want to go the extra mile, then include the following information:.
She loves Game of Thrones but has been waiting for a sale before getting the Blu-Rays? Goes on the list.
She likes a particular brand of accessories? She thinks certain tops just never work on her? Sometimes you are just going to draw a blank.
Photos are especially good… but you want to go the extra mile? Do something different with them. There are several services online that print photos in many different media, including canvas, aluminum, wood or even on chocolate.
A simple portrait of your sweetie dressed as Sherlock, a cartoon of them with the Doctor, even just a picture of a smirking Damon Salvatore… no matter what, it will be utterly unique to them and incredibly special. There are literally thousands of amazing artists on DeviantArt who take commissions.
Price is going to vary by size, complexity and the popularity of the artist, so be sure to do some research first. One friend took his girlfriend to a wine-and-chocolate tasting event led by a local celebrity chef, combining various vintages and wines with artisanal chocolates.
When plugged in, it became a virtual scrapbook of their relationship together. It was very simple and incredibly heartfelt. She thought it was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for her. True, trying to figure out what to get your sweetie for Christmas, her birthday or any other holiday can be stressful.