Starting a new relationship is fun and exciting! But when a gift-giving occasion pops up, you can suddenly find yourself in a panic. Not to worry!
Here are few tips and tricks for buying a present your boyfriend, and some items you should certainly avoid.
First off, know where you stand in the relationship. Make sure you have defined the relationship before you assume that you have one. Unfortunately, sometimes people are on totally different pages and this can be emotionally difficult for both people.
Generally, you want your gift to be fun and exciting. Until you build that close bond, you’ll want to focus on “want” gifts rather than “need” gifts. You want your gift to say, “This made me think of you,” rather than “I know you need this.” Guys don’t like to hear what they need, especially from a new girlfriend. They aren’t ready to lose their sense of independence and individuality and don’t need anyone to take care of them.
Buying clothing for your boyfriend can be fun for you, especially if there is a particular style you prefer him to wear. However, especially in a new relationship, it may not be so fun for him. You could buy the wrong size, style, or fit. A new hat sporting his favorite team logo would likely go over much better than a new argyle sweater he may not even like. It’s best to avoid this category so that it doesn’t appear that you’re trying to change his style or act like his mother.
Avoid personal care or personal hygiene items like deodorant, mouthwash, nose trimmers, a gym membership, or anything that may come off as a not so subtle hint about his appearance. It’s his job to take care of these things and chances are, if he’s in a new relationship, it’s already on his list. Your gift should build his confidence up, not take it away.
Men often prefer to take things a bit slow in the beginning of a new relationship. If your gift is too “happily ever after” it may be too soon and could scare him away. Personalizing a gift is a great way to show you care, but personal inscriptions should be kept for a time when the relationship is more established, especially if there are dates involved. A one-year anniversary is special, but celebrating monthly anniversaries will come off as too clingy and could send him running.
Take a few minutes to think about the first date. You talked about your basic interests, things like music, movies, TV shows, hobbies, and other “safe” topics. You don’t sit down and talk about your deepest pains, greatest desires, or other super serious life stories. It takes time to get to know each other and work up to the deeper conversations. If you apply the same concept to gifting, you’ll be set! Stick to the general items, interests, and hobbies. You don’t have to fix him or any of his problems with your gifts.
Be careful not to put yourself in the center of attention because that makes the gift more about you and less about him. Sending a selfie to his phone could bring a smile to his face, but he may not be ready to display that framed photo on his desk at work. That “I Love You” stuffed Teddy Bear is absolutely adorable, but he would probably prefer a more masculine gift.
Similarly, romantic “experience” gifts like his and hers massages, or anything his and hers, for that matter, are better saved for a time when he becomes your fiancé or husband. Remember, you are in the beginning of a relationship while you are boyfriend and girlfriend. You don’t want to put it all out there just yet. Saving some for when things move to the next level will not only be more appropriate but it will leave something for you both to look forward to that will be more meaningful as you build a closer bond.
If you’re not sure, just ask. You can also ask his friends if you want to surprise him. If you think it may be too much, save it for a later time. Gift ideas that are usually safe to gift your boyfriend: something to eat or drink, something to play with, something to make him laugh, or something to make him smile.
Ask yourself, would he be comfortable opening this in front of his friends, his co-workers and his family? If you can answer “Yes,” it’s probably a safe idea. If you are unsure, skip it.