You literally just started dating, and, you barely know each other, but, the holidays are around the corner — what are your obligations towards buying a gift for this person? Simply put, yes, you are obligated to give some type of present. It doesn’t have to be expensive jewelry or an expensive watch, but, do give the gift some thought because you might just end up spending the rest of your life with this person!
Now for the tricky part — bringing up the topic. If you’re comfortable enough with the person, bring up the topic and suggest a spending limit. You could say something along the lines of “Bob, I know we just started dating, but, I really like you and want to get you something for Christmas. Would you be ok with the idea of spending no more than $50 on a gift for each other?” In almost all cases the other person will be greatly relieved that you brought the topic up, and, set some boundaries.
If you aren’t comfortable enough to bring up the topic, then set your own limit. Say $25 to $50 and do NOT expect any gift in return. If you are given a present, fantastic, otherwise, just adapt the “it’s better to give than receive” attitude for this person during the holidays. If you do not receive a present, do not read into it as the other person doesn’t like you, they could be just as stumped as you are about what proper protocol is in this case!
Some gift suggestions (for $50 and under) include:
- A good bottle of wine or box of really good pralines such as a gift box from La Maison du Chocolat.
- Winter hat and scarf set
- Gift card for a bookstore such as Barnes & Noble
The key is to buy something you know the person will enjoy without getting overly personal. No woman wants to receive a bra and panties set from a man she’s been dating for less than a month and no man wants to receive silk boxer shorts from a woman he’s been dating for less than a month! Keep the gifts non-sexual and in budget and you’ll do just fine!