Buying for a boyfriend can be tricky, especially if it’s your first gift-giving experience as a couple. How much should you spend? Will you seem too clingy? What if he out-gifts you? By following these simple rules, you’re sure to find the perfect present for your significant other.
Do: Talk about gifts beforehand
If you’re really concerned about being on the same level as your SO, don’t be afraid to have a conversation about it. Ask what price range you’re looking at. Discuss whether you want to exchange gifts at all, or if you’d rather opt for a nice dinner out. You don’t have to have a perfectly outlined gift-giving plan in hand, but this will keep you from wondering
Do: Listen to what he talks about
Does he geek out every time he watches Star Trek? Has he mentioned how much he needs a blue satin tie? Even if he isn’t consciously hinting, pay attention. If he unwraps up a Star Trek limited edition DVD or fancy tie, he’ll feel like you listen, value and acknowledge him — and that’s giving much more than you might realize.
Do: Give him something personal
If you don’t want to buy him the latest CD on his Christmas list or a generic movie, go for the personal touch. He’ll appreciate something you put thought into, instead of just picking a gift randomly off his wish list — but make sure you buy something he’s interested in!
Don’t: Buy a couple’s outfit
We know, we know. You think that “I heart my girlfriend” T-shirt is practically made for your boyfriend. But guess what? He might not agree. Although the sentiment behind couple’s shirts, jewelry or accessories is cute, make sure you talk to your boyfriend about how he feels beforehand. If he unwraps an “I’m taken” sweatshirt, he might get intimidated, especially if you’ve only been together a few months. These gifts might have their place in your relationship, but make sure you’re on the same page.
Don’t: Send a hint
Christmas is a time for appreciating the people you love, not trying to change them. He might feel offended if you get him a razor because you think he needs to “clean up a little.” There’s a time and place for these conversations, and Christmas morning is not optimal for not-so-subtle hints.
In the end, everything is unique to your relationship. Pay attention, communicate and think about what he wants instead of what you want him to want. Trust us, you’ll go far, and he’ll brag about his girlfriend’s awesome gifting abilities.
This post was contributed by Kayla Missman, a sophomore journalism major.