It’s officially holiday season so let the gift-giving anxiety begin! For those of you with a special guy in your life, picking out a gift for him can be extra stress-inducing. You want to get him the perfect present in order to show him how much he means to you, while making sure to avoid giving something completely awful that he’ll just break up with you for. However, let me just tell you right now that it is virtually impossible to give a gift so bad that it warrants a break up. That is, of course, unless it’s something totally creepy or insensitive like a doll made out of his hair or a severed head or something, but I digress. Obviously, the gift you would give a guy you’re casually dating and one for a long-term boyfriend are not of the same caliber and need to be carefully distinguished. The good news is I have compiled this simple guide to giving your honey an awesome gift he’ll love.
If you’ve been seeing each other for 1 month or less:
You’re still getting to know each other, and chances are you don’t know what’s at the top of his wish list this year, nor should you feel obligated to get it if you did. You don’t want to splurge for a big ticket item and make a huge investment because, let’s be honest, you’re not entirely sure if you two are in it for the long haul just yet. That being said, you still want to give him something meaningful, showing that you’re more than just a friend. Your gift should be based on a common interest you have, such as a mix CD or movie you can enjoy together. You could also go for an article of clothing you think he would look good in, like a cool shirt or tie. Your budget for him should probably be about $20. Just be careful about getting a gift that’s strictly useful though. For example, if he mentions that he runs out of socks quickly, do not get him new socks as a present just because he needs them. This could lead to him thinking of you as a motherly figure, and that is definitely a title you do not want.
If you’ve been dating for between three and six months:
Things are getting a little more serious I see! For your blossoming love, get him an item associated with one of his hobbies. For instance, if your boo is a gamer, pick up that videogame he’s been dying to play. If he’s an athlete, considering looking into some new gear he’d like, like shoes or athletic clothes. If he’s a sports fan, a jersey or other paraphernalia with his team’s logo on it is always a safe bet. You get the picture. Just don’t go too crazy, you probably want the price to stay around $50.
If you’ve been together for a year or more:
You’ve hit LTR status, and you’ve probably already gotten him a gift or two for one occasion or another by now. However, this is no time to start slacking off by just getting him any old thing that might look cool. You have to show him that you’re still that thoughtful, exciting girl he fell in love with. The trick for the guy that you’ve been with for what feels like forever is to pay attention to hints he probably doesn’t even know he’s dropping about stuff he would want. If he says something like, “Cooking this fabulous meal would be so much easier if I had an awesome food processor,” (hey, it could happen) bam, there’s your cue. Or, if he says, “Ugh my phone is so annoying, I wish I had that new one I just saw on TV,” look into buying that for him.
In this case, the sky’s the limit in terms of budget, but absolutely do not feel obligated to go bankrupt or get duped into a “get rich quick” scheme just because you think he’s “the one.” Do the best with what you can afford. Pitt sophomore Jill experienced this firsthand when she ended up spending almost $500 on her boyfriend’s birthday. She learned that “it definitely wasn’t necessary; he would have appreciated me just making him dinner and hanging out.” In the end it really is the thought that counts.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list for couples at every stage, so use your best judgment to determine which stage you and your boyfriend fall into for the holidays this year. Take these suggestions and run with them; don’t be afraid to buy something that’s a little out there just because it isn’t on this list. If you truly think he’ll love it then go for it.