Everything you need to know about Gift Giving and Dating
All I want for Christmas is You
It’s not a bad idea to discuss gift giving. I don’t mean, “How much do you want to spend?” per se. But, “is there anything special that you would like for Christmas?” It can give you a guideline.
Both men & women can be gold diggers. If someone is always hinting for really elaborate gifts, it can make you suspect about their character or their expectations of your relationship.
We surveyed 4500 people as to the best & worst gifts they ever received. Here are some of the results.
Worst aka “The gift that keeps on giving”
👩🏻: The test results from his STD panel.
👩🏻: I was 20 and thin. My bf gave me a subscription to Jenny Craig. I dumped him.
👱🏼♂️: A shirt that I did not like.
👩🏻: A bicycle speedometer. Why? It's so manly.
👩🏻: A cooler.
👩🏻: His deceased wife’s pearl earrings.
👱🏼♂️: There's genuinely no bad gift (um, some may beg to differ).
👩🏻: Key 🔑to my bf’s apt!
👱🏼♂️: Airplane tickets.
👩🏻: A trip to Africa. I guess he loves me.
👱🏼♂️: Mont Blanc pen.
👱🏼♂️: Concert tickets.
👩🏻: Frosted Flakes google expressed to me, because he knew I forgot to buy it for my kids.
👱🏼♂️: A boat chartered for my birthday!
👩🏻: I had told him I like wet kisses so he showed up with Hershey kisses in water.
👩🏻: A leather coat. Because he listened. I mentioned I wanted one and he remembered. It was thoughtful.
👱🏼♂️: A wool hat, knitted by my date...loved it as it was personal, showed concern, and she made it herself.
👱🏼♂️: She took me to a really nice restaurant after I graduated. A real treat on the college budget. I was so touched, I cried.
👩🏻: Flowers showed thoughtfulness.
👱🏼♂️: Personal card hand written in calligraphy.
👩🏻: A cake, dinner on a special spot, and flowers for my birthday. I liked it a lot because it was thoughtful and unexpected.
👩🏻: A man brought me an olive fork on our first date. He knew I enjoyed olives and had recently been to Napa, was thinking about me and anticipating our date. It was kind and thoughtful, but not too much.
It is like he does not care about me. It really hurts.
Gift giving – or, the lack thereof – can really hurt. In your heart. As one person responded, the worst gift she ever received was “Nothing, not even a card. It's like he didn’t even think of me or care.”
My mother always said her favorite holiday was Thanksgiving because there was no gift giving involved. Maybe, she’s right.
But, when someone nails it. And, acknowledges you. And gives you that special something that touches your heart, it’s so meaningful. You are over the moon.
Appliances are One of the All Time Bad Ideas
Beware of giving appliances to women as gifts. You may think “it’s something we can use.” Here’s what happened to my husband with his ex-wife.
She said “You bought me a mini-Weber BBQ? You fucking idiot.”
Try not to give something that a guy thinks is practical. The one caveat is if someone specifically says “I really want a Vitamix for Christmas.” Hint hint!
Gift Giving: Another Dating Minefield
Andrew & I met on December 30th. He was the Captain of my flight home from Maui. We were majorly crushing on each other. I bet fellow travelers on our flight still remember it, too. He sent drinks to my entire row. Smooth move! There was lift off.
I don’t typically remember the date that I met someone. I’m great with situational recall & faces, but not dates and often, not names, either, which pretty much sucks, as I’ve been in sales my entire career. However, I do remember that one.
The next day was New Years Eve, December 31st. Another way it was super easy to remember.
Actually, I wasn’t sure if Andrew was ever going to call me. You know how that is. But, he did. He called the next morning. NYE day. He asked if I wanted to go with him to a NYE party in Aptos that evening. He never drinks & drives. So, the date would have been a sleepover, to boot, due to the distance, drinking, & driving.
As much as I liked him, I wasn’t going to a pre-planned sleepover with him on the 1st date. lol. Plus, I had not been with my daughter during that trip to Hawaii, and I wasn’t going to change my plans with her for a first date with some guy, no matter how much I liked him.
Andrew & I really clicked, romantically, & the relationship was quickly off to the races. It was hot and heavy. His birthday is January 24th. Honestly, I have no idea why I remember it. Cuz I really liked him? Perhaps, because it’s my parent’s anniversary. At this point, we were only 3 ½ weeks into the relationship and a few potential gift-giving minefields emerge. Uh oh.
#1 🎂His birthday.
#2 ❤️Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Lordy.
I went to Nordstroms. I bought him what I thought was a very nice bday gift. I called my gf, Maria, and told her what I’d bought for him. Silk boxers and a nice bottle of cologne. Maria starts yelling at me on the phone.
She screamed, “YOU CAN’T GIVE HIM THOSE THINGS! THOSE ARE HUSBAND PRESENTS!”
I said, “But I really like this gift for him.”
She repeated herself. I still recall so vividly her screaming at me on the phone. Point taken. Jeez, Maria! Sadly, I returned the boxers. I’m guessing that I gave him the cologne, but I really don’t remember.
What is appropriate and what is not?
Clothes are tricky. It’s like Goldilocks. One bed is too soft, one is too hard, and one is just right.
If you give a guy an XL shirt, and he’s a M, he might think you think he’s fat.
If they give you sweatpants that are too small (my husband did this), you can feel that you are fat. Or, that he thinks you should lose weight. Maybe, he just doesn’t know your size. If they are too large (the sweatshirt he gave me was a large; I wear a small or preferably, an XS), does he think I’m fat? Or if they fit, does he really think this is my size? Can we say body dismorphia-much?
What if the item isn’t your style? Awkward.
My friend, Mick, told me that his friend, Frank, had recently started dating a girl that he really liked and thought he might want to marry. Frank wanted to buy the girl a pair of leather pants.
Mick told him, “Dude, don’t buy her leather pants.”
Mick thought they might have a deviant sexual connotation. Dominatrix-y. They had not yet even had sex.
Pants are REALLY difficult to fit. For both men and women. Even for models. Too small, too short, too long, not cut right for your body. They can also make you feel badly if they don’t fit. Disaster.
Leather pants? My .02: they need to have the right hand. As in: soft and great quality. That’s code for: Expensive. And, what about the color? What if they are anti-leather? A very touchy subject.
What happened? Frank was laser focused on buying her the pants. He did. She dumped him shortly thereafter. They all thought it went back to the pants. A complete miss.
When I was in my mid 20s, I had a 2nd date with some guy. He gave me a little pin. It was a clown. I dumped him on the spot. Really. We didn’t even go on the date. I was so offended. He was shocked. He thought the pin was cute. Clowns are scary anyway, but did he think I was a clown? Obviously, I wasn’t into him anyway. I never forgot that fucking clown pin.
It is not about the money.
Gift giving isn’t always about how much you spend. It involves appropriateness and timing. The clown-pin-guy bombed on both accounts with me.
Andrew, the 777 Captain, gave me some of the cheapest gifts. My husband, Jeff, & I laugh about them to this day. We do like to laugh. Sorry, Andrew, but it’s true. I mean, some were really bad. The to-go coffee mug with the dolphins from the Navy commissary in Oahu was a real winner. But, I really liked him, so I let them slide. If someone else had given me some of that stuff, they may have been history.
I have NEVER told my husband that I wanted this or that for a gift. Not once. And, my husband gives me very nice presents. mwah
The holidays are just around the corner.
What’s a Good Choice?
Cards from Papyrus. Nice ones. Not, the stupid, jokey cards sold at the carwash or the sophomoric guy humor ones. Disaster.
If you don’t want to spend money, you can make one. Put some time and effort into it. Try your hand at artwork. Think about the message. You can always get “inspiration” from a card or a poem.
Back to Andrew. Valentine’s rolls around. OMG. He gives me a box of chocolate and flowers. I didn’t even know they could make chocolate like that. God, it was bad. It wasn’t even Whitmans. Lol. The flowers were from the checkout stand at CVS and wilty, too boot. I did not dump Andrew over gifts. His little trinkety gifts were kind of endearing.
Later, I went shopping with him at Moffett Field. Andrew had been in the Navy Reserves. I got such a kick out of shopping there with him. Probably cuz it’s not open to the public. I pointed out the Godiva display. Achem.
Jo Malone is always a safe bet. For men & women. The retailers wrap them beautifully. I have never seen it fail. You don’t have to go nuts. Just one or 2 items is fine.
You can reuse the boxes for storage. Once, I gave my sister some bags of tennis racket shaped pasta that I wrapped in a Jo Malone box. Her eyes were so wide. She was so excited to open the box cause she thought I bought her Jo Malone. She laughed, a real laugh, when she saw the contents.
Candles are hot, bright and can light up your world.
According to Franco Wright, the co-founder of Lucky Scent in Beverly Hills, “Candles are always safe and make a great gift.” Fabulous website.
Gain Bonus Points with your Crush with Beautiful Flowers.
Flowers. You don’t have to send roses. Tulips are a great choice. Be careful of the color. They don’t have to be red. Yellow supposedly represents “jealousy.”
Ask: What’s their favorite flower? What kind of scents do they like?
Apparently, even the number of flowers can be significant.
Just make sure they aren’t wilted. You can always pick a nice arrangement of wild flowers, like Willoughby in Sense & Sensibility. Of course, Willoughby is a dashingly handsome fox which doesn’t hurt.
It’s so easy to connect the dots. Lots of guys give flowers the day after they have first time sex with someone. It’s good form: sweet, appreciated and thoughtful.
The Dreaded Shopping
It seems like it could be quite titillating, taking your bae shopping. Shameless flirting, fooling around in the dressing room. Modeling. A fun, free activity, too.
A friend was just telling me about a shopping spree she had with a guy. It was their 2nd date.
The guy was rather generous. I asked if she’d had sex with him yet. She said no. Just a “Monica Lewinski.” Poor Monica. I guess I still didn’t realize that it’s not sex.
Put a little thought into gift giving. Consider the meaning. Guys, we know many of you really don’t like to shop. It’s not necessarily how you are trained. Don’t wait til the last minute.