Gift Ideas for the Unofficial Relationship, Part 2

You just started dating someone and suddenly, it’s their birthday. Here are 3 easy ways to handle the situation properly.

Richie Frieman,
September 11, 2011
Episode #169


In Part 1 of my two-part series, I discussed the proper gift for guys to give in a new or unofficial relationship. Now it’s the gals’ turn. I spoke to a dozen close female friends about this very topic and took extremely thorough notes. I have to admit, it was fun, and educational, to hear the other side’s perspective.

Gift Ideas for the Unofficial Relationship

It felt good to know that men are not the only ones worried over giving a proper gift that says, “This just feels right!”  However stressful this topic may be, it’s just a minor speed bump on the road to a long lasting relationship.  So with that, get ready ladies ‘cause here are my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips on the proper gift for the unofficial relationship, Part Deux:

Tip #1 – The Writing is on the Wall

Relationship time frame: Two weeks or 2-3 dates.

The minute you found out about your upcoming date with someone new, you immediately looked them up on Facebook. Before you even pondered for a second about what to wear or where to go, you scooped out information and photos on their wall. And that’s totally fine. I mean, how many bad relationships could you have avoided in your life if you knew ahead of time that the person was part of a Fan Page dedicated to “Professional Air Guitarists”? I mean, who hasn’t dabbled in air guitar in their lives, right? But a professional? Deal breaker.  

With all the scary that may come with looking at someone’s Facebook page, there’s a lot that can be learned. Pay close attention to the pages they fan, the groups they belong to, and even just what they talk about on their wall. One friend I interviewed saw that a guy she just started dating talked about skiing for two weeks straight and was a fan of a certain brand of skiing apparel.

So when his birthday came around, she looked up the company he was such a fan of and bought him a cool – yet affordable – piece of clothing. He was blown away! This is a great example of how a little money, but a lot of creativity, can go a long way. And trust me ladies, we like it if you help us dress.

Tip #2 – They Could Be Mr. Wonderful?

Relationship time frame: 1 ½ - 2 months, with 2-3 dates a week. 

I know, I know, things are great. Your new beau knows your favorite kind of ice cream, your favorite flower, and even thinks it’s funny when you sing the wrong lyrics to songs that everyone knows. Plus, your friends approve and keep pointing out how much better this one is than the last shlub you dated. But when you tell your girlfriends that a birthday is looming and you need a gift, suddenly the record skips (or iPod skips…just go with me) and you are all frozen-faced, staring at one another blankly.

When the relationship is getting better, but you’re still unsure about where you stand, go with something that reveals how just thoughtful you are. For example, a friend of mine surprised her guy with tickets to a hockey game – again not too pricey – capped off with a night at a local restaurant he loves. Needless to say he loved it and even snapped some photos for his Facebook page! Doesn’t matter if it’s the regional bowling finals followed by dinner at the nearby pizza joint. The point is that you show interest in their interests, regardless of their (sometimes atrocious) tastes. Don’t worry, you can remember your sacrifice when it’s time to ditch the neon beer sign that doubles as a clock.

Tip #3 – Don’t Jinx it But I’ve Fallen

Relationship time frame: 3 - 4 months, with dates about every few days. Dare I say it – Facebook official!

At this point, nothing can get better...well except if it was official, that is. I will say that if the person you’re dating has stuck around for this long, they probably don’t want to leave. But getting them to say the words can be tricky. As usual, sometimes it takes a strong woman to make the first step. As I mentioned in Part 1, is a birthday the right time to bring up “the talk”? Maybe not. But the perfect present could very well put things in place, saying just what is needed without words.

Don’t go out of the box with this gift.  Stick to what you know they like. Here’s a great example: A friend of mine gave her new guy a “Day Of Favorites.” From start to finish the day was about doing fun things he enjoyed – a nice breakfast, a scenic drive, a stellar lunch spot, a good movie, and then a great night out on the town. By the 3-4 month mark, you know what floats their boat so it won’t be hard to arrange your own day of favorites.

An awesome gift like this might very well transform your unofficial relationship, into a certified one. When all is said and done, send me an invite to the wedding. 

Do you have a great story about how you handled a gift for a new relationship? Post all the details in Comments below. 

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Check out my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page, follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.

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