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A Man’s Guide to Gift Giving in New Relationships

By Matt LaClearFebruary 1, 2018Relationships
gift giving in new relationships

So, you’ve been following Emyli’s dating advice and got yourself a girlfriend! Congratulations! And now you somehow stumbled on this article to learn the basic rules for gift giving in new relationships. 

Now What?

You feel so happy and honored to have gotten this fabulous woman’s attention focused on you, and you want to keep it there! After all, you’ve worked hard getting to know this new lady, and you don’t want all this warm and fuzziness to end. So that might lead you to think you should get busy ensuring your ongoing good fortune, right? Well yes, you should do your very best to keep the relationship fresh, exciting, and secure.

But don’t fall into the common mistake of smothering your new girlfriend with too many material tokens of your love and admiration to win over her continued affection and devotion. Falling into this trap can be easy. Keep in mind; you probably want this woman to be smitten with you, not all the stuff you’ve given her. So let’s get started with your guide to gift giving in your new relationship. 


Perception is a Gift

Gift giving in new relationships, in general, can be a tricky thing. The knowledge surrounding a gift can vary from one individual to the next. For example, one woman who receives a bouquet of red roses may perceive the flowers as symbolizing love. While another woman might view it as some generic gift that reveals how little the gift giver knows about them. Both scenarios might not be even close to what the gift giver intended. Combine this with the fact that people perceive money and value differences as well. A $10 gift may be fantastic for one person yet seen as cheap to the next. This is all so hard to predict in the early stages of a relationship. It’s a lot to figure out.

Everyone arrives at the doorstep of a new relationship with wide eyes and high expectations. And some history that forms their perceptions of what gift giving is all about and how to go about it. Often these differing opinions can vary greatly, and problems can start to come up. That’s why it is essential to give gift giving in new relationships a lot of thought as you forge ahead in your new relationship. Consider getting to know your new partner before falling head first into buying gifts. If you don’t, you may get in over your head and find it hard to change gears later on in the relationship.

Invest in Precedents, not Presents

We train people how to treat us, and we also train them on what to expect from us. If you begin a new relationship by showering your new girl with gifts and material tokens of your affection, then you may find that this will nurture an unrealistic expectation going forward. And shortly, you may not be able to or even want to maintain the current gift-giving routine.

Your new sweetie may also feel that she too, might need to reciprocate with the exchange of presents. She may or may not be in a financial or emotional position to take part in this weekly exchange. And then the uncomfortable elephant in the room rears his ugly head. Gifts may begin to symbolize being bought. Or it may put a spotlight on a perceived financial inequality within the relationship. So many issues can arise before you ever even suspect it.

Another pitfall of overdoing gift giving is the risk of your new girlfriend thinking that she is being coerced or purchased with “things.” It might imply that you are not enough of a catch to ensure her ongoing devotion.

Look, everyone loves gifts. But in general, too much of any good thing is never good. A small baked, sweet treat is great, but too much sugar over many years can cause diabetes. Vitamins can be great for your health. However, too many vitamins can be toxic. The sweet, specialness of a heartfelt gift is slowly diminished if it occurs every other day. The uniqueness of the event is watered down to a routine way of life. Not the intention but the unintended outcome.

Ideas for Nurturing Your New Relationship Sans Gift Giving

So you now know what not to do. What about ideas for what to do? OK, here is a list of ideas that you might try to replace overindulgence in material gift giving.

Plan experiences! Hot air balloon rides, zip lining, hiking, camping, explore a new, nearby city. Here’s a list of date ideas that’ll help you: 


Mark special events with sincere expressions of affection. Such as poetry, letters, romantic walks, simple picnics, creative texts and small moments.

Spend time making plans for future traveling, upcoming plays, concerts that you’ve wanted to see

Get to know one another’s friends and families. Maybe plan a lunch or dinner with family to give them the opportunity to get to know your new girlfriend.

If you have a dog, take him to the park with the two of you.

Enjoy the weekly farmers market in your town. Also, take part in the other local events your city offers.

Enjoy arts and crafts together—local pottery shop, or a wine and paint boutique.

Volunteer your time together at a local food bank, animal shelter, retirement home, or soup kitchen. Seeing your new girlfriend in the role of giving will allow you to see a different side of her. It will also let her see a different side of you.

Around the holidays, there are so many activities to get involved. Volunteer to wrap gifts for underprivileged children and families. Join a holiday carol singing group and spread holiday cheer around your neighborhood or town. These kinds of activities will allow you both the opportunity to see the other in group settings and give-and-take situations.

If you both enjoy movies, take turns choosing a movie you think the other will enjoy. Afterwards, explain why you thought your honey would like this particular film and your impressions of the storyline. This is a great way to get to know your new partner and focus your attention on long-lasting memory making and less time on material gifts.


Try game night! Board games are fun and can be great for group activities. Get to know each other’s friends while playing games that require teamwork, negotiation, and patience.

These experiences can take the focus off of material gifts and on to the intangible, longer lasting ones. It will also set the tone of your relationship as you move forward over time. Both of you will likely start to plan activities and experiences far in advance. This will nurture a closeness that might otherwise take longer to acquire.

The Ultimate Gift (When You’re Fully Ready)

The time may come when your new relationship is no longer so new anymore. And you’ll want to take the next step in your journey together. But beware! Buying that shiny symbol or your everlasting love should not clean out your bank account. Many men that are blinded by the “official engagement ring buyers guide” may end up paying over three times as much as they should. Be committed to look for the best possible deal that you can find.

When shopping for a diamond ring, remember to take your time and don’t go with the first ring you think looks good.

Most guys don’t have much experience buying such a valuable and costly gift like a diamond ring. Do your homework. Know what your girlfriend likes in the way of diamond shape and size and her preference in setting metal and style. Without having any frame of reference for a buy this large. You may think the first diamond you see is the most magnificent and most appropriate.

But there’s a lot to be said for shopping around, both locally and even out of town. Many big cities have diamond emporiums where you can find a beautiful diamond at a high cost. It might be a great saving to buy the stone in one place and have this precious gem placed in its setting at another jeweler. You may need to travel to another city to find a reasonable price on a diamond. It still may be worth your time to get a stone that will stand the test of time and the test of your wallet.

If you have an older and wiser friend or family member that can help you with this decision, you should take them along and learn from their experiences in buying a diamond.

Many jewelers have in-house designers to create a unique, even one-of-a-kind, engagement ring for you. If you do your research, you can save a lot of money and have a beautiful ring to present to your girlfriend.


Gift Giving in New Relationships- You Can Do This!

You now have the skill and the resources to go about gift giving in your new relationship responsibly and deliberately! Take this new knowledge and put a plan in place on how and when you will give gifts to your new special woman. Be proactive in your efforts. She’ll be impressed that you are a guy that has given thought to everything that involves your relationship with her, even the little things.