Relationship Gift Buying Pressures: Find out if You’re Exchanging Gifts With a Date!

I recently told a girlfriend the holidays were fun when I was a kid, but now they’re just stressful. In the midst of trying to decide what to get whom, in some instances you may even be wondering if you should be buying a gift for someone at all.

Then you decide to get them a gift, and what to get them? I’ve got some tips to help you just in the nick of time!

If you’re dating someone new, I would say the best advice is to have an honest assertive conversation with them. This way you’re not awkwardly caught off-guard when they surprise you with a gift and you’ve got nothing for them because you didn’t think you were exchanging gifts. It’s definitely a short conversation you need to have, but make it light and like it’s no big deal. Think Monica on “Friends” being “breezy” leaving the message on Richard’s phone!

Maybe you just went to dinner and picked up movies and as you’re settling in at home to watch them, just a quick, “Hey, I’m finishing up my shopping this week and curious if you want us to do a gift exchange?” This will get their ideas. They will either say, “Nah, that’s ok.” Or “Oh, I’ve already got your gift, and I’m totally planning on it!” Then you want to find out when they were hoping to do this. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or when? This way you are wrapped and prepared!

Another item perhaps worth clarifying is the price range you’re each spending on each other. It’s very awkward to spend $15 on a simple CD and get a rather expensive gift certificate for a Day at the Spa for example (over hundreds of dollars) in return!

Then if you figure out you are exchanging gifts what to get someone becomes a challenge. Obviously, the better you know them or the longer you’ve been together the easier it is. Think what hobbies they have, collections, or anything they’ve been mentioning or dropping hints on (a CD, a guitar lesson, a restaurant gift certificate)! Again, if you have no clue, ask them for some ideas. Say something like, “I’m really trying to find something extra special for you. Any clues as to what you’d love so I don’t get you something you already have?”

I recently was on gifts.com and it’s a great site. It gives you tons of fun ideas and you can shop by occasion, recipient and their interests, or even personality, such as if he’s a “guy’s guy.” I would recommend going to a site like that if you are really stuck and want some fun ideas to kick-start you.

Of course with last-minute shopping your best bet is to go at the most unconventional times, because if you think Saturday afternoon is convenient when you’re off work, think how many others are thinking the exact same thing! I’ve heard first thing in the morning when the malls first open they’re usually not so crowded. Maybe you can go in to work late one morning after shopping and stay late to make up the time.

I wish you Luck figuring out who to buy gifts for, what the perfect gift is for them, and how to have a smooth exchange. I know for me it seems to become more stressful than fun each year. May your Season be filled with special times with great people and lasting memories!