It’s not unusual to wait until the last minute to choose a gift for a new significant other. There’s a lot of unspoken dialogue that happens when giving or receiving presents between romantic partners navigating a budding relationship. At Kelleher, our matchmaking clients who find themselves dating or in a new romance during the holiday season often ask us about the etiquette of gift giving. We’re sharing a few helpful tips to empower you to choose just the right thing for your gift exchange.
First and foremost, let your gut guide your budget. Director of Matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate suggests you start with a straightforward exercise before you begin shopping. “Most relationships start out hot and heavy, and gift giving can get a bit extreme if it’s not consciously considered. Visualize a few years down the road. Can you see yourself with this person? Regardless if you think they are “the one” I don’t suggest breaking the bank on your first, holiday gift exchange. It creates a slippery slope for future gift giving.”
If you are mindful of your spending coupled with choosing something sincere you really can’t go wrong. Kelleher’s Faith Busby adds, “Give something that shows you’re paying attention. Whether it's a book they mentioned wanting to read or an arrangement of their favorite flowers, it should be something with meaning that isn't out of the ordinary price-wise.”
The most significant perceived risk in gift-giving to a new love prospect is that they may not reciprocate. It’s imperative you purchase a present and give it for the sheer joy of doing something sweet for your partner, not because you expect something in return. If you can stay focused on the mindset of selfless giving, you won’t be disappointed.
“The joy of gift-giving comes from making someone else happy,” Faith says. “When you present your new love with their gift explain what it was that reminded you of them when you saw it.” Highlighting your process will not only make them feel exceptional but will also create feelings of joy for you. It feels great to make someone else feel special.
What if it’s still too premature for a gift-exchange?
Suggest to your partner sharing an afternoon together performing random acts of kindness for others. Perhaps volunteer for a charity organization you both appreciate. Deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors in your community or shop together and create winter survival packs for the homeless population in your area. You don’t have to spend money on each other to feel the warmth of giving and seeing each other performing acts of charity will highlight a new layer as you get to know one another better.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s imperative to have open communication, so both you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to gifting expectations. There is no right or wrong way of doing things, but an open-dialogue will make all of the difference and ensure you have a drama-free holiday with your new love.
Do you have gift ideas or suggestions you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. If you have questions for our team of matchmakers, call us or comment below. We’re happy to help!
Happy Holidays from our Kelleher Matchmaking family.