First Time Gifts: A Guide to New Relationship Gift Giving

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Not long after my now-husband and I first started dating, I encountered that awkward first-gift buying dilemma. What do you buy someone for their birthday when you want to say, “I care about you”, but don’t want to scare them off?

Giving gifts when you’re at the beginning of a new relationship is a delicate balancing act. If you spend too much you risk looking like you waaay to serious about this new relationship. Yet, if you spend too little, you come off seeming like you don’t care at all. So what’s the trick? How do you choose that perfect gift for a new partner? 

Go for quality, but make it practical

You don’t want to buy a gift that screams over-commitment in the early days of a relationship. Yet, you also don’t want to come across as stingy. By all means, splash-out on quality items to show you care. But think practical, rather than lavish. Diamond jewellery may be a bit much, but a good quality leather wallet or purse is a special gift to receive without coming across as creepy.

Make it personal

If you don’t have cash to splash, show you care by putting some thought into a present. Maybe a small item that holds sentimental value in terms of a shared memory – like something that reminds you of your first date, or an in-joke only you two know about. Or, if you’re not at that stage of the relationship yet, buy a practical, every-day item and personalise it to make it special. Things like personalised mugs, or key rings are perfect. 

Buy a shared experience

How about a gift that is also a date? Experience gifts are perfect for new relationships, because it gives you that extra opportunity to get to know each other whilst doing an activity. A cookery class or cocktail making class for example would be a relaxed, fun way to enjoy a shared experience together.

If in doubt, the stomach is the way to the heart!

Still not sure what the ideal gift for your new partner would be? If in doubt, just appeal to their appetite. A nice bottle of wine, or some posh chocolates are always welcome gifts – unless, of course you’re dating someone who is T-total or lactose intolerant! Put together a hamper of delicious food and drink. Give it a theme to make it more personal. You could theme it according to their favourite cuisine, make an ale hamper, make a candy hamper or even a British-themed hamper if that’s what would appeal to them. Make it thoughtful and show that you care about their personal tastes and preferences. 

You know best

At the end of the day, you know what your new partner would like best. Keep their personality and interests in mind when you buy them a gift. For some, schloopy romantic novelties are the bees-knees. For others, something they need and can use everyday will make them love you forever. Just avoid diamond rings until further down the line…

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