The holidays are known for being a tough time for the single, but a terrible gift at the beginning of a relationship can leave you single before Valentine’s Day.
There’s no real guide for newly minted couples that says how much you should spend or what you should buy based on the length of your relationship. Based on your feedback and a little bit of our wit, research and collective experiences, we came up with a pricing formula to help you find the perfect gift for your significant other.
And in that excitement, it’s easy to jump ahead and make some big dating mistakes.
Here are nine things to avoid doing in the first month of dating: 1. Here’s a rule you can steal from “How I Met Your Mother”: “Never make plans with a date further in the future than the amount of time you’ve been going out.” Of course, in non-sitcom land, this rule gets voided once you’re in a serious, committed relationship — otherwise, no one could ever make marriage vows — but in the first month of dating, keep plans for the future at a minimum.
DON’T: Get him something completely cliché like a tie if he wears jeans and tees to work, a baseball book if he hates sports, a universal remote for his TV, any sort of grilling apparatus, a box of golf balls, a power drill, a huge bag of “masculine” grooming essentials, or a subscription to the beer of the month club if you’ve never seen him drink beer.
DO: Make him a cool winter Spotify playlist with songs you’re digging right now, and an i Tunes gift card.
—but you’re not sure what the going rate is on Christmas gifts.
She’s smart and cute and her face smells like bread, and you have a whole ten months until you have to buy her a birthday present.This should be a no-pressure time to get to know one another. Keep your date from getting overwhelmed — and guard your own heart — by taking things slow. In the meantime, just keep things at “like” and reassure your date that you’re interested in moving forward. It can come across as too eager — or worse, desperate. Also, no one wants to hear that you’ve been planning a wedding on your own. Meeting up with some friends or a sibling for a drink is one thing, inviting your date to your aunt’s birthday party is another. You don’t want your grandma coming to conclusions about the where the relationship is headed before you do. Don’t overwhelm your date with unnecessary (and bitter) details in the early stages of a relationship. You’ll have plenty of time to plan a wedding…if the relationship makes it past the one-month mark. Only introduce your kids to someone you’re serious about. Otherwise, you’re prematurely adding a level of commitment to the relationship. In a long-term relationship, all the dating horror stories of the past will be revealed. Or, use this guide: Date 3 She’s not expecting a gift, but you two have had two greats dates and you’re sure she’s your Tinder dream queen: you want to do something to lock in a third date. Look for a bouquet with some holly or red berries shoved in there.