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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Should I Buy a Gift for Valentine's Day?

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Regardless of whether it's a holiday, birthday, or other "special event", buying a gift for a "significant other" is a tough decision. There are so many situations and circumstances that there is no one answer for these two tough questions: Should I buy a gift for....? What should I buy for....?

Valentine's Day is a tricky "holiday". Most guys just want to get through it, some women despise it, others pine for it. The bottom line when dealing with this holiday is to know how you feel and how your partner feels.

As Valentine's Day is just around the corner, we pose these questions and scenarios, along with some helpful advice:

1. We just started seeing each other and I don't know if I should get something for Valentine's Day:

The first 60-90 days of your interaction with someone you just met can be looked at as a ‘probationary period.’ This is the time where you guys are still feeling each other out, and deciding where you see things going. This is NOT the time to start doing things like buying gifts, taking her on vacation or introducing her to your friends/family.

While most people understand this, an issue arises when an event such as Valentine’s Day or her birthday comes up during this early phase. People want to do the right thing – but have no idea what that is.

I am going to go out on a limb and guess that if you are wondering what to do about Valentine’s Day, then you are actually interested in that person. So let me ask you this – what have been doing up until now to maintain that person’s interest in you? And if what you are doing is working, why would you all of a sudden change that and start buying them things?

If you have only been out with someone a couple of times, it is still too soon to worry about Valentine’s Day. But if you decide to do anything, tread carefully – ESPECIALLY if you have not made up your mind about the other person (or if you don’t know where they stand). You don’t want to scare anybody off or start giving out a ‘relationship’ vibe if you have not yet decided that this is what you want.

Of course, what you eventually wind up doing is up to you. But here are some good rules of thumb to follow:

• Don't be one of those chodes on line at the florist, waiting for your turn to get price-gouged. WAY too soon for that stuff;
• Don't be that tool who buys the big heart box of assorted cheap chocolates from your local drug store. She WILL notice;
• Don't start writing page-long love poems about how we were meant for one another. This is one of the easiest ways you can scare someone off! Remember, you guys just recently met.
• Do keep things simple. You just started seeing him/her. This should not be thought of as an opportunity to try and buy affection – and doing so will hurt you in the long run.

2. We just started dating exclusively and I don't know what to get my boyfriend/girlfriend for Valentine's Day:

When it comes to things like gifts, flowers, etc., I have always been a big proponent of giving them when she least expects it. There is something really special about the ‘no reason, I was just thinking of you’ gift – as long as you are truly giving that gift unconditionally (i.e. without any ulterior motives).

Here is an example. Think of that situation where a guy walks up to a complete stranger in a bar and the first words out of his mouth are, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” Can someone be any more of a tool?

Now think of the scenario where a guy has been talking to a woman he just met for a little while, and then says to her, “Hey, I am going to get a drink – what do you want?”

In both situations, the guy buys the woman a drink. But the first guy clearly has an agenda, and is hoping that by ‘buying’ her something, he will get something in return (an opportunity to speak with her). The second guy, however, is coming from a frame where he has already been interacting with her and is not expecting anything in return for his gesture. He really just wants her to have a drink. It’s a subtle difference, but a significant one.

The same rule applies to gifts. You should be giving your girlfriend/boyfriend gifts and/or flowers because you WANT to, not because some dildo at Hallmark has guilt-tripped you into it. Plus, if you need something like a holiday to get you to do something nice for your significant other, you have bigger issues than worrying about what you are going to buy.

So if you guys have just become exclusive, first off congrats! Make sure you keep doing what you have been doing up until now and don’t turn into a wussbag. But as for Valentine’s Day, it’s time to get creative!

If you guys have been together for less than, say, 5-6 months, it is still too soon to start buying her expensive gifts. But you are NOT off the hook – not by a long shot.

As with everything else we talk about, you want to make sure you are NOT doing the same things everyone else does. She is going to go into work the next day and hear the same thing over and over from her co-workers, "he got me flowers, took me to dinner and got me a card." Boring! Be the guy that took her to a concert, ice skating or for a romantic drive/walk. Can you cook? AWESOME! Make her dinner (plus she is already back at your place!).

Now as far as a gift, I would definitely get her something. But again, make sure it is something you have put a lot of thought and creativity into. Price doesn’t matter (and if it does, you know what you need to do…). Is she a bookworm? Get her something from Amazon. Is she into music? Burn her a mix CD or pick up a box set of her favorite band. For some more ideas, use our Amazon search box below:

The bottom line is to make sure that the night is all about her. Just like some of those other 'greeting-card holidays,' suck it up and deal with it. But make it more about spending time with her and less about what day it happens to be.

3. We have been dating (or married) for awhile and I don't know what to get my boyfriend/girlfriend for Valentine's Day:

By this point you know whether you are in the, "I hate Valentine's Day" camp (congratulations) or in the, "How sweet, a day when we can express our love for one another" scenario (I have felt your pain). Either way, enjoy your time together. Worst case scenario? You suck it up for one day and your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife is made happy.

Here are some gift ideas:

Romatic: Sounds cliche, but sometimes cliches are nice, a good bottle of wine, flowers, delicious home cooked food, sweet dessert, and imagination....

Sexy: Try out these two well known stores. You'll find something you both love!
Playboy Store Valentine's Day Sale Frederick's of Hollywood, Inc.

For him- GPS Device, Kindel, watch, or iPod.
For her - Retro gift basket, Jewelry Box, spa gift certificate

4. I am single again this Valentine’s Day and want to meet someone already:

First off, congratulations! Making the decision to finally do something about it is the first step.

So what to do? For starters, perhaps it's time to join a online dating site. We can certainly help you with that. Stay tuned over the next couple of days, as we will be reviewing some of the more popular dating sites out there.

Or if you are already a member of an online dating website, it's time to do some work on your profile and/or your photos. For assistance with writing a captivating online dating profile that will have people contacting YOU, click here.

And for you guys out there, if you are stuggling with women (either online or in person) and haven't already picked up a copy of David Deangelo's book, 'Double Your Dating,' you can grab your copy by clicking the link below. This book was the starting point for literally THOUSANDS of guys who have improved their dating skills with women. Present company included...

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved
Online Dating Edge / Approach Dynamics

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your best article yet!