Gift-exchanges can be a tricky subject especially when you’re still in the wooing phase. Blowing a bomb on an expensive Valentine’s or Christmas present, only to have her reject it can be embarrassing. Some women might also feel uncomfortable about receiving gifts if you’ve not that reached that stage in your relationship yet. Anisa Hassan, managing director of It’s Just Lunch Asia, shares some guidelines on the do’s and don’ts of gift-buying for women during the holidays.
If you’ve had less than 3 dates
If you’ve barely started seeing each other, maybe it’s not such a hot idea to start splurging on gifts. But if you intend to do so, don’t burn your wallet doing so. "If you feel strongly about someone you just started dating, and want to purchase a gift for them, keep it small and inexpensive," suggests Anisa. "And be aware that it is unlikely they will be purchasing a gift for you."
If you bought her something and she didn’t get you anything, don’t take it badly. Be as gracious and casual about it as possible so you don’t make your date feel bad, says Anisa. Similarly, if you receive a gift and did not purchase one for your date, there is no need to rush out and buy something. "This is a gray area and you haven’t done anything rude or wrong," Anisa says. "Accept it with a heartfelt thank you and move on."
If you’ve been seeing each other for several weeks
"If you’ve been dating somewhere between 4-10 dates, it’s entirely appropriate to purchase a small gift," Anisa says. Still, don’t "surprise" her with a Tiffany ring (not yet, at least). "It’s wise to keep it inexpensive," Anisa recommends. "The longer you’ve been dating, the more expensive and personal, or thoughtful, your gift should be."
If you’re planning to "go steady"
By all means, go ahead. In fact, she might even expect one from you. "A good rule of thumb is if you’ve already talked about having an exclusive relationship then it’s safe to assume you should purchase a nice gift," Anisa advises. "If you haven’t had that chat and you’re both still free to see other people, gifts are still optional."