Ah, the holidays are just around the corner — which means plenty of romance ahead for you and your partner: cute ice-skating sessions, cozy nights in by the fire, and meeting their friends and family at festive parties.
That all sounds great, don't get me wrong, but it's no secret that the holidays get a bit stressful, especially when it comes to hosting families, endless cooking and baking, and of course, picking out gifts. And for some, shopping for a significant other is the hardest of all.
Whether you're in the honeymoon phase or have been together for years, finding the perfect gift can be challenging. How do you find a present for your brand new beau that is fun and personal but not too serious? On the other hand, how do you come up with fresh ideas after your fifth Christmas together?
We spoke with dating expert and Director of Relationship Science at Hinge, Logan Ury to get her fail-proof gift guide for every kind of relationship, no matter what stage you're in.
Stage: Early Dating
Who: If you've been on more than five dates but aren't official. (If it's been less than five, there's no need to get a gift, Ury says.)
What: "Show them you're paying attention. Get them a gift that shows them you've been listening. Perhaps you mentioned your favorite childhood book was 'The Giver' by Lois Lowry and they expressed interest in reading it," says Ury. "Get them a copy of the book and commit to reading their favorite book from growing up. Or maybe they've been wanting to become a plant mom or dad. Consider getting them a few plants, a book on plant care, or a beautiful watering pot."
Stage: Newly Official
Who: If you just DTR'ed.
What: "Show that you're excited to spend more time with them in the future," Ury advises. "If you've just defined the relationship, get them something that shows you're in it for the long haul. Give a gift that's forward-looking. Did she mention wanting to go skydiving? Get a gift certificate for the two of you to do this together! Is his favorite comedian coming to town in a few months? Surprise them with tickets to the show. This will show them that you're looking forward to making memories together."
Stage: You’ve Met the Family
Who: You've gotten serious enough to meet the family, but have been together for less than three months.
What: "Take it to the next level. A 'Baecation' is an early dating milestone where you spend a trip together away from the chaos of daily life," says Ury. "It's an opportunity to invest in quality time and see what it's like to be together with no distractions. You can find a cute bed and breakfast or book a romantic Airbnb and show effort by both doing the research and making the time for it. Extra credit if you can confirm with their friends or roommates when they're free during a future weekend!"
Stage: Long-Term Relationship
Who: If you've been together for a year or more.
What: "Support their aspirations. Help your partner become who they want to be. Have they been interested in learning Spanish or the guitar? Find a good teacher and pay for their first few lessons," suggests Ury. "Do they wish they could spend more time with their aging parents? Book a trip for the two of you to go home and see their family. Show them that being with you helps them become who they want to be." Consider throwing in a little passport/vaccine cardholder to make travel easier for that trip to see their family. Plus, it makes for a great presentation when you gift them the tickets.
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