Celebrating your new love’s birthday

Looking for gift ideas for a new girlfriend.

Ask A Woman: Give her the gift of your company.

You're hovering a bit there bucko.

If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday.  She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked.  That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: askawoman@dappered.com .

 

Hi Beth:

I’ve been dating this girl and her birthday is in a few weeks. I don’t know what to get her as a present. She likes books and movies, as I do. But I feel the idea of gifting her a book, or a movie, is kind of mediocre. Nothing bad on gifting a good book to a girl, but I have the impression I could do better.

We have been dating for a very short time, and we enjoy the time we spend together. We often go out to eat at nice restaurants, go to art expositions, picnics… but we haven’t spent much time at each other’s place quite yet. I thought about going to her house and surprising her with flowers and the best take out Sushi I can find in the city (she loves sushi). I like the idea, but I don’t know if dropping in on her with take-out-sushi is really that great of an idea. I would love to cook for her, but I’m as messy in the kitchen as she is!

What do you think? I’d love to hear other suggestions if this doesn’t seem like a good idea.

- J.K.

 

Hi J.K.,

Ahhh yes, an age old question, (and one that we tackle frequently on Dappered) to be sure. What to buy the missus? Even harder when she’s not the missus and you don’t know her really well. I have to agree with you about the books and movies. I read two to three books a week and I love movies, but I wouldn’t be wild about either of those gifts from my significant other. There’s something sort of…reliable…sensible…boring about getting those from someone you’re dating.

As for your sushi idea…unless she’s a total homebody, it seems like it would be nicer to take her to the actual sushi restaurant instead of dropping by with a couple of plastic bags and soy sauce in a little packet. I mean, I can think of other reasons you’d want to show up with take-out at her house…which presumably has a bedroom…with a bed in it. You sly fox. But as a general rule, women like to be taken out. They like to dress up and be admired and spend your hard-earned money on spicy tuna rolls and miso soup.

Which brings me to my number one suggestion whenever anyone asks about gift recommendations. When in doubt, give an experience. There are lots of reasons experiences are better than things. Things are really hit or miss–you buy her clothing, it could be too small or big (can you say mine field?), too sexy or frumpy, the wrong style/cut/color/fabric. Same with jewelry, or kitchen appliances, or techy gadgets. But an experience is rarely “wrong” because it’s something you do together. So even if the steak is poorly cooked or the band shows up an hour late too stoned to remember their lyrics or the windchill is bitterly cold while you’re ice-skating, it’s nearly always redeemable because you’re enjoying each other’s company. And you can leave the restaurant and get ice cream to make up for the bad food and you can both roll your eyes at the terrible music and share a beer and you can get the hell off the ice and warm up in a cafe with hot chocolate. These tenets are especially true at the start of relationships, when it’s thrilling just to brush your arm up against the other person.

Dinner, dancing, concert-going > a breadmaker.

So give her an experience. Take her out to the best sushi in the city. Plan something to do before or afterwards–like going to see local music at a bar, or attending a free summer concert in a park. If you’re both outdoorsy types, perhaps you could make a day of it–take her kayaking on an incredible lake earlier in the day. Go golfing. Go surfing. If physical activity isn’t her bag, send her to the spa for a pedicure or massage before your dinner date. Write her a personal, heartfelt note inside a card. If you’re still itching to give her something, go ahead and give her that book or movie, flowers or chocolates, something funny that reminded you of her or an inside joke you share.

If she’s a woman of substance and character, she’ll simply appreciate the thought you put into showing her a good time.

-Beth

Got a question for Beth? Send it to: askawoman@dappered.com