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As I’m sure you’re well aware, the holidays are coming up. I’ve been divorced for a couple of years and while the dating scene has had its challenges, I’m currently involved with a gorgeous woman. I wasn’t dating anyone last Christmas, and I’m used to buying for a wife. Not a girlfriend of three months. Any gifts I should stay away from? I don’t want to scare her off with anything too serious. But I also don’t want to get her something boring either.
Since your email is such a timely one, you skip right to the front of the email line. Good for you! But watch out at recess, because some of the guys you skipped are probably going to be looking to give you a face wash in the snow. Fair warning.
Okay, so what gift should you stay away from if you aren’t ready to get serious yet? Jewelry. Jewelry is a commitment gift. It’s expensive for the guy to buy, and if you two break up, she may not wear it ever again because it reminds her of you in the way that, say, a set of hand towels, will not.
So then there’s a lovely gold pendant tarnishing away in a velvet-lined box until 40 years from now when one of her grandkids asks her about it and she croaks, “That was Christmas of aught ten, when Mike the bastard–oops, Granny said a bad word. A quarter for the potty-mouth jar.” And then the grandkids are distracted by finding the potty-mouth jar so once again the pendant is forgotten. Is there anything sadder than neglected jewelry? Boo-hoo.
Instead, “experience gifts” are always a good bet–tickets to a concert or play, gift certificate to her favorite fancy restaurant, day at the spa. You can also get more personal with her specific interests or goals–golf lessons, glass-blowing classes, a ride in a hot air balloon. What about a wine-making or beer-brewing kit? A romantic overnight at a B&B? These kinds of gifts produce memories, and often you can do them together. I also think they’re an easier gift to give overall, since you know what your partner’s interests are better than you know whether they’ll like that random sweater in that specific fit, in that specific material, in that specific color, in that specific size.
Don’t agonize over it. If you put a bit of thought into it (no December 24 shopping), and get her something you truly believe suits her personality/tastes/interests, you’ll make the right choice.
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