I’ve been dating this guy for about 4 months. We talk every day whether it’s text, phone call,or Skype. We see each other about once a week. I met a few of his family members. We have tons of fun together. He shares things with me that I think are personal/private. Vice Versa. He’ll asked questions about things I’ve told him in previous conversations. The whole nine [yards]. I would think it’s safe to assume we have pretty good communication. The only thing is we never established exclusivity. I thought about asking but that question seemed premature. I decided to hold off asking. SO my concern is should I get him a gift for Christmas? He’s in a bit of a financial bind with a family emergency, that’s why I didn’t suggest exchanging gifts.I ask because I just celebrated his birthday with him. I treated him to dinner and a fun activity he’d mention interest in when we first met. I don’t want to smother him or “spoil” him (too soon.) Thoughts?Thanks in advance for you advice
The holidays are always the time for people in relationship purgatory or ambiguity to determine whether or not they will show their level of affection via Christmas gift. Your plight is similar to situations we have all found ourselves in before. I also think that we can overthink these situations at times. So let me present to you my 2 general rules of engagement for gift giving over the holidays:
1) If you are committed, this is a no-brainer
It doesn’t matter if you dated for 6 months or six minutes. When you decide to be exclusive with someone and present them with a title, it’s almost a given that you would spend holidays exchanging gifts and enjoying each other’s time. With great titles come great responsibility, and you should treat the holidays accordingly. It shouldn’t be any pressure, but broaching the subject should be easier since the idea of gifts during the holidays will be in the back of both of your minds.
2) If you start dating within the holiday season, you are not obligated to get a gift
Starting to date someone during the holiday months (basically Oct-Dec) means that things are fresh. You aren’t exclusive but you enjoy each other’s company, go out, get physical, etc. During this time the holiday months come up and you feel anxiety over giving a gift. I say don’t in this case. It’s completely optional and you don’t even have to bring it up, especially if you two date others. You could always pull the high school maneuver and break up before Christmas and make up after New Years Day, but I wouldn’t recommend such actions.
You mentioned that you have been dating this gentleman for four months. So that would be outside of my timeline highlighted in rule #2. You also said that you don’t want to spoil him too soon. Well since you have been dating him for 120 days, I think you are comfortably out of the “too soon” zone. You know one another, and although you two aren’t committed, you have an idea of likes/dislikes, and you probably do nice things for each other. You took him out for his birthday recently and “a fun activity he’d mention interest in when we first met” [#DECODED: She did “that thing he likes”. Salute!!]. So why would you think that a gift during the holidays would constitutek spoiling him?
As men, we know that women naturally go all out for times of the year like the holiday season. Women emote more maturely and better than men most of the time, and know how to express their feelings via gestures such as gift giving. Maybe you wanted to blow his mind with a thoughtful gift and you’re unsure of whether you should do this for a dude that isn’t your man. That’s understandable. Also, if dude is in a financial bind, you don’t want to put the added pressure of impressing you with a gift.
I would say the gift exchange is a good idea. maybe set some ground rules on a price cap. At different jobs, we used to do White Elephant gift exchanging, which worked out dope. You really had to be creative within a budget constraint. That way, he won’t feel emasculated by your suggestion that he should cap his spending when it will be within the rules of your gift giving exercise. Plus it will be FUN! Worst case scenario: you just enjoy each other’s company and have an awesome dinner/date. You did it for his birthday. Dating/relationships don’t always have to be about pomp and circumstance.
Don’t stress this situation. Be conscious of your own feelings and his situation, and suggest the best course of action. The holidays is a time to chill with loved ones and enjoy company. Gifts are a bonus. Remember this, and you will be straight!
SBM fam: Chime in!! How do you handle holiday dating? Any stories you want to share?