This isn’t going to be a petty post. I promise. It’s more of an assessment.
We put in time into every aspect of life and get rewarded accordingly. What if we were to base our Christmas (or whatever other occasion) gift-giving on time vested (ie. years together)? I often think about this when I think of the people that jump into gift buying headfirst (moving at the speed of light). While they may be emotional and materialistic givers, it’s a good idea to pace yourself. Everybody doesn’t get so lucky in these situations and sometimes you’ll realize you’ve given gifts you should have kept in your imagination. If you don’t have expendable income, you may want to use this as a rule of thumb when shopping for your boo.
Thoughtful, thoughtful, thoughtful! Choose something that shows that you’ve been paying attention to all the details he’s been dropping in these months. Did he mention breaking something easily replaceable or needing inexpensive essentials? Here’s your chance! Good examples are socks, a tie, pajamas, gift card to his favorite store, etc.
6 months- 1 year
At this point, it makes sense to spend a little more money, but still focus on building emotional connections with the gift choice. Come up with something that’s just as thoughtful as is it expensive. This is where you can insert low maintenance jewelry that means something or an experience (ie. concert tickets, expensive cologne, a quick overnight trip, etc.).
1 year- 3 years
This is the sweet spot for buying gifts. You can go all out if you want or keep it simple with personal touches. At this point you can gift anything from a gaming system to “big boy jewelry”. A nice getaway would also be good at this point. You’ve invested a good amount of time with one another and things seem to be serious. This raises the bar for gifts (or at least makes it seem sensible to go above and beyond).
3 years- 5 years
At this point, you two are SOLID and probably headed to another level of commitment. You MAY even be buying a wedding band at this point. If not the wedding band, other gifts that fit into this level of dating would be longer vacations, nice watches, his preferred brand of accessories, etc.
Feel free to go all out with this one. At this point, you probably know him like the back of your hand and it’s nothing to pick a gift quickly. Don’t forget that while it may be okay to spend more on the gift, it should be thoughtful as well (like the maximum level of thoughtfulness). You can actually pull a gift from each category to make a “gift bundle” on some occasions.
I tried not to be superficial in the guide, but if we’re basing it on years vested, the gift value will increase with the amount of time spent. It makes perfect sense. Don’t let this deter you if you want to go above and beyond, but just don’t do anything that you will regret if the relationship doesn’t work.