It's a tricky one: is it better to go big or exercise caution when choosing a present for your brand new boyfriend? Geraldine Carton worries about how to get it right.
Here’s the situation:
It’s autumn, and you’ve been single for a loooong time. But it seems that when the weather turns, apparently so does your luck. Just as temperatures drop to levels that call for a snuggle-buddy, you emerge from your romantic-hiatus smitten as a kitten with a new boo. Huzzah. All is well in the world and you are now in a state of delirium. You're so smug that you're skipping (mostly metaphorically, but sometimes literally... Literally skipping.)
The situation is dandy, but then the three-month anniversary strikes, and the realisation hits: “Ahhh!!! Christmas is in three weeks, and I'm in a proper adult relationship which means I have to get my fella a proper adult present!!!”
The teenage days of gifting sweets are long gone, and God knows that a pair of socks won’t cut the cheese either. But what constitutes something good when you really haven’t been together for all that long?
Photo credit Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Do you go down the thoughtful route and make him a photo album of all your most precious memories together (of which there aren't that many yet... Which means there’s hardly any work involved at all! #WINNING). Or do you show him what a good girlfriend you are by splashing your hard-earned cash and forking out on clothes and books, and maybe even flights to a nearby European city?
I have older sisters, so I know what they’ve gotten their boyfriends, and by all accounts, they didn’t hold back. But at the same time, I’ve just heard a horror story from a colleague who spent €400 on her new boyf at Christmas, only to spot him on Stephen’s Day arm-in-arm with some floozy, decked out in all the gear said colleague had gifted him only days before. But that’s a pretty extreme scenario, and I’m 94% sure that the exact same situation won’t happen to me (although, I'd like to think that I could appreciate the irony if it did, now that I've written about it and all).
Considering how young this relationship is, I'm hesitant to spend a small fortune at this point. But an inner voice shouts, "it’s Christmas! And he’s great! Plus, he could really do with a pair of new shoes…"
It's a (First World) problem – what happens if he gets you something really terrible, and you’ve gone to huge effort and expense? Or, even worse, what if he gets you something REALLY good; so good that it makes your crummy present look like it was picked straight out of a bin? Probably best to just talk the whole thing out before things get crazy and you both start mortgaging your parents' house in an effort to fund the frantic festive gifting...
The conclusion? Agree some basic ground rules and you can't go wrong. That, or maybe just order him a robot girlfriend and save yourself a future of ever-increasing, relationship-gifting angst.