First Time Gifts: Buying for a New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

We’ve all agonized over this one at one point in our lives. The first gift. You don’t want it to be too casual or utilitarian (socks is a no-no), but it also can’t be too serious either (a watch or expensive jewelry may be too much right now too). You also may not know enough about the person to be able to really nail this gift, like if their birthday, Valentines Day or the holidays are two weeks after you’ve started dating, well, that’s a tough one, but not all is lost. Here are some ideas–from, me, the Gifting Whisperer, AND my hubby–so you’re not totally hanging out there with your downtown area exposed. This also marks my mans’ debut on, and I hope it’s the first of many…or at least the first of a few. Hope you enjoy his romanticism, wit and humor as much as I do.

Early Birds: If you really are in that first 30 day window, go easy on yourself and make a reservation at a nice restaurant. If you’re on a regular date-night schedule, and there is an understanding that you will be together on the day in question (likely a birthday), then you’re cool. If you’re more casual than that, invite him or her by asking what night is good because you want to take them out for (fill in the blank). And make the call, don’t wait for them to call you and then bring it up. This goes for men AND women. It’s 2012.

5 Good First Gifts For A Guy To Give
(by the Gifting Whisperer’s husband)

1. Old Reliable: A dozen red. And I don’t mean a case of wine. (that’s code for roses).
2. A Beginning: Brand new scrapbook that holds only one photo. Of the two of you.
3. Picnic: This can be the traditional kind or what my wife and I now call the “carpet picnic.” It’s all in the ambiance, menu (and the company, of course). Pick a nice spot, be it in your living room or in Central Park. If you need to go to the nearest gourmet shop for the food–fine. Wine, music, a blanket and, if you’re inside, get pillows to sit on, use linens and real glassware and flatware.
4. Surprise Activity: Paint pottery or do some art project together. Make Meaning allows you to let your creative juices flow in ceramics and more. They even have date nights where they offer wine and spirits. Find one near you or look for similar establishments in your area.
5. Get Out Pen & Paper: The good stuff. A handwritten letter, delivered by mail…yes, you will need to buy stamps. It’s old-fashioned in such a lovely way and something your beloved will keep for a long time. And start a private chain love letter. Inside put a self-addressed stamped envelope for her to write you back. In this age of tweets, likes, posts and Pins you can begin your relationship by bringing back a lost art and making all her friends swoon at how romantic you are.
5a. A Catcher’s Mit*: How is she going to have a catch with you if she doesn’t have one?
*NOTE FROM THE GIFTING WHISPERER: The deal my husband and I made was that he would co-write this post with me but I had to include this selection. So you’re also getting some bonus relationship advice: when it’s not life-or-death, compromise.

5 Good First Gifts For A Gal To Give

1. Sports Lover: Get tickets to a local game. If budget is at issue, minor league baseball games, for example, can be much more reasonable and so, so fun. If your honey is also a collector, how about a baseball card from the year he was born or time at a batting cage.
2. Home Stuff: For women this is the kiss of death, but for a guy they tend to appreciate it (I have found). But you have to be observant. Is he making do with a sub-par coffee pot but loves his java–Cuisinart coffee pot–($185 On Sale $89.95 Does he love his iPod tunes, and rely on an alarm clock that can’t dock his MP3–iHome alarm clock–($79.99 Bed Bath & Beyond). Have you guys started watching lots of movies at his house and need access to a better digital catalogue–Roku–(starts at $49.99) or Apple TV ($99).
3. I Like Beer: If your love digs suds, there are a bunch of options. For a real connoisseur, there are glassware sets from Brookstone ($39.99) and Red Envelope ($49.95) that are really nice looking. If you’d rather send him spirits, consider a Beer of the Month Club (starts at $37.75) and he will have a regular reminder of your thoughtfulness–and maybe you’ll even join him as he enjoys your libations.
4. Take Off: Flying Lessons. Yes, you heard me. You know if your sweetie is the type for this kind of gift, but I doubt they will see this one coming and it’s sure to be something they will remember. has 3,000 locations nationwide and all you need to begin, according to these guys is to show up “with a smile and an eagerness to learn.” (approx $99 to start).
5. The Art of Shaving: I turned my husband on to this and now he’s hooked and it smells so yummy it’s a mini gift for you too. First timers, get the starter set ($25).

The Win-Win: Take the pressure off and agree to do something for each other together that YOU BOTH WANT TO DO and you pay for the other–but you’re each paying the same, get it. Get a massage (if you’re not at the couples massage stage just book two massages at the same spa), go to a great tasting night at a hot restaurant, see a hot concert, show or event.

So I hope my man and I have given you some good options to consider. Have other suggestions from you or your other/better half? Share them in the comments.

Related Posts:
10 Gifts Every Woman Wants From Her Mate
Gifts That Say Congratulations
Posts About Love
Birthstones and Anniversaries


33 thoughts on “First Time Gifts: Buying for a New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

  1. Anchal says:

    really it saved me a lot of time.. choosing gifts for my new boyfriend has always seemed to me the most difficult task, but now feeling little more confident about choosing the right gift for him..
    thanks for this post.. 🙂


    • jmkstock says:

      That’s awesome, thanks. Confidence is a huge part of finding the right gift… actually, its a huge part of everything.

      Would love to know what you end up picking out and how it is received.


    • jmkstock says:

      Thanks so much! My husband and I have co-written a couple posts before and I’ve tried to get him to collaborate recently. Perhaps your comment will help fuel his interest again. Best 🙂


  2. Benjamin Parker says:

    Buying gifts isn’t an activity most guys enjoy. And it’s even worse when you’re buying a gift for someone you like but don’t know very well. Get her something super inexpensive and you come off looking like a stingy tightwad. Thanks for posting this.


  3. Benjamin Parker says:

    Chocolate is the standard V-Day gift, and it’s easy to see why. It’s rich, creamy and muy delicioso. Not to mention it’s an aphrodisiac. There’s a reason chocolate is the candy of love and Sour Patch Kids aren’t. But not all chocolates are created equal. Skip the drugstore variety and go for a high-end chocolate like Godiva, Leonidas or Teuscher. Thank you this was such a great post!


  4. thanhlam says:

    I think this is what I’ll get for my boyfriends a new
    Best Christmas Gift Ideas For Boyfriends 2014
    ! I loved the explanations here and thanks so much for your articles. Now I need to choose one of them. the hardest job still. I’ll see what he likes.


  5. good christmas presents for boyfriend says:

    There’s no real reason not to anymore: the internet
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    And even though that “something” is and always will remain hidden, it is
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    Corporately branded merchandise is just part of that same process.


  6. Janet says:

    There is also IPhone app for that (What to get my boyfriend), its very nice. It asks you questions about relationship and his character and in the end it gives you suggestions, of course you can set the budget and also his birthday reminder. There is a bunch of pretty cool (also DIY) ideas.


  7. Mandi says:

    This was such a great article! Also, I believe that if you are starting a relationship close to the holiday season, it would be a good idea to get to know as much about “your new boo” as possible! This way, you can give a more personal gift that shows you were actually listening to him/her during your conversations lol. I also think there should be some type of spending limit–not too extravagant and not too cheap.


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