There you are, stalking through the department store looking for dating gift ideas and wondering why it is so hard now. It used to be so easy. Whatever aesthetically-challenged tie, scarf or Hummel figurine your 12-year old sensibilities considered appropriate, you knew your Dad would wear it proudly because it came from you. Alas, in the dating world, things are not so simple. In fact, we all need a little help with dating gifts every now and then.
The Art of Gift Giving
Let's face it. Gift giving is an art, especially when it comes to someone you are dating and even more so with someone with whom you are falling in love. While you may enjoy the happy anticipation on your date's face, you have to understand that it is the expression you get after the gift is opened that counts. Yes, there is a great deal riding on the contents of that little wrapped box you slide across the table but how do you know what is appropriate? How do you know what they will appreciate? The answer to the first depends on how long and seriously you have been dating. As for the second, you simply need to listen.
Listening and Dating Gift Ideas
If you have been paying any attention to your date whatsoever, to their body language and the things they have been telling you, then you should have a good idea of their general likes and dislikes. Beyond that, it is simply a matter of time and attentiveness. Those two things are gifts and the attention you pay your date as your relationship grows will not be forgotten. They are also the surest way for you to know that what you are covering with the shiny red wrapping paper is going to make that significant person smile.
The Gift Ideas
Gifts should say something memorable about the giver of the gift and should also be relevant to the receiver of the gift. Consider this more of a guideline than a rule since sometimes that makes it easier and sometimes not. If you both enjoy a certain activity, then something relating to that activity would be in order. If your date is into martial arts and you like tennis, getting them a racket would not work out as well as buying them a nice new equipment bag or a new outfit to work out in.
Break gift ideas down into the following categories:
This is where a good ear for what your date is telling you is beneficial. Going for something sentimental or truly meaningful to the person you are giving the gift to. Some ideas can include:
- Personal grooming items
- Monogrammed items
- Watches and jewelry
Toys and Technology
This is the easiest category since pretty much everyone loves toys and technology! These are things that can help your date relax, work or just have fun. Gifts of this sort are sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical, but usually appreciated and they do not have to cost the proverbial arm and leg. Consider the following:
- Optical technology
- Digital camera
- Digital picture frame (with your digital picture pre-loaded, of course)
- Music and video technology
- MP3 player
- Communications technology
- A new cell phone with your number in it would be a cool gift
- Fun gadgets
- Sports equipment
- Hobby-related items
The experiential gift is one where your date can take away a memory of an exciting, possibly scary, dream-come-true event that has you firmly embedded in the center just because you were the one to make it happen. If this is what you are considering, think of these:
- Water sports
- Swimming with dolphins
- Classes-Learn something new together!
- Theme parties/events
- Theater-Drama, comedy, musicals, opera!
- Concerts-A little jazz, some blues, rockin' in the coliseum or relaxing to Mozart!
- Travel-It may be just a weekend, but you can make it magic!
The Perfect Dating Gift Idea
These are just a few dating gift ideas to show you what's out there. Depending on your circumstances and the length and depth of your relationship, the real key to buying a gift for that special someone is listening to them. By paying attention to what they say and then acting upon what you have learned is truly the best gift you can give them.