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Gift Ideas for Any Kind of Relationship

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As the holidays approach, everyone scrambles to brainstorm the perfect gift for his or her best friend, mom, dad and siblings. Getting a gift for your hard-to-please brother is one thing, but shopping for someone you’re seeing is a whole other challenge. Do you get that person a gift or not? Are you there in your relationship yet? Whether you’re hooking up or you just started dating, there are plenty of options to ease your anxieties and help you find out the perfect gift!

The friend with benefits

If your friends-with-benefits relationship is strictly about the benefits, it may be inappropriate to get him or her a Christmas present. Follow your instinct and don’t stress about it. If you’ve never gone out before or implied it might go beyond the benefits, you should probably opt out of the gift-giving.

“Getting a present for the guy you’re low-key hooking up with might put pressure on him to further the relationship or return the gesture,” says Alex Fulco, a junior at Fairfield University.

However, if you do have intentions of developing the FWB relationship, have a conversation with your hook-up first before jumping the gun. “Make sure you’re both on the same page about where your relationship stands” before you go window-shopping for your FWB, Alex says.

The one you’re casually dating

You’ve just sort of, kind of begun dating, but you still don’t have labels of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” We’re talking not even FB official yet, but you do see it going in that direction.

If you don’t know exactly what you two are, get your special someone a gift that isn’t too serious. Pay attention to the conversations you’ve been having while hanging out, and tap into what he or she really loves. If your beau is a huge movie buff, get him or her a date night movie you’ve seen together and loved. Is your beau more of a video-game person? Get the hottest game coming out around the holiday season, and gain some brownie points by playing it together the next time you hang out. Is your sweetie a bookworm? Ask who his or her favorite author is and get him or her a new book. Keep your gift casual but personalized.

The new boyfriend or girlfriend

After weeks of waiting, you two are finally official and enjoying every bit of being THAT couple. This is your chance to really show that you pay attention to your bae’s interests.

We suggest if your beau is a music lover or social butterfly who hosts tons of parties, get him or her Bluetooth speakers or even headphones. It's not a serious gift that says, "I love you" just yet, but it speaks to your SO’s interests, and that's what matters. Not only will he or she love them, but it’s a gift that can actually be used that won’t sit and collect dust.

Additionally, some people may be less into the physical gift itself and into an outing or activity. Jack Wells, a senior at St. John’s University, says, “I’m a fan of the activity gift. The shorter the relationship has been, the less you want to buy physical things for your significant other.”

Jack’s suggestion? Tickets to a concert, especially if you two have a mutual favorite band.

“I personally would feel bad if my girlfriend bought me tickets to something that she didn’t enjoy,” Jack says. “Make it fun for the both of you.”

Keep it light and fun! No need to spend a ton of money to celebrate the holidays with your main squeeze.

The one you’ve dated for several months

You’ve had your SO now for months, and you want to get him or her something sweet and special. Think about what your BF or GF might need but would rarely go out and get him or herself.

“My girlfriend gets me my favorite cologne every year, and I love it,” says Matt Zazzarino, a senior at St. John’s University. “It’s cute when she likes what I wear and wants me to keep it that way. It’s something we both end up liking. Also, guys don’t love browsing for cologne, so it’s a treat when your girl gets you what she knows you’ll like.”

Feeling spendy on your sweetie? If he or she is a die-hard sports fan, “get a replica field jersey as a gift,” Matt suggests. “I’m not even a huge sports fan, but I know guys that would go nuts for that.”

Overall, when you’re coming up with what to get your sweetie for the holidays, don’t overthink it. Any ounce of effort will be recognized no matter what, and that’s what will mean the most!


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