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What Is a Good Gift for a New Boyfriend?

by Erica Loop

Now that you've gone from "just dating" to "in a relationship" status, you need to get your new boyfriend a gift. Maybe you are still getting to know him and aren't entirely sure what he would like, or you don't want to overstate your budding romance with a grand gift. Choosing an appropriate present will show that you care without sending the wrong message.

Give What You Want to Get

The beginning of a relationship provides a time to set the tone for future gift-giving. Use the concept of reciprocity and give your new guy something that you would like to get. This doesn't mean that you give him the identical t-shirt that you saw while shopping. Instead, give him a gift that's on par with what you would expect. Think about what you would like him to give you and pick something on the same level. For example, if things are still fairly casual, you might expect him to get you something small or inexpensive -- a scarf in the winter or a book for your birthday. Pick out a same-level gift that speaks to his likes.

The Meaningful Gift

While some presents simply celebrate an occasion, others are meant to be more meaningful, according to social psychologist Theresa DiDonato in her article "Gift-Giving in Romantic Relationships" on the Psychology Today website. This type of gift shows your commitment and symbolizes how much you care. Even though you can opt for a meaningful expensive present -- such as that brand new tech gadget that your guy has been pining over or a new smart phone-- you don't have to. Choose something that is sentimental and speaks to your new romance. For example, give him a framed photo of the two of you from your first date or a playlist of your top date-night songs that he can download.

Useful Presents

A gift that is heartfelt, yet doesn't overstate your romantic intentions, is one that your guy finds useful. This type of gift tells your boyfriend that you know him well enough to pick out something that he needs, but doesn't make him feel like you're moving too fast. For example, your boyfriend enjoyed his homemade morning smoothies -- at least until his blender broke. Buy him a new one for his birthday. Another useful option is a gift card. While this might seem impersonal, getting a card from a restaurant where he eats his work lunches or a coffee shop that he goes to every morning will come in handy and show that you pay attention. If he asks for something specific or a card from his favorite store, go with that option.

When He Has Everything

If he seems to have everything he could ever need, check out specialty stores that sell consumables -- things he'll use up, such as foods or toiletries. For example, get him an exotic jam to put on his morning bagels, choose an aftershave that goes above and beyond the usual drugstore brand or buy a fancy -- yet masculine -- scented French soap. You can also go with a handmade item that there is no way he already has. If you're crafty, consider crocheting a scarf or knitting a cozy blanket.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

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