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My rule of thumb here is to only spend what you’re comfortable losing. What do I mean by this?
New relationships are amazing. Falling in love is amazing.
Being with that woman makes you all tingly and excited all the time. You can’t stop thinking about her, and you want to impress her, amaze her and knock her off her feet by giving her something special.
That’s all well and good if your relationship makes it through the holidays and into the second quarter of the New Year.
I have a friend who started dating a woman in September. As Christmas approached, they had a few conversations about gifts and came to an agreement about how much to spend.
My friend kept to the agreement and bought her girlfriend tickets to a Broadway show in a city two hours away, with plans to make it an overnight event in the big city.
Not only did she go overboard and buy many expensive gifts, including an iPad and a Kuerig coffee maker, but she also bought my friend a small motorboat. YES! A boat.
It was used but it was still a four-figure gift that was so out of line with their agreement that I knew they were in deep trouble.
They broke up just before Valentine’s Day. My friend was in a horrible dilemma about the gifts and the boat, so she offered to pay her ex-girlfriend for the boat, which she never wanted to begin with.
Then the boat turned into a major repair problem and it promptly started to fall apart when boating season began. No, I’m not making this up! The boat needed repairs costing more than it was worth to make it water-worthy.
On top of that, even the boat trailer collapsed. It was a mess and created some really hard feelings, as my friend then refused to pay back the purchase price of the boat.
“When it comes to your purchase,
I suggest you keep it meaningful.”
When you are newly dating, you are learning a lot about each other. Gift-giving expectations is one of those things.
Your girlfriend can tell you all kinds of stories about gifts she’s received and what she thought about the gift and the giver. That information can be really important in your choices in giving her a gift.
Listen to what she’s telling you and when it comes to your first purchase, I suggest you keep it very meaningful but not expensive, super-sized or so outside the box that it becomes a drag on the relationship.
Tell her you would like to buy her a dozen other things but honoring your word to her is more important than anything.
Finally, be smart about your own heart. If you break up, will the gift you picked out become something you regret or resent giving her?
If the answer is yes, then rethink your gift purchase and go with meaningful over big, expensive and meant to impress.