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Gift Ideas For Someone You Just Started Dating (or how not to make an ass of yourself)

Updated on April 28, 2014

Now This Could Be Awkward!

Is this you? You have started to date a lady and it is going well. You share similar interests, have lots of laughs together, you find her attractive, and can even see a potential for a real relationship, although it is far too soon to know that for sure. But then something awkward happens…Valentine's Day, Christmas or her birthday is just around the corner, and you have no idea what, if anything, you should give her.


A Gift Can Send A Message...What's Yours?

This has happened to most people and it can be a tricky situation to handle. What you are aiming for here is balance. You want her to know you like her, you want something a little personal, but you don’t want to give her the impression that you are madly in love and ready to start shopping for a house with the white picket fence. What you really don’t want is to scare her away by being too cold and impersonal or by being too over the top. Thoughtful moderation is the key here.

Don't Make These Mistakes!

The biggest mistake you can make, other than ignoring the occasion all together and giving her nothing, is to spend too much money. This could make you look like you are trying to hard, showing off or have feelings that really haven’t had time to develop yet. And don’t just wander around the stores until some trinket catches your eye. Take the time to think about her, her likes and dislikes, her taste and her lifestyle, as little as you may know about these things yet. Here are a few ideas for you.

Share a Bottle of Wine


Does she have a favourite author? If you’re not sure and you get a chance, do a bit of sleuthing next time you are at her house and take a peek at her book shelf. Does she have three or four books by the same author or on the same subject? That should make it easy for you. If that doesn’t give you any ideas you could buy her the book based on one of her favourite movies. As a bit of a romantic twist you could buy yourself a copy too and the two of you could read it together and have your own little book club.

Wine or Spirits

Have the two of you shared a nice bottle of wine over dinner on one of your dates? You could buy her a bottle and package it up with two nice wine glasses, and the two of you could share it together. Or was it Margarita’s? Buy all the fixings, the glasses and enjoy!

Event Tickets

Tickets for two to a sporting event, concert or play she may have mentioned would likely be appreciated. Throw in a nice dinner or lunch before and if it is her birthday arrange with the staff at the restaurant surprise her with a lovely desert with a candle in it. Brownie points for you!

The Classic....Flowers!

You can’t go wrong with flowers, passé as they might be, women love to get flowers from their man (or potential future man). If you know her favourite flower have them included in the arrangement, if not, include her favourite color or better yet her style. Does she prefer a minimalist, modern aesthetic or is she more a shabby chic lady. Again, look around her home or the way she dresses as this can give you clues. If you can have her flowers delivered to her work place, all the better as she will get to show them off to her fellow employees. If you decide to go with roses, avoid red roses as this is a traditional declaration of love. Pink or yellow are better choices as they symbolise affection and warmth rather than intense romantic love.

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets can be great and there are lots of pre-made ones out there, but those can be pretty generic. A more thoughtful and therefore more appreciated option would be to buy a basket and choose the contents yourself. Tuck in a package of her favourite coffee, a couple of mugs that would suit her (hint…specialty kitchen stores have a wonderful variety of mugs) tea, cookies and treats. Tie a bow on the handle you have got a lovely and thoughtful presentation.

Stuffy....for a YOUNG woman


If you and your lady friend are young (under say, twenty one) an adorable stuffy holding a greeting card or box of her favourite candy would be sweet, but avoid this with more mature women as it may be a little too cutesy.

Personalized Gifts

Other thoughtful options are personalized gifts that you can order online at many retailers. has hundreds of gift items from t-shirts and mugs to necklaces and throw cushions and they can all be completely customized. You don’t have to be a designer as they walk you through the process and make it very easy. Does she have a favourite saying, tagline, joke or photo? Is there something she shared on facebook or is there an inside joke between the two of you that would look good on a statement mug? The pricing of these items are reasonable, however you have to plan ahead to allow for shipping time.

Another great place to find personalized gifts is This site has lots of artists and crafters who would be happy to personalize an item for you.

Greeting Cards

Cards can be very difficult to find for a brand new romance. They may seem to be excessively sentimental, or rather brash and rude. A simple fix for this is to buy a blank card and write your own message. A simple “I am enjoying getting to know you. Have a wonderful birthday” and signing your name would be fine.

Keep It Light


Do's and Don'ts


Think about her likes and dislikes.

Make it personal but not intimate.

Acknowledge the occasion even if it is just a card.

Keep it light and fun.

Make sure the gift is sending the right message.


Spend excessively

Give her red roses.

Give her expensive jewellery.

Give her anything too intimate like lingerie.

Be overly romantic.

Give her something generic like a gift card.


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    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Thanks for reading and commenting CrisSp and Bill!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great tips! I like the "keep it light" thoughts. Certainly passing along! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I could have used this information about forty years ago. Now I think I've got the hang of it, but these are great suggestions, Sheri!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Thanks Midget38

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Agreed, Sheri! Gifts should be kept light and meaningful!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Thanks Careermommy. I hope one of these ideas helps him. Happy New Year to you!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Sheri, I just had this discussion with my co-worker, who just started dating a young lady during the holidays. These are great suggestions. I will pass them along to him!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Thank you Kathryn. Happy New Years to you too.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a great topic, and I like your suggestions! It can be very awkward when you start seeing someone shortly before a holiday or birthday, and you addressed the concerns very well.

      Voted up and sharing.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a happy new year!

      ~ Kathryn