One of my best friends once got a ring for Christmas from her boyfriend. If you want to avoid sending the wrong message with your gift and signaling that you might have gotten overly attached too quickly, you need to navigate the Price/Relationship axis.

You have to take into account how long you’ve been dating and – critically – what Fortunately, it’s fairly simple.

You should have a pretty solid idea of what your sweetie is into and is appropriate.

I point out that at this stage, practical gifts are more acceptable, especially if you’re living together.

After all, no matter how much we try to tell ourselves that a gift is just a gift, what you give to your sweetie carries an intrinsic message about how you feel about them and your relationship. Ask around; buying expensive or outrageous gifts when you’re still early in the relationship is going to be a red flag to the majority of people. There are plenty of men – myself included – who’ve made the mistake of overcommitting on a gift too early in the relationship. Sometimes we legitimately trying to bowl them over and effectively buy their affections.

It’s an extension of the Grand Romantic Gesture that looks great in movies but actually freaks people out in real life. Either way: at best it’s going to send very awkward messages. well, it can be the incident that causes your honey to start rethinking how they feel about you.

Every year, once we get past Thanksgiving and Black-Eye Friday and the Christmas Shopping Season It’s a trickier question than you’d think.

Gift giving, whether at Christmas, Valentine’s Day or a birthday, can be fraught with insecurity and peril, especially when you’re at the beginning of a new relationship – or worse, are still in the “are we/aren’t we” stage of dating.

Giving something practical like, say, cookware, implies a more committed relationship than you actually have.

Concert tickets, especially for a band she likes, are a great idea here.

If you’re seeing each other upwards of three times a week, you’re starting to move into more serious territory and you have slightly more flexibility in gifts.

At the same time however, if you haven’t had the “Defining The Relationship” talk – you’re not exclusive or otherwise a “serious” relationship – then you want something cute and fun that reflects the fact that you’ve been enjoying your time together.

It’s hard for an early relationship to recover from that, so don’t blow this, dude.