It must be memorable, original, heartfelt, and, most importantly, not too weird. In fact, you may not know it being an unmarried person yourself, but a list of traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year actually exists.Here’s a little taste of the world according to Hallmark: And on and on, till death do you part or until 75 long, married years have passed, whichever comes first (what, are we in Cocoon or something? After the 20th anniversary they mercifully switch to every five years, though the ante is upped considerably with words like “diamond,” “Tahitian getaway,” and “Bengal tiger cub.” Sounds suspiciously like a racket, no? And doesn’t a copy of USA Today or a two-by-four seem like a disappointing anniversary gift?

But not everyone is on the road to marriage, nor does everybody necessarily want to be.

So in the spirit of tradition, below I offer year-by-year suggestions for anniversary gifts for your girlfriend.

Plan a weekend getaway to a place you've always talked about visiting together.

Make reservations for everything that you want to do so all you have to do when you get there is enjoy your time together.

Question: My girlfriend and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary since we started dating. —Ben Answer: Congratulations to you and your girlfriend on celebrating your “first anniversary since [you] started dating!

” Your specific phrasing here is intriguing—”since you started dating”—suggesting maybe this is the first in a long list of other anniversaries you and your girlfriend plan to celebrate, such as “anniversary since we first expressed a shared obsession with Farm Ville,” “anniversary since saying ‘I love you’ before we were sure we meant it,” and the never-forgettable “anniversary since the discovery of mutual flatulence.” Or maybe I’m being overly imaginative?

Regardless, my friend, you’ve come to the right place, for I am second-to-none when it comes to gift giving and matters of the heart. The problem is that, for dating couples, there are really no established norms for this sort of thing.

Choosing a meaningful gift is not easy when you’re still getting to know someone. Heaven knows the Hallmark Industrial Complex won’t be providing much inspiration—the romantic gift sector tends to save its most effective guilt-trip marketing for actual married persons, particularly around Valentine’s Day and on wedding anniversaries.

In Denmark and the Netherlands, a couple's copper anniversary is 12.5 years (half of 25).

The names of some anniversaries provide guidance for appropriate or traditional gifts for the spouses to give each other; if there is a party these can be brought by the guests or influence the theme or decoration.

The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany where, if a married couple lived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding, the wife was presented by her friends and neighbors with a silver wreath to congratulate them for the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple.