What to get the guy I just started dating for his birthday?
April 26, 2008 10:59 AM   Subscribe

What is an appropriate birthday gift to give to someone you've only just started dating?

His birthday is next week. Although we've only been dating for about a week, things have been going well so I don't think I'm getting too ahead of myself by assuming I'd see him then (at least I hope not!).

Maybe at this early stage of dating a gift wouldn't be necessary, but I would like to give him something anyhow. However, I'm kind of at a lose as to what to give someone you've basically just met. I would like to give him something a little more thoughtful than a giftcard. Would something like a book, CD or mixtape be appropriate?

Thanks guys!
posted by blithely to Human Relations (25 answers total)
Books are a great gift regardless of the length of the relationship. So mark yourself with the best answer.
posted by Pants! at 11:04 AM on April 26, 2008

Appropriateness totally depends on your budget, your feelings for this guy, if this guy is sentimental/romantic, your ages. My now-fiance gave me an iPod for my birthday less than three weeks into dating. I guess he wanted to make a big impression. I guess it worked, since we're engaged. However, I think that if I had given him such an extravagant gift at the outset, he might have been thinking I was clingy or weird. So, I think your instinct of a book or CD is right on.
posted by desjardins at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2008

Anything along the lines of a book or CD or DVD is fine -- it's a nice gesture, but not laden with baggage (i.e., not so expensive that either or you will feel bad about it if things don't work out!). When my boyfriend and I had just started dating, his birthday occurred about 3 weeks into the relationship, so I got him a DVD of one of his favorite movies that he'd mentioned he'd had on VHS for a million years and needed to replace.
posted by scody at 11:07 AM on April 26, 2008

Yeah, I'd like a book. Pick something he's shown interest in but that's not too obscure, so he doesn't think you spent weeks obsessing and tracking down some rare tome. It's a nice simple gift that I think is more mature than a mixtape or CD.
posted by Science! at 11:08 AM on April 26, 2008

A mixtape is an awesome idea. It'll show something of you, but it's not intimate or over-the-top.
posted by mpls2 at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2008

Mixtape or CD!

When my boyfriend and I started dating it was pretty clear we both liked music... a lot... but have very different tastes.

As my choices are generally very eclectic and make little sense to anyone who would pick up my iPod (Pinetop Perkins... AND Nickelback?) it was fun for me to find things in my own collection that he might like, or to go buy things he might like but hadn't listened to before but was similar to his tastes and make him CD's. More exposure to 'new' things for the both of us.

After new music... I bought him an iPod (about 4 months in, for his birthday).

The books came later. I had to convince him that reading for pleasure is also a good thing!

Good luck! I think any of your choices are thoughtful, and show that you're thinking about him without going totally overboard.

What fun.
posted by Incognita at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2008

If you know what his tastes are, a CD or a book would be great. Especially a book.
posted by Silvertree at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2008

If you can't think of anything, nearly everyone loves food and it's never considered an overly intimate gift. Treat him to a delicious ice cream soda or whatever he's mentioned he likes eating.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:49 AM on April 26, 2008

yeah, not sure what your price range is, but...

maybe a massage (from you or a pro)

tickets to a really cool show that he would like to go to

a surprise b-day party w his friends? though im guessing it may be too early.

band t-shirt? any cool t-shirt?
posted by gcat at 11:51 AM on April 26, 2008

Whatever you get him, he should definitely send you an e-card.
posted by rdn at 12:02 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Gift card to Starbucks or some other eatery/cafe place he likes. Free food never goes wrong and if he can use it more than once (like a $25 Starbucks card) he'll have multiple opportunities to think of how awesome you are.

And a blowjob.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:06 PM on April 26, 2008

posted by mingshan at 12:31 PM on April 26, 2008

I would just buy him dinner. Or you could make him dinner.

Or books, DVDs, CDs are fine choices.

Something consumable (in the sense that you use it, and it's gone) would be a good choice too. That way, if it doesn't work out, he won't have that DVD/CD/Book/item lying around from that one girl who he dated once for a little bit. I don't have any particular ideas though... *thinks* (inexpensive but good) cologne or something maybe. I don't think I like that idea though. But then I'm just not a cologne guy. Well that's all I got. And non-consumable items are fine. It was just an idea. It's probably much less awkward having a movie around from that girl you dated once for a bit than from your ex who you were almost engaged to before things turned sour.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 12:37 PM on April 26, 2008

A good rule for gifts is $20 for every month you've been dating.

That's actually an absurdly impractical rule, as a little arithmetic will soon reveal. (I love my boyfriend dearly, but I'm not spending $720 on his next birthday present.)
posted by scody at 1:11 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

I had been dating only 2 weeks at the time (october), but I got her the new Kanye cd and a card and then took her to dinner. After that, we went to a bowling alley with a bunch of her friends.
posted by senseigmg at 3:25 PM on April 26, 2008

posted by Juliet Banana at 3:30 PM on April 26, 2008

Is there anything that you guys have joked about that could be turned into a potentially sweet/silly gift? This is going to sound super cheesy, but my girlfriend's (now fiance) birthday was 2 weeks after we began dating. I bugged her about what she wanted for her birthday and she said she wanted a pony.

You've probably already guessed that I got her one of those plastic Barbie ponies. And I took her out to dinner if I recall (It was nearly 8 years ago.) We were 16 at the time however, so perhaps too juvenile?
posted by joshwebb at 3:46 PM on April 26, 2008

Make him dinner and give him a nice card. If a boy/girlfriend did that for me ~2 weeks into the relationship I'd like that/think it was appropriate. A boyfriend I've since moved on from gave me an (expensive) two-CD recording and a book for Christmas on our third date. I was a little weirded out.

Regardless of your (or his) cooking skillz, the effort will be appreciated. It's also a nice way to introduce him to your home and your life and get a little more personal time to concentrate on each other rather than the hustle and bustle of a restaurant date.
posted by arnicae at 4:08 PM on April 26, 2008

just a cute token--i once started dating a guy about two weeks before christmas, so i got him a disco ball tree ornament.

a book/movie/music would be a great choice, though, if you know what he likes.

alternatively, homemade baked goods with a funny card are always a hit. make some cookies or brownies, or whatever he likes. mmm!
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2008

A cupcake with a candle.
posted by unknowncommand at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2008

I've had good luck with "a dog collar or other restraining device", but not all relationships are the same.

I think unknowncommand nailed it here, maybe building on thinkingwoman's explanation. It's about the thought, not the item, and that's a sweet one.
posted by rokusan at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2008

When in doubt about his tastes, check to see if he has an Amazon wishlist. It's invaluable sometimes, even if you don't end up buying anything from it.
posted by Madamina at 6:32 PM on April 26, 2008

"A good rule for gifts is $20 for every month you've been dating"
amazing answer, i dont understand it.
just keep it really small. it doesnt take much to impress a guy who is into you
posted by edtut at 7:23 PM on April 26, 2008

Sorry this is so late, but I ran across the perfect card for you to give.
posted by kosmonaut at 12:16 PM on April 30, 2008

Actually he would have to give it to you :)
posted by kosmonaut at 12:19 PM on April 30, 2008

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