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June 26, 2009

6 First Gift Tips

Step away from the Starbucks gift card. Wow your sweetie with the perfect first gift with the help of these tips.

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woman in pink dress holding gift wrapped in green with purple ribbon

Photo Credit: Kutay Tanir/iStock Photo

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You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, and neither does the first gift you give a significant other. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or just-because gift, present-picking can feel like pop quiz on your partner. Need help making sure you pass the first-gift test? We asked victims of bad kissers at Marie Claire Ask & AnswerMarie Claire's online Q&A community for dating, sex, and relationship advice — for their guidelines to choosing the perfect gift. Here's what they said:

Get Personal
For sirkermittsg, gifts that are "personalized and that show that you are listening to them are the best kind." She suggests you first look to your partner's interests. "Look for something that fits his interests but is small, not too expensive, and that you know he might not have. For example if he likes to ride a bicycle but does not have a water bottle on it....then a bottle plus a rack to go on the bike." Pay attention to the hints that your significant other leaves you, either consciously or not, about what they wish they had or have been meaning to get for themselves.

Be Sweet, Not Corny
In the early stages of dating, hold off on going overboard and declaring your undying love in a gift. Resist the urge to put lots of heart decorations and "I love you" all over something you make," warns sirkermittsg. Most guys are not really into that sort of thing and well they may not give you the huge smile you were looking for."

Show That You Care
"In this relationship my first gift was for my birthday and was a $100 spa package," sarahsoda17 told us. "I kind of shrugged it off as impersonal and the easy way out but then realized he knew how stressed I was as a student and wanted me to have some time to myself to be pampered. It wasn't extravagant but it was perfect!"

Reference Your Bond
Strengthen your bond by getting your significant other something that reminds them of the two of you as a couple, like a favorite shared activity, band, or an inside joke. sarahsoda17's second gift from her boyfriend was "an NFL Steelers jersey because they are my favorite team and football is something we bond over. It was really personal and I loved it!" She got creative with some great tunes. "The first gift I gave him was a burnt CD with all the songs that reminded me of him or had something to do with our relationship or a time we shared together where the song was playing. I wrote a long letter explaining why I picked each song and he LOVED IT! It was cheap and simple but very personal!"

Do-It-Yourself
"Material items mean nothing to me," says utahmom. "The best gift I received was a water color painting with a hand written (caligraphy) poem over it." If you're low on cash, a cute poem, painting, or song is costs little to nothing, but makes a big impact...even regardless of your talent or skill level.

Pay Attention Early On
livestolaugh's boyfriend knows the importance of pay attention to what your partner likes from day one. "We met on an online dating site and I had mentioned in my profile I preferred wild flowers to store bought roses," she says. "We had gone out a few times and when I went out to my car one morning, he had covered it in wild flowers. It was cool because he paid attention to my profile and didn't mention it and he took the time to do it. A very inexpensive gift but priceless." Having trouble thinking back to early hints? Cheat and check out their Facebook profile or early emails for mentions of favorite things you might have forgotten about.


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