What an awkward situation- you’ve just begun dating someone, and a few weeks in their birthday is rolling around and you have no utter clue what to get them. You have to give them SOMETHING so you don’t look like a total jerk for ignoring their birthday, but you want to be careful not to cross the line between too personal and too generic, so you don’t create an embarrassing situation for everybody. I’ve been there, and it’s a tough one, but you can still get the perfect gift for someone you’re just getting to know without going overboard or missing the mark.
Your best bet for someone’s birthday who you’ve just started dating is flowers. You don’t need to go all out with roses galore, but a simple daisy bouquet with a little birthday note, “Happy Birthday! I’m having fun getting to know you- hope your birthday is awesome!” is a great way to acknowledge your date’s birthday without falling short or going overboard. Yes, you can do this for guys as well.
What you DON’T want to do is give them something like a shirt, gift certificate to somewhere they may or may not shop, a hat, or a personal purchase that implies one of two things: that you’re moving too fast in the relationship, or that you just don’t care and gave a generic gift certificate that you could have given anyone. People who you’ve just started dating will read into everything, so you want to give them something nice, but if you give your date a new tie, they might be going, “Whoa- too fast, too personal.” Goofy, but you have to be careful of that.
Another great gift for someone you’re just beginning to date? A board game. A board game is a fun gift for anyone, and it can be Yahtzee or Boggle or Scattergories. Even Monopoly is a great buy. A board game is something they’ll use without raising eyebrows, and may be an icebreaker for a future date. “Hey, maybe we could play that sometime. I love Scrabble, and I thought you might enjoy it too.” It’s sweet and cute, and may get you another date.
Take your date somewhere fun for their birthday, or to make it less awkward, a few days beforehand. “Hey, I know your birthday is coming up and wanted to celebrate a little,” and take them bowling, or to a movie, something you would have done as a regular date anyhow, but with their birthday in mind. Buy them a birthday slice of pizza or a birthday ice cream cone, so your date knows you acknowledge their special day without the pressure of making them invite you to their party if they’re just not ready yet (or if you’re not quite ready either).
What you absolutely do not want to do is just plain ignore their birthday or just give them a birthday text or call if you’re feeling awkward about the whole thing. Unless you just plain have no interest in the budding relationship, don’t just hope the birthday moment slides by and you don’t have to do anything. It will most likely backfire on you, and telling your date later that you were just uncomfortable or just didn’t want to make them uncomfortable about their birthday and your new relationship may not cut it. If nothing else, at least tie a balloon to their door wishing them Happy Birthday if you’re too uncomfortable doing something else. Odds are, if their upcoming event is awkward for you, it’s awkward for your date as well, so a little something breaks the ice without causing an embarrassing moment.
Getting something too extravagant for someone’s birthday can be as bad as giving nothing at all. Your date can open the expensive perfume you thought she’d like and be put off by it because it’s sweet, but too much too soon. So be careful with what you choose. Keep it personal by giving something, but not awkward by going overboard. Unless your relationship is already moving along swimmingly and you know you can give them anything and they won’t take it the wrong way (in which case, why are you reading this?) keep it simple but fun and noticeable. You can’t lose.