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Birthday present idea for new SO

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Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 11:26 AM

My new SO's birthday is next week. I've always been great at getting presents, but I'm really struggling this time. I think I'm putting pressure on myself because of old triggers. Anyway, I asked his sister for advice on what to get. She said that he loves cooking (I didn't know that), and suggested a cooking class. He has mentioned grilling before, so I found a grilling class in his town. I bought the class, and a grilling cookbook. After I bought it, the confirmation email showed that it was the same city in a different state. Duh.

I can't find another cooking class within 2 hours of where we live. So another idea is to buy one in a city 2 hours away, where he works on Saturday nights. He usually works midnight to 5AM in that city on Saturdays, and the calendar shows that there are some grilling classes at 4PM on Sundays there. So I'm considering buying a class, or maybe just a gift certificate and letting him choose the date? But I don't know if it's weird to buy something that's 2 hours away. What do you think?

EvenKeel posted 6/3/2014 12:03 PM

While that is a great gift, I agree I would be hesitate due to the distance, etc. Especially since this is a newer SO.

How about a variety of gourmet grilling rubs/marinades/sauces?

absolut posted 6/3/2014 12:09 PM

what EK said.

you are putting a lot of effort into this considering your relationship and how little face time you have had with him.

At best this is a budding relationship. Get a simple gift

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 12:49 PM

A cooking class is actually a simple gift for me. I usually get interesting and creative gifts. One SO told me I was the best gift giver he's ever met. We've dated for about 3 months I guess, and he's mentioned taking a vacation together in the future. So I wouldn't be the first person to bring up an out of town trip...

I got the cookbook already, but it was cheap. He doesn't actually own a grill, so I don't think the sauces would be something he'd use.

Another idea was blowing up and framing a picture of his car. He loves his car, and we joke back and forth about how clean his car is versus how messy mine is. I've heard that it was in a car magazine at some point. But he's a guy, and has nothing framed in his house so not sure if he would actually like that.

little turtle posted 6/3/2014 13:10 PM

When did this guy become your SO? I thought you were dating...weren't you going to break up with him before your trip?? Did I miss something??

I'd cancel the class and come up with a new idea. It seems like a bit much for someone that you've been dating for a few months.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 13:18 PM

We talked before my trip. He said he considers me his gf, and asked me to meet his sister. I told him I had problems with his lack of planning, and he's been better about giving me set times.

What types of gifts do you get new SOs? Cooking class seemed pretty basic, but my town is so small that it doesn't have any. My only other example of buying a SO of less than 6 months a gift was a few years ago, and I got him an xbox... I tend to go all out on gifts.

IrishGirlVA posted 6/3/2014 13:48 PM

I don't know. If he doesn't have a grill and you said he wouldn't use grilling sauces, then I'm not sure why a grilling class would be useful. Then again, in your post, you went back and forth with calling it "grilling class" and "cooking class" and I see those as two separate things.

Anyway, I would suggest going back to his sister as she may have another idea.

How about checking things going on around town? Perhaps an outdoor concert or a play you can both attend?

New guy doesn't know if you are good gift giver or not so getting something you may not find overly unique would be ok. He'll still appreciate it. And when the relationship progresses and you have a better idea of his likes and dislikes, then you can ramp up your gift giving style!

lieshurt posted 6/3/2014 13:52 PM

I tend to go all out on gifts.

Stop doing that. This guy hasn't earned an amazing gift given his track record. Keep it simple....some of his favorite beers and snacks in a basket, movie tickets, sporting event tickets, dvds of his favorite movies, with popcorn & candy in a basket, etc....

Crescita posted 6/3/2014 14:08 PM

I always like activity presents for early dating, so I don't think a cooking class is too much, but in town would be preferred just for ease of use. I'd check groupon or livingsocial to see what fun date type things are in your area. A mystery theater dinner might be fun. Horseback riding, comedy shows, sporting events and concerts can also be good early dating gifts. Nothing more than a month out.

I tend to go a bit over board on gift giving myself sometimes, so activities seem a happy medium. No matter what you spend, you are spending the same on yourself, so it doesn't put anyone on a pedestal.

If there is nothing in your area, dinner and a card is also sufficient.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 15:14 PM

Unfortunately, groupon and living social does not exist in my town. It's a small coastal town where everything closes at 9PM.

He doesn't watch sports at all, and I know he doesn't like musicals. The only thing that I know he's interested in is his car and IT stuff, like his computer and xbox.

We live near the Outer Banks, and he mentioned that he's wanted to go in the past. So I considered just paying for the ferry ride for that, but he works the next 3 weekends.

What do you think of the blowing the picture of the car up and framing it idea?

I'm still leaning toward the cooking class out of town, since he works there. But seems like everyone thinks that's too much.

I know I'm probably over thinking it. I just want to get him something that he'll like. My xwSO returned my gift because of OW, so I think maybe I'm just sensitive about my first gift buying thing after that.

IrishGirlVA posted 6/3/2014 15:25 PM

The trick is, you don't want to come across as if you are buying his affection and/or love. Some women have a bad habit of reading too much into things and so do some men. They just read a different language than we do! Many women would perceive a very wonderful gift from someone we just started dating as "Ooooh, he really likes me! Yay!" whereas men would be thinking, "Ut oh, she is starting to really like me" and back off.

Choose a happy medium. If this relationship is going to work out you will have plenty of other opportunities to give him great gifts. However, if things don't work out, you won't feel resentful over giving him something he didn't exactly earn or deserve. KWIM?

Do you plan on joining him with the cooking class? Personally, as much as I enjoy cooking, I don't want to go alone.

[This message edited by IrishGirlVA at 3:26 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)]

lieshurt posted 6/3/2014 15:45 PM

What do you think of the blowing the picture of the car up and framing it idea?

That's sounds like a good idea.

Charity411 posted 6/3/2014 15:48 PM

Since you already bought him a book on grilling, maybe you could buy him a nice cast iron grill pan. That way he can grill year round. I would recommend Lodge cast iron. They make several versions, they aren't expensive and they last forever. And they're kind of masculine.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 15:50 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean IrishGirl. I think the cooking class would be perfect if it was in our town. But it's 2 hours away, where he works on Saturdays. And yeah, I would go with him.

So I guess it's between out of town cooking class OR small cookbook and framed picture of his car.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 16:51 PM

One more idea for opinions. There's a nearby pretty coastal town that I tease him for never having been to. What about a gift certificate for a restaurant on the water there that you can kayak to? I did it with friends, and it was fun. I could tell him we will do it on his next Saturday off since I know he works the next 3 weekends. It's about 30 minutes away. Thoughts?

absolut posted 6/3/2014 17:18 PM

All of this stuff is way too much.

Way too much.

Look, the last guy actually returned a gift you gave.

This guy, you were all good & hot to break up with him until he acted as if he thought everything was fine and said he'd start acting right. That was like ... how long ago? A week?

You do not need to be buying him tickets to classes or planning for events for the two of you to do anything together. Do not plan out time for him. That is his job. Do not contact his sister to act about his likes and dislikes.

The next time he calls you, ask him if he has a favorite bottle of alcohol (whisky, vodka, etc) or if there is a book on his Amazon wish list you can get him for his birthday.
Just ask him yourself, don't ask his sister.

That plus a card. Simple.

If he says he really doesn't want anything, get him nothing. Text him happy birthday.

You have only been together a short time if at all. DO NOT give him any kind of framed photo or decoration for his home.

You need to take some responsibility for your side of things here, being way over-invested way too soon. Stop doing this.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 17:46 PM

That's a little harsh, but ok... I really didn't think the ideas were over the top. Except for the recent ex who was an ass and returned my gift because OW told him to, all of my exes have loved my gifts. I try to do thoughtful things that show I know the person.

We communicated about things, and he's made a noticeable difference in giving me plans and times. I met his sister, and she knew so much stuff about me. I don't want to go over the top for a gift, but I also don't want to be inconsiderate. I like him, and I don't see the harm in showing that.

lieshurt posted 6/3/2014 18:03 PM

I also don't want to be inconsiderate.

It has nothing to do with being inconsiderate. You are doing too much at this point. Your posts about this guy really do show your neediness. He hasn't earned going over the top for him at this point. So what if he told his sister about you? That doesn't mean anything. And he's followed through with you once in the past week or two since your talk? That isn't some miracle breakthrough. Anybody can do that. Let him show you that he's proactively working towards being a better bf. You going over the top is just going to allow him to become complacent like he did before.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 6:10 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)]

absolut posted 6/3/2014 18:08 PM

You're missing something

You try to do thoughtful things that show you know the person


But you don't know what to buy him.

Because it's been such a short time and you guys don't spend enough time together.

If this was a guy you'd been dating for a year who you were always seeing, always talking to, knew everything about, you would know.

You can't show you know someone when you don't

Just ask him what he wants.

And yes I'm fully aware that he made promises, arranged one date with an actual time and you met his sister who was nice, I read those posts, but these things do not add up enough imo. You still need to be careful with your heart.

And jmo

He might find it annoying if you buy him tickets to something that is going to eat up an entire day. Like a two hour drive each way, or anything like that given his track record of not even showing up sometimes. Really I don't think tickets to anything make a good surprise gift for a couple that doesn't know each other very well. At least ask if he wants them first. He doesn't even plan his own time, don't do it for him. If you'd been together for a year or more it might be a different story.

Gifts I've bought for guys I'd only been dating a few months when a bday or xmas popped up

DVD player (his broke and he was waiting on his paycheck and watching DVDs on laptop)
Alma mater sweatshirt (he lives for college ball)
nice new release hardcover book off amazon wish list
Bottle of Hennessy
South Park box set

no, not all of these for one guy I mean like one each. I've had a lot of boyfriends.

I'm not trying to be harsh but nobody wants to see you get used.

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/3/2014 18:50 PM

Okay, I see your point. I still don't see a cooking class as over the top, but I do see how it might be a problem given his inability to make plans in the past. I guess that's why I posted on here to begin with, because I was concerned about it.

I had already bought a cookbook to go along with the class, so I think I'll just give him that. And suggest dinner on his birthday, my treat. Maybe wear a sexy outfit later that night. Sound more appropriate?

I've always been a big gift giver. I enjoy buying things for people. I actually enjoy giving gifts much more than receiving them. I do it with friends and family too.

I was feeling more secure about things with him, and now I'm feeling insecure again. I think we had a good talk, and I've noticed a difference since then. When I was on the cruise, he even suggested us going on a cruise together in September. His suggestion, not mine. He wanted to see me when I got back home, and he made set plans for it. We have set plans for tomorrow night too.

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