“I don’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member” – Groucho Marx
Yesterday, a woman client told me that she didn’t return a man’s phone call because he called her too quickly after receiving it. She felt bad about it, but her sentiment was loud and clear: “you’re trying too hard, too fast, and you should probably just chill out”.
Of course women aren’t the only ones who see things this way. We all tend to value things that are hard to get above things that are easy to get. The way we see it: if it’s that easy to obtain, it can’t be all that valuable, can it
This is why men want to sleep with women, but then often hold it against them when they do. This is why women want men to make an effort, but not so much, and not so soon.
So when it comes to giving holiday gifts to the new man in your life, bear in mind: less is more.
Believe me, I don’t think it should be this way. I mean, it would be great if both men and women could openly express their feelings without fear of recrimination. But what if a man were to bring you a bouquet of red roses on date 1? Nice gesture, but a bit too eager, don’t you think?
Such premature proclamations of devotion ring hollow when you’ve known someone for all of ten minutes. So, for your own sake, before you bust out the Amex, take the temperature of the relationship and make sure you’re both on the same page.
A man who is unsure about you may be flattered by a gift – hockey tickets, a new book, or a professional massage – but it is certainly not expected. Nor is a holiday gift necessarily going to make him like you more. After all, men don’t fall for women based on what they receive from them. Men fall for women based on how much they want to give to them.
That’s right. Men give. That’s why we ask you out. Why we make the first move. Why we follow up the next day for plans. Why we ask you to have sex. Why we offer to be exclusive. Why we ask you to move in and get engaged. You don’t have to initiate anything; you just have to receive and say yes. That’s sound dating advice – and sound gift-giving advice as well.
If you want a rule of thumb, try this:
No gifts after a great first date.
No gifts for the guy who is just “seeing” you.
The only time a guy should get a gift– whether it’s after one week or two months – is when he’s “officially” your boyfriend. Because if he’s seeing you and only you, leaving his weekends open for you, buying you dinners and gifts, and talking about plans for the future, then a small holiday gift is both appropriate and appreciated.
You might see a sweater that would make him look soooo cute. You might want to get him a new guitar case since his old one is ratty. You might consider booking a romantic night at the Ritz-Carlton.
But unless he’s your boyfriend (or has openly suggested mutual gift giving), you should probably hold off…at least until you know he’ll be around next month.
Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach and the author of “Why You’re Still Single”. Learn to create your own success in dating by picking up his free eBook, “The 5 Massive Mistakes You’re Making in Your Love Life” at www.evanmarckatz.com/newsletter.html