For a budding love interest
via amazon.com An over-the-top gift can either work for you or against you when you’ve just started dating. “Select something meaningful that indicates you are looking towards a bright future, but you are not needy or desperate,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas. To be safe, steer clear from anything too personal unless you are absolutely certain the feelings are mutual. It’s better to be thoughtful, but cautious—like dinner for two at your apartment or a playlist made specifically for your crush. Or if you want to buy something small, consider Lovepop, 3D pop-up greeting cards that come in a variety of designs so you can choose the perfect sentiment (like rosebuds, for a budding love interest … get it?). And unlike real flowers, the Lovepop rose bouquet will last forever —hopefully just like your new romance. Find out facts you never knew about Valentine’s Day.
Dating one to three months
Courtesy My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream For a couple who’s just getting started, gifts should be casual and simple—and it’s the perfect time to show you’ve been paying attention to the things they like. For example: “You guys have just started dating, so don’t go overboard. Chocolates and perfume are perfect for up to three months,” says Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. Consider a scented candle of their favorite flavor, a coffee mug with a cute saying, or a bottle of wine he or she enjoyed on one of your previous dates. If your new love interest has a sweet tooth, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream in S’mores—pillowy mochi dough wrapped around graham cracker ice cream with a marshmallow center—could really hit the spot. It might also be a good time to take a pulse check of the relationship, so check out these 15 signs that your relationship is solid as a rock.
Dating three to six months: Modest jewelry
via nordstrom.com Jewelry is always good, but don’t splurge too much. “A heart necklace might seem a bit cliché, but it’s also a great gift because the price point can be on the lower end when you have only been dating for a few months,” says Trombetti. To make sure there’s no confusion about what this bauble means (Hint: diamonds may send the wrong message), consider something like this dainty 14k-gold mini heart pendant from Nashelle—you can add her initial for an extra touch of personalization.