How to Deal With Awkward Gift-Giving Situations

It’s official – you’re a couple. You and your sweetheart have decided to “go steady” – as the old folks say. With this new status comes new awkwardness, especially when dealing with gift giving and spending “equal” money. So, here’s how to handle some potentially sticky situations, courtesy of the researchers at Rodale publishing.

  • At what point in your relationship should you give joint gifts to friends and family? Dr. Helen Fisher, a relationship expert and author of Essential Manners For Couples, says you should be close to getting engaged. Why? Well, because you’re basically announcing to the world that you’re one entity. If you haven’t discussed marriage or moving in together, you shouldn’t be putting both of your names on a gift tag.
  • You want to throw a party for your friend’s birthday – he doesn’t. Do you have to pay for it yourself? According to financial advisor Bambi Holzer, YES – you have to pay for it and you should. You want to have the party – he doesn’t. Fisher says if he’s going to stick around and play co-host, he should pitch in. If he REALLY doesn’t want to be part of it, he should make other plans for that night.
  • Your sweetheart has money to spend on a gift for you, but you’re broke. Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a lot of money, just remember – you don’t have to BUY something to GIVE something. Ladies, print out a gift certificate for your boyfriend for a home-cooked meal and a backrub. Guys, let’s say your girlfriend is a hard-core fan of 80’s music. Well, head to a used record store! Getting copies of her favorite artists on vinyl is thoughtful, nostalgic, and economical! You’re bound to find an old record player at a thrift store for a few bucks. Then you can have an in-home dance party with all your friends! Also, don’t feel guilty about spending less than your sweetheart. If they have the money and they want to spend it on you – that’s their decision. Simply say “thank you.”

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