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 | By Emily Lenhard

The right gift for the right time

From the first date to the honeymoon, gift-giving is a common part of many relationships, and like most relationships, will change over time. Embrace each stage of your relationship by giving meaningful, appropriate, and budget-friendly gifts.

Newly dating: If you’ve been dating for less than a year, you’re probably still getting to know your significant other. Sticking with the classics is a great strategy: flowers, cologne or perfume, a night out on the town, their favorite treat, or a seasonal activity, like a trip to the apple orchard or ice skating.

Long-term dating: If you’ve been dating for more than a year, things are getting serious and you’re likely trying to discern if he or she is “the one.” Gift-giving at this stage is a great opportunity for you to try something new that you know your partner loves. Try tickets to their favorite concert or Broadway show, an activity date like hunting, hiking, painting or golf, or adventures like hot air balloon rides or scuba diving.

Newly married: This is your chance to shine as a gift-giver. After dating, pre-marital counseling, the wedding and moving in together, you know your spouse better than anyone. This means you can give the gifts that count the most, whether they be exciting and decadent or small and sentimental. Gift-giving in marriage is best thought of as a daily exercise in showing how much you care for and understand your spouse. Examples could be picking up a bunch of their favorite flowers for the table, having their vehicle detailed, re-creating your favorite excursion together, or buying an accessory you know they’ve had their eye on.