TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether you've only been on a few dates, or have been together for years, the decision of what to give your partner at the holidays—or whether to give anything at all—is an important one. Like it or not, the gift you give sends a message regarding how you really feel about the recipient—at least in that person's view.
"It's human nature for men and women to look beyond the surface and find a deeper meaning in any gift that is given in a relationship," says Lavalife singles and dating expert Kim Hughes. "This is especially true at holiday time, when emotions already run high. It is important to make sure your gift is thoughtful but also reflects where you stand in your relationship. Now is not the time for mixed messages," continues Hughes.
With this in mind, Lavalife has created a helpful guide for navigating gift-giving at every stage of a relationship:
1) Been on a few dates and not sure where you stand: Give the gift that leads to another date. Tickets to the theater, a concert, or a comedy show, or a dinner reservation at a new hotspot. Or go for something adventurous like trapeze, stand-up paddleboard or boxing lessons. Spending Guide: $25 to $75
2) You've been dating for a few months and things are going well: Don't freak him or her out with a gift that is too extravagant. Give a gift that shows you have been paying attention. If he is constantly talking about his love of golf or obsession with The Beatles, find him some cool new golf gear, or a great book of Beatles photography. She can't get enough of her hot yoga class and is glued to her Kindle. Go for some Lululemon yoga gear or a new case for her Kindle. For guys or girls, try a really personal touch—forget the old-fashioned mix tape: get an iPod and fill it with songs they'll love. Spending Guide: $25 to $100
3) Relationship is on the rocks. You are not sure where things will go: At this point, you want to give a gift as a token that you still care. Pick something-- whether it is an activity or some kind of memorabilia--that takes you back to happier times. It can be as simple as making a favorite meal. Don't spend more than $25, and realize that at this stage, it is the thought, not the flashiness of the gift, that counts.
4) You've been dating for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years and see a future: Give a gift that reminds him or her of you daily. Go for an accessory: try a new wallet, pair of sunglasses or an engraved key chain with a special message. Try jewelry. For her: go for a piece that has meaning: a good luck charm bracelet, a necklace that says love or has her initials. For him: a special watch that reflects his personality—a sporty digital for your running fanatic, or a more classic timepiece for your elegant, GQ guy. For men or women, Spend $100 and up.
5.) Men: You've been together for five years but are not ready to head to Tiffany's: Stay far away from any gift that is jewelry or comes in a small box. Give her something that makes her feel good and shows you care. The best gift is something that pampers. Try a spa day or a trip together.
For more information visit www.lavalife.com