To buy or not to buy? That is the question

So, you just started dating a guy a month ago and things are going really well.

Christmas is approaching and you and every other newly dating couple are stumped by the same question: Do you buy each other a gift or not?

No matter who you ask, there is no straight answer to this conundrum.

Should you assume that you must by a gift or should you ask such an awkward question? Worse still, what if you buy a gift and he doesn’t, do you have the right to upset?

There are certain perils to actually buying a gift this early on. The giver has to decide what type of gift and how much it should cost.

Too expensive can possibly give the impression that you are in fact really grateful to have found him- and this is perhaps the wrong signal at this stage.  Cheap suggests, well, that you are a cheap skate- and that is never hot.

In an effort to reach some sort of conclusion, we decided to ask some of the locals in Phoenix what they think. V Peters, 30, says that giving is just about that- giving. “When I give a gift, a don’t expect anything back. I give because I want to. If she buys me something then great, but if not, that okay. I gave because I wanted to.”

Ruben Moonsamy, 40, feels the same way. He said, “If I have the money, I would get her something and not expect anything in return. There is no need to approach the subject. But I don’t feel that there is any obligation to get her anything if I don’t know her. We don’t know each other yet.”

The woman could not have disagreed more.  Zara Chetty said, “Not getting me a gift would end our relationship for the before the New Year. I absolutely expect to be treated well by a guy that is into me. I don’t think that you should approach the subject beforehand, just drop some hints. Like tell him what your friend’s boyfriend is planning to buy her.”

Kubashni  Pillay agrees that he cannot come empty handed. “I think most girls would be hurt if a guy didn’t bother. It is early on, but it is in those early days when the heart of the woman is truly won.”

Dr Gert Meyer, a clinical psychologist based in Umhlanga, has some clear views on the importance of this issue. He said, “The biggest gift that you can give your loved one is the gift of emotional  stability. To show and demonstrate your emotions to your partner.” Dr Meyer does not think that you should not buy your partner a gift, but he says that the size or cost should not matter. What matters is the thought behind it. “The closeness of interpersonal relationships is directly related to how you treat each other. How valued you make the person you love feel. That’s what matters.”

It seems that there is no one answer to this age old question. You have to decide if the person you are with is worth the effort.







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