With your girlfriend’s birthday just around the corner, it can be nerve-wracking to decide what present to buy for her. This is especially so when it’s for a new girlfriend and you’re celebrating her birthday for the first time.
Or, maybe you’re unsure of the amount to spend considering you do not have much disposable income right now but you still want to make her happy and not come across as cheap.
For a new girlfriend, you should target spending around $50 for a birthday gift. Start modestly and adopt a wait-and-see approach to see how the relationship develops before spending upwards of $100 on the second birthday onwards. Factor in an additional $50-75 for a simple birthday dinner if you’re taking her out.
However, there’s more to it than a birthday present measured by its dollar value.
The focus should rightly be on a gift that would mean something to her and taking the opportunity of the occasion to understand her at a deeper level in order to take the relationship in the right direction.
Think Before Acting
Before you work out how much you should spend on a birthday gift for your girlfriend, you need to be clear on your mind if she is A girlfriend or THE girlfriend.
Or perhaps a girl you want to move from the friend to girlfriend status?
It may seem obvious but think of the reaction if you buy one of your female friends a better or the same gift as your girlfriend. It might not bother her, but why take that chance?
- Female Friends: Spend the same amount as you spend on your other friends, depending on how long you have known them and your relationship – personal or work.
- A female friend you’d like to be your girlfriend, or a crush: In driving, you make a signal and then change lanes, you can use the birthday gift opportunity as a signal you’d like to change relationship lanes.
- Girlfriend: How much to spend on a birthday gift depends on a few variables and could change from year to year.
When you want to move one of your female friends out of the friend zone and into the girlfriend zone, it is a tricky exercise.
On the one hand, you don’t want to mess up your friendship, but on the other hand, you want more. Is an expensive birthday gift the way to give that signal?
You can spend a significant amount ($100 plus) but be strategic.
Have you signaled your desire for a change in status before the birthday? If not, opt for a birthday treat – essentially your first date wrapped up as a birthday gift.
You can enjoy each other’s company without that first date pressure. She may stay in the friend zone after the birthday date, but there is less embarrassment all round.
You know your friend, and she knows you, so it should be easy to find an activity or event you can enjoy together.
Girlfriends and Birthdays
Birthdays are special days to the person whose birthday it is, it marks the passing of the years and celebrates their arrival in the world. Your girlfriend’s birthday is all about her.
Conversely, your birthday gift to your girlfriend is all about you. That’s right – the birthday gift, what you get, how you deliver it, and how much you spend – is all about you and the message you are sending to your girlfriend.
What Does Your Birthday Gift Say?
Males and females have different approaches to the mating game. Of course, your relationship with your girlfriend is complex and multilayered.
It builds on trust, respect, and time spent together. It’s all that, but underlying biology and psychology shape your gift buying behavior.
A man’s attraction to a woman is quick – based on a fast assessment of her physical appearance and character. A woman is in a relationship for the long game – nine months of carrying a baby and then years of bringing up an infant.
Her biological imperative is to find a partner who is going to be around for the long haul. All this is a sweeping generalization, but those two approaches shape our gift buying habits.
Your birthday gift signals:
- Your feelings for her – how much you value keeping her in your life.
- Your willingness to build a long-term relationship.
- How well you know her.
- What you are like as a person.
- If you are a good bet for the future.
Should you buy the most expensive and extravagant gift, you can find?
Calculating how much you should spend on a birthday gift for your girlfriend needs to follow the rules.
Girlfriend Birthday Gift Rules
The number one rule is that your birthday gift for your girlfriend should be appropriate based on all the usual factors:
- How long has she been your girlfriend?
- How much can you afford?
- How much does she see as a reasonable spend on a birthday gift?
- What do you want to buy her, and why?
1. Relationship Length
A relationship of a few weeks needs a token present like flowers or chocolates rather than an extravagant gift. You may be able to afford luxurious gifts and want to give your girlfriend the moon but restrain yourself.
After a year, your birthday gift buying is routine, and you may probably spend the same amount every year (or more) apart from milestone birthdays.
The average spending on girlfriend gifts is $100 to $120 per gift occasion. But you should only ever spend what you can afford.
Spending above your means signals that you are not a reliable long-term partner, and it ruins your finances.
Gift buying occasions come round at the same time every year, set a budget, and concentrate on getting the best value gift for your budget.
Her expectations and how well you can or want to meet them are fundamental to your relationship.
It sounds harsh, but if your expectations of each other are widely different, then she is not the girl for you, and you are not the man for her.
4. The Gift
What does your choice of a birthday gift for your girlfriend say about you? What do you want it to say?
Your gift sends a message about you to your girlfriend, whether you want it to or not. The amount you spend is less significant than the present you spend it on.
If you can only spend a little, impress her with your creative thinking and your ability to think outside of the birthday gift box.
Traditional gifts of flowers, champagne, coffee, or chocolates are universally acceptable birthday gifts. Tea gifts for birthdays have a wide appeal yet unconventional enough to be thoughtful.
Are you giving this gift because you can’t be bothered to think of an alternative? Or are you a conventional guy?
There’s nothing wrong with traditional gifts, your girlfriend will accept them as a token of your feelings.
How much should you spend on a birthday gift for your girlfriend isn’t the big question. Spend what you can afford on something you think she will like and appreciate.
Gifts – for her or family members – don’t create a relationship. The feelings that motivate you in making your gift choices tell your girlfriend everything she needs to know about you.
Make sure your gift makes her feel special and important to you. That’s all your birthday gift needs to say.