A Guide to Buying Gifts for the Man in Your Life Based on Relationship Length

Buying presents for others is hard. Buying presents for boyfriends is really hard. Buying presents for a new boyfriend is damn near impossible. Never fear, I am here to help.

Below is a semi – serious guide to the best gifts for your guy based on how long you have known him. Hope this helps – And don’t forget to get a little something for yourself from Kate’s Treat-Yo-Self guide while you’re shopping.


0-3 months – Much like a newborn baby, in a newborn relationship you still have no idea what each other’s true personalities are like. You vaguely know his favorite color, movies, facebook interests and maybe music he is into but you don’t know what makes him tick yet. I recommend playing it safe (unless he’s a dud- then just dump his ass for Christmas). Play it safe presents consist of pint glasses with his favorite tv characters on them, funny boxers, bottle openers and alcohol. If you are crafty this is your time to shine, maybe make him some ReignBeers (for you uncrafty folk these are beers with antlers made with brown pipe cleaners). My rule of thumb, keep it under $30. You may regret buying him those $60 vinyls when he annoys you by New Years.


3-9 months – At this point you think you know him. You may have seen him cry over Bing Bong watching Inside Out, but do you really know him? For this period of time I recommend something in relation to an inside joke you have OR something you’ve bonded over. Books, movies, music are all good presents. If he’s into Game of Thrones maybe get him the books. If he loves video games maybe get him a new controller. If you have an inside joke about how stinky his farts are may I suggest Poo-Pourri? My rule of thumb for this is to keep it under $60.


9 months – two years – By now you actually know him. Props to you if you have decided to keep a man around this long. Warning – he may still be pretending to be a wonderful man, when in reality he is a dud. Watch out for red flags! If you are certain he doesn’t suck then feel free to spend a little more. When you are this deep in a relationship I believe honesty is the best policy – ask for a list. Do not make assumptions about what he wants or likes because even if you are right, he probably already bought it for himself. Men suck like that. Also, this gives you an opportunity to give him a list so he can stop buying you fuzzy socks and sickly sweet smelling perfumes.

Image from here. Loralie and Luke exemplifying the “put a bow on it” rule.

Two years/ when you move in together – forever- Congrats, you have someone to love you over the holidays for the foreseeable future. Aren’t you lucky? At this point I suggest just buying things you want for your home. Need a new dishwasher? Put a bow on it and tell him it’s his present! Want to get that new closet organizer from Ikea? Ho ho ho let’s clean the closet! After all, it’s the thought that counts. 😉


Now go, shop, take this guide and run with it…but remember, I am not an expert, your results may vary.

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