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Valentine’s Gift Giving for ALL Relationship Stages

Does it always have to be so complicated when giving gifts for  Valentine’s Day?  You can’t help but notice the red candy boxes everywhere you go and the pressure is on.

We’re here to lighten things up for you, so If you’re wondering what to get the new person you just started dating for Valentine’s Day, or perhaps you want to get something for your long-time love, we’ve got you covered, regardless of your relationship status.

READ MORE: Valentine’s Countdown: How to Land a Date

Here’s our Valentine’s gifts cheat sheet for all relationship statuses.

Newly dating – If you’ve only had a few dates and aren’t exclusive yet, bringing her 1 dozen red tulips will brighten her Valentine’s Day. You won’t be splurging for expensive roses or going overboard, but will still have the impact of bringing her flowers. Start her day off by sending her a fun Valentine’s e-card. I’m a big fan of Jib-Jab, where you can customize the card with a photo of yourself or send a video card. Bringing her lingerie sends a message that you’re only looking for sex (who isn’t?), but at this point she should be selecting her her own lingerie. Spending time together will be the best gift, because if you ignore February 14th, don’t expect to see her again on the 15th.

Going Steady – Honeymoon Phase (1-3 months) – If you’ve been dating for a month or two, she’ll be expecting to be your Valentine’s date if geography doesn’t get in the way. At this point, bring her a hand written card (yes the kind you buy in the store), add in a gift certificate for a massage at her favorite spa, or offer to cook her a meal and have in-room-dining and always bring flowers.  Other fun items include sending her a box of chocolate covered strawberries, or bringing a bottle of her favorite wine or champagne. This way you can feed each other when it’s time for dessert and create new memories together.

Getting Serious – Imperfect Phase (4-6 months) – By now you’ve become an item. You might have even changed your Facebook relationship status to “In a Relationship” and have a drawer at her place. When you’re headed towards the half-year mark, she’ll want to receive roses from you, tulips won’t do. There are plenty of great sites online for you to order flowers from, or you can go to your local grocery store to pick up a dozen. When a woman doesn’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day from her guy, she starts to wonder if you’re still swooning over her. If you’ve taken a trip away together, bring her a personalized gift such as a silver framed photo of the two of you to memorialize your vacation together.

READ MORE: Surviving Valentine’s With a Long Distance Love

Sydney evan Love RingTotally in Love – Over 6 months  Once you’re headed towards the one-year mark, it’s time to up the ante in the love department. She’s going to want something very personal. If jewelry is in your budget, getting her a sterling silver heart necklace, trinket, or bracelet from Tiffany & Company, may end up on your list. I’m a HUGE fan of the Sydney Evan LOVE jewelry line and have been seen all over town wearing a love necklace. There are trinkets in all price ranges. For those of you ready to step it up, but aren’t ready to pop the Q, give her a lovely commitment ring or the Sydney Evan LOVE ring that’s been seen on many celebrities.  It will show you have all 10 toes in, without getting engaged or setting a wedding date.

It’s Complicated – The ex and almost ex – If your relationship is winding down or you’ve recently broken up, should you acknowledge someone who you didn’t go the distance with? Studies have shown that 20% of singles actually text an ex on Valentine’s Day. Whatever you do, don’t send mixed messages and send flowers to someone, when you’re in the arms of another. Trust me, it will sting. You can send them a birthday present, congratulate them on their new job, and call them on holidays to say hello. That is acceptable for every holiday, but Valentine’s Day. If you’ve moved on, sending chocolate covered strawberries shouldn’t be on your gift list. The best gift you can give, is the gift of time apart, so you both can move on.

READ MORE: Would You Text an Ex?

What will you be giving as a Valentine’s gift this year?

Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

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Holiday Gifts for a New Relationship

Gift GivingIt’s Christmas week and the stores will be packed with people picking up last minute gifts.

As a dating expert and coach, I know that for singles and those in new relationships, the holidays are filled with both joy and anxiety. It’s also peak time for online dating,  so don’t be surprised if your inbox starts to fill up with new suitors.

It’s also a time for where couples breakup, as the stress of being with someone you know you can’t go the distance with makes it difficult to be together for the holidays, especially if you’ll be with his or her family. We wrote about the famous Facebook Breakup Chart a few years back, where David McClandess showed that the period between December 12-24th was one of the peak seasons for breaking up.

So what should you do about buying him or her a gift for the holidays?

Let’s talk about holiday gift giving.

Could it be that your date doesn’t want to splurge on a fancy holiday gift if you’re in a new relationship, or if times are tough on his or her wallet? What should he or she do?

If you’ve just started to date someone you’ve met online and have only had a few dates, you may wonder if should you buy him or her a lavish gift, or any gift at all. What if you’re dating multiple people? Do you need to buy everyone a gift?

While the easiest solution would be to leave town for the holidays, or even put your head under the covers, know that you’re not alone with the gift giving dilemma.

Jenna wrote to me that that she’s been dating someone for four weeks, but both of them still have active online dating profiles. Although she believes they’re exclusive, they haven’t had the talk, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s an “implied exclusive” relationship and they might not be on the same page.

Jenna would like to give her new beau a holiday gift during one of their holiday dates. However, the subject of exchanging gifts has never come up in conversation.  She’s hinted about things she’d like in her stocking, but her new guy hasn’t asked her what she’d like for the holidays or made specific plans for Christmas or Christmas Eve just yet.

Jenna wonders if it’s too soon to be exchanging gifts and what she should do.

My take on the situation, is that you should always give a gift, without expecting one in return. If she sees that he loves filling in the blanks in the New York Times crossword puzzles, why not go to a bookstore or order a large puzzle book from Amazon? The cost is less than $20 and it will show the person you’re dating that you’re paying attention to things that interest him. It the thought that matters.

My boyfriend is a winemaker. He grew and nurtured his own grapes and bottled his own wine, complete with designing the wine labels. It’s something he enjoys and is proud of. For Father’s Day and his birthday, I gave him a wine stopper, one with a globe of the world on it to memorialize the trips we’ve gone on, and another with a golf ball on it, as he loves to play golf.  These cherished pieces showed him that I noticed what his passions were. Wine and golf.  Simple, but perfect.

Some new couples will take charge and ask each other what they’d like for the holidays. If this happens, then know that you’ll be gift shopping. For a new relationship, there’s nothing wrong with putting a budget on holiday gift giving, or suggesting going to a sporting event or concert together to celebrate an event together as a couple.

READ: THIS IS THE TOP GIFT FOR SINGLES

The worst thing you can do is to lavish your date with an expensive gift early on in the relationship. It may make him or her run the other way, or feel guilty that they haven’t reciprocated.

So just how appropriate would it be to give her a diamond watch or a new puppy?

Unless you’re in a serious relationship, where you have a history of buying each other a birthday present or other special gifts, don’t assume you’ll be receiving a gift, nor should you ever feel obligated to buy your date a gift. It’s impossible to ignore the holidays while listening to the Christmas songs on the radio and in the stores, but it’s the thought that counts.

Some of my favorite thoughtful gifts, which won’t break the bank include:

  • iTunes song of your date’s favorite band
  • Gift certificate for a movie and dinner
  • Gift certificate for a massage
  • A golf lesson
  • An accessory or charger for his or her iPhone/iPad
  • A gift certificate for a handyman for the day (for her)
  • A framed photo of the two of you
  • An animated card starring you! Shop JibJab!The worst thing you can do when you give your date a gift, is to ask him or her what they were planning on getting you, if it appears they aren’t reciprocating. You’ll make him or her feel uncomfortable about not taking the time to buy you a present, or they’ll feel obligated to pick up a gift and resentment could build up. It’s just too much pressure for a new relationship.

    Remember, the best gift you can give each other is time spent together creating new memories. A hug and a kiss under the mistletoe is priceless. Add a card and you have a recipe for a wonderful time together this holiday season.

    Julie Spira is an online dating and mobile dating expert. She’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, visit to sign up for the Weekly Flirt and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Holiday Dating Survival Guide

Holiday Dating survival guideIt’s safe to say that emotions are flying high during the holidays for singles, new couples not sure how to define themselves, those who have had a recent breakup, and those who are tired of hearing from their relatives about their relationship status.

The holiday period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s brings up a lot of emotions. In the words of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks from the song Dreams, it’s natural to think of memories of what you had and what you lost. The band also sings about how “You make loving fun” so don’t turn down the volume just yet.  Listening to music this time of year can give you both strength and send you down memory lane.

One thing I know for sure, is my phone is ringing with singles wanting to connect and meet someone new to share the holidays with, so there are plenty of singles looking for love online now.

Still, I know how tough it is at the holidays being single. I’ve been there. I’ve been watching the abundance of posts on Facebook of couples who are changing their relationship status to “In a Relationship.” If your status isn’t that in that category, it can be a digital stab to your heart.

I’m here to tell you that this is actually the best time of year to meet someone wonderful to date. Filling your date card with quality people is quite possible, so take away that frown and look at my tips in our holiday survival guide.

The Cyber-Dating Expert Survival Guide to Help you Through the Holidays, Online and IRL.

1. Don’t rely on Social Media to go down memory lane

Sure I know it’s natural to take a peek to see what your ex is up to, but if they’re jetting off to Paris, heading for sunshine in Hawaii and kissing under the mistletoe, you’re hurting yourself big time. Instead, try to create your own new memories. Walk down a festively decorated street and snap a few photos of trees, store windows, and cheerful pictures and post them on your Facebook wall. So what if you’re alone or with your BFF. You’re out of the house and not living in the past. Digital snooping is also on the rise, especially during the holidays. It brings out the worst in many. At PlentyofFish, they surveyed over 9000 of their users between the ages of 20 -40 to find out what their holiday dating habits were. POF found that 82% of the women were actually checking the Facebook statuses of guys they were dating to see what they were doing when they weren’t around. Wouldn’t you be better off out, than attached to your phone?

2. Fill that date card and stay organized

Anxiety can be at an all time high, but joining a few dating sites and using mobile dating apps will be a great ego boost. It will also give you the chance to meet a lot of people. However, don’t embarrass yourself by calling Don, Doug or introduce yourself as Jackie from PlentyOfFish if you met him on eHarmony. The easiest way to do this is by creating an excel spreadsheet and logging your conversations. You would do this for a job, right? Well this is a job with a possibility of a lifetime of love. It’s worth the effort.

3. Block your ex’s profile

If you’ve recently ended a relationship with someone you met online and it wasn’t on good terms, chances are you’ve both rejoined the site to meet others. Make sure you block his or her profile so they don’t appear in a search and to avoid the obsessiveness that results when you check to see when they last logged on or if they’ve deactivated their profile. Don’t assume if their profile is gone that they’ve ridden off into the sunset with someone else. Sometimes people just take a break or they may have blocked you.

4. Don’t jump into a rebound relationship

They say the easiest way to get over someone is by replacing them in a New York minute with someone new, but is it right? Sure the initial infatuation stage is a lot of fun and it’s nice to have a warm body around, but finding someone new when you aren’t ready to date isn’t always the answer. Spend time with friends, hang out with an ex that you’re still on good terms with and can be yourself with, and spend time alone reading, writing, or taking a cooking class or French lesson.

5. Discuss holiday gift giving

Before you run off to Tiffany to get him sterling silver cufflinks engraved with his initials after three weeks of dating, ask yourself how overwhelming it would feel if he showed up with an engagement ring one month in. It could be over the top, right? Come up with a reasonable budget. Perhaps you can get him a cashmere scarf or sweater, tickets to a concert or sporting event, and make home made cookies. You could get her a gift certificate to a spa, gourmet chocolates, a fun accessory for her mobile phone, tickets to a show or a museum exhibition, or a piece of costume jewelry in her favorite color. Avoid giving her just lingerie, unless it’s something she picks out for herself.

6. It’s Peak Season for Online Daters

The good news is that more singles are signing up for dating sites between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Match reports they see a jump of about 25-30% in new members signing up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and at Cyber-Dating Expert, it’s the busiest holiday season ever with new singles joining online dating sites and brand new dating profiles being created.

7. Accept ALL holiday invitations

If your inbox is filled with invitations for holiday mixers, fill your calendar and put on your party dress. Remember to smile at everyone. Business networking events are in abundance now, so you won’t have to feel that you’re the only single person there. Walk in with confidence and you’ll be turning heads and filling your date card.

8. Online Love is a year-round event

People meet online and fall in love all year long. I know a couple that met online on Christmas Eve on Facebook who are now engaged. I know of another couple that met online on eHarmony on Valentine’s Day who are now happily married. One couple fell in love at first sight that met on Match. She hadn’t had a serious relationship in over 10 years and now they’re married. Yes online dating is a numbers game. You’ll be juggling dates, canceling dates, rescheduling dates, it’s exhausting, but it can be so very rewarding as it has been for millions of others.

9. Fall in love with you

At the holidays, please take a deep breath; log on to fill your date card if and when it feels good to you, not because you’re feeling lonely. If you need to take a break from dating, that’s fine. There are no rules, other than to fall in love with yourself first. It’s the best place to be to start any new relationship.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace this holiday season, or wherever you may roam.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the CEO of CyberDatingExpert.com, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.