Witnessing the reaction on someone's face when you hand deliver them a gift they genuinely appreciate is one of the best feelings in the entire world.
So, during the holidays, I have no issues going all out on friends and family and spending some serious cash money on others instead of treating myself.
I know, guys, I know. It's crazy that I'm single.
But it's a completely different scenario when it comes to purchasing a perfect present for bae around this time of year.
There's always an internal struggle of deciphering exactly what they like, what they'd want and if it's appropriate given how long you've been dating.
To help relieve any unwanted stress this holiday season, I've broken down the art of proper gift giving, depending on how long you and bae have been locking lips. You're welcome:
You've just made it official:
Congrats! You've locked it down, and it just so happens that the holidays are super close to your official relationship start date.
While I'm sure you've made a conscious effort to get to know your partner as much as possible, there's no way you're going to know every like, dislike, nook or cranny of their life.
So, when you're perusing for a good gift, just keep it simple and be cute about it. That way, you can still express your feelings for them without getting them something you're not really confident about in the first place.
For him: a hoodie for his favorite NFL team because I'm sure you already know it.
Pittsburgh Steelers Hoodie, $48, NFL Shop
For her: a fancy bottle of tequila because you took shots on your second date.
Things are starting to heat up a little bit more now, and giving the perfect gift might matter a little bit more now.
A local experience, like a fancy dinner or tickets to a show (that'll keep you under/around the $100 range), will be fun, won't break the bank and will give you great memories to remember as you enter month 2 (and 3 and 4...).
For him: a gift certificate to Peter Luger Steakhouse.
For her: tickets to see "Something Rotten".
By this point, you've probably attended some sort of holiday or birthday party together, potentially met the family and your joint presence is so overwhelmingly romantic that it makes others jealous.
Woohoo! You're a full-fledged couple now.
While that is definitely something to celebrate, it also means you have no excuse to be skimpy when it comes to gift giving.
Since you probably know your SO's shirt, pant or bra size by now, you can't go wrong with some cute clothes they can wear (and think of you when they do, of course).
If you manage to round up a few reasonably priced items, go for parts of a full look and add in some jewelry or accessories. It'll show you actually notice and appreciate their style and taste.
For him: a curated look from J. Crew.
For her: that go-to party dress from Free People.
Coco Flounce Tunic, $128, Free People
If you've been together for over a year:
You two are essentially one person now. The thought of china patterns has probably crossed your mind at least once. By accident.
At this point, chocolate and flowers are two words that should just be purged from your vocabulary as the real gifting begins.
You can play this two ways: with something of true (and sparkly) value, or with something to ignite the fire in your relationship.
Girls will never hate some quality diamonds, and while not all men use a watch, something nice on their arm still adds a nice, classy touch.
Or, if you want to go a little more unconventional, throw in something that'll benefit you both, like some sex toys or lingerie.
A year is a lonnnnng time, so doing something to bring the heat back is never a bad choice.
For him: a classic Nixon watch AND a classic fleshlight.
For her: Tiffany & Co. Twist Knot earrings AND a lace camisole.
See? That wasn't so hard, was it?