Is Buying Gifts Together With Your Partner Weird Or The Best Idea Ever?

If you're in a relationship during the holidays, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to shopping for gifts. Like, should you and your partner buy gifts together? And do you have to buy gifts for your partner's family? Both of these depend on how long you and your partner have been together. You won't gift a day at the spa to your partner's sister if you've only been going out for a few weeks and you probably shouldn't go halfsies on any gifts at this point either.

There's no defining moment of your relationship that confirms you're ready for joint gifts but it's probably not within the first six months of dating. In some cases, it might even be too much later on.

In a previous relationship that lasted a year and a half, my partner took it upon himself to sign his name to all the gifts I had purchased for our friends. Granted, these were mutual friends we had in common long before we started dating, but it felt unnatural to me because I knew we had very different relationships with these people. For example, I knew he wouldn't understand why I had purchased a certain novelty book for a long-distance friend. She and I had become pretty close and we shared a lot of our own inside jokes (still do). What's worse is that I didn't know he had added his name to the gifts until after our friends received them. I found this out via thank-you notes addressed to us both and one unnerving text message about a gift tag that suggested we were now married (and that I had taken his name). Seriously, what?

I didn't like being blindsided by the whole ordeal and it was clear that I wasn't ready for what I felt was an important step forward in our relationship. If judging solely on my experience, I think that you and your partner should have an open discussion about whether or not you're both ready for this next step.

What does a joint gift say about your relationship?

Buying gifts together is more than just an excuse to save money and time. It suggests that you and your partner are serious about each other and envision a long future together. It also means that you don't mind if your family and friends view the two of you as a unit; in fact, you kind of like the idea. If this doesn't sound like you, I'd advise going solo on the gifts this year.

Will you enjoy shopping together?

Since both your names will be on the tags and both of you will presumably contribute to the gifts, you'll be equally invested in the items you choose for everyone on your list. This is a great opportunity to put your teamwork skills to the test. Instead of getting frustrated because you can't agree on a gift, spend a few hours before you do your shopping going over the people on your list and the things you both think they might enjoy. If this experience is miserable, actually shopping with them might be too.

Do you see yourself spending the next holiday season with your partner?

If you have your heart set on buying gifts with your partner this year but you're still not sure if it's a good idea, consider whether or not you see yourself with them for at least one more holiday season. Maybe you still don't know if your partner is The One but if, at the very least, you think you'll spend another Christmas or New Year's Eve with them, it might be worth the risk.

If you're both into it, going gift shopping together is a fun bonding activity to get you in the Christmas spirit. It's comforting to know you've reached that stage of your relationship, especially around the holidays. As long as you and your partner make this decision on your own and not because you feel socially obligated to conform to holiday relationship expectations, there's no reason you can't be Mrs. Claus to their Santa Claus or vice versa.

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