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Holiday shopping season is always a stressful time, but never more than when you’re in a brand new relationship.
You’re already juggling buying gifts for the office Secret Snowflakes, the family member who swears they don’t want anything, and the dog walker… and then there’s the new person you’re dating.
It may be one or two months in — too soon to go all out, but you do want to give them something. What can you get your new partner that is casual enough not to set off alarm bells, but not too casual to make them think you don’t care at all?
We got you covered.
1. A shirt from their fandom of choice
For the Baby Yoda fans among us, official merch is a thoughtful gift, but impersonal enough that it doesn’t scream “MY ~NEW BAE~ BOUGHT ME THIS.” Adjust to fandom of choice, whether it be a different Disney franchise or TV show or band.
Price: $24.95 from Disney
2. A book about a subject they’re into or an author they like
A book is a thoughtful gift that, unless you’re going the “bougie coffee table book” route, will set you back less than $30. If you’re dating a film buff, Movies (And Other Things) by Ringer staff writer Shea Serrano is a great choice.
Price: $14.99 from Amazon
If your new partner is more on their feet, or just loves podcasts more than the printed word, they may prefer an Audible subscription. If you’ve been dating for a short time, a one month subscription is perfect at $15.
Price: $15 from Audible
Listen. We’re adults now. Socks are a great gift, especially fancy socks that your new partner probably would not buy for themselves. Look at these Cookie Monster socks! They’re adorable. Smile almost guaranteed.
Price: $14 from Bombas
5. A nice notebook
For the literary partner, a notebook like a Moleskine can encourage one interest while also referencing another — in this case, David Bowie.
Price: $27.95 from Moleskine
6. Patreon for their favorite podcast or digital artist
Being a podcast patron is something people (okay, I) grapple with doing, as they may love the podcast but love too many to support them all for $5 per month. This is a relatively inexpensive gift, even if you keep subscribing for several months. One massively popular Patreon is for the true crime pod Last Podcast on the Left, which has options as low as $1/month.
Price: $1 from Patreon
7. A Groupon experience
Some people don’t want “things.” They have too many, there’s not enough space, they Kon Mari’d earlier this year, etc. etc. Get them an ~experience~ instead, like a nice dinner out. You can even buy one on Groupon, so you look savvy and like you care while also saving money. For example, you can get dinner with a skyline view for $34.
Price: $34 from Groupon
8. A movie date
If Groupon seems too extra, you could just go the route of treating them to the movies — and maybe dinner if you want to go all out. A gift card to Fandango could be given IRL or over email.