1. Single but Hoping: The important thing at this stage is that you don’t come off as a stalker. If you want to get someone a gift, but you aren’t actually dating, even an innocent gift may come off as creepy if she’s not aware that you are into her. Just tell her if she isn’t busy after work/class/etc. you want to buy her a birthday cup of coffee, mug of beer, glass of wine… you get the idea. You might just get drunk and make out! Who knows?
2. Puppy Love:If you are a guy shopping for your special girl, you need to know that she is going to sit around for hours with her girlfriends and discuss the significance of the gift you buy her. This could be a deal-maker or a deal-breaker. If you have been going out for a month and you buy her diamond earrings, she may think that you just want to get in her pants. Unless she is a gold-digger, in which case, you should definitely get her something small and elegant from Tiffany. Really, you could crap in one of those little blue boxes, and she’d probably be overjoyed. Flowers and dinner are nice, but if you pull it off right, it can be much more effective. Find out what kind of flower she likes by looking around at the way she decorates her room (or just asking her roommate). Surprise her by sending them to her office, school, or dorm room. Then make sure to make dinner reservations because a three hour wait in the cold is not romantic. If you have culinary abilities, cooking dinner together can be romantic as well. If you are a girl, cooking a nice meal for your guy is a sure way to get him where you want him. But pull a coffee table into your room and put a bunch of candles and pillows around so you can have a romantic dinner in an out of the ordinary place. Guys never buy their own underwear, so boxers with dorky hearts or cupids are also a nice touch.
3. Sort-of-Serious: Plan a romantic trip together, like going to a nearby city and staying in a cute bed and breakfast or nice hotel. Spending time away together can be nice, especially if you rarely have a chance to go out of town together. If you are into music, look into concerts and buy some tickets! If you still want to get a gift, books, cd’s, and movies are good gifts, too. Girls- even if your guy likes video games, don’t get him one for his birthday unless you want to watch him play it all night.
4. Pretty Much Married: Guys: Girls like to shop, and let’s face it… at this point, you let her do this with her friends so that you don’t have to go to the stupid mall. But she will get really excited if you take her to her favorite store and tell her to pick out a new outfit to wear to her birthday party/dinner/gathering. And you get to see her try on a bunch of cute stuff! Ladies, do something special for your guy that you know he likes. If it’s cooking his favorite meal or dessert or getting him something he’s been needing, you know him better than anyone at this point, so pay attention and find something he needs! 5. Comfy Like an Old Pair of Shoes: You could take the advice on level number 4, or you could decide to get something that you both need for around the house. Whether it’s a new couch for the living room, a new dishwasher, or a new vaccum, it is nice to think of something that will make your lives a little easier. Has that washing machine been leaking bubbly foam into your laundry room ever since the pipes froze last winter? Another idea is to be handy and fix something around the house! (Or if you aren’t handy, hire someone.) Hint: Women are more likely to want something practical that’s going to make what they do easier while men might be interested in something fun and gadgety… like a computer game/program or a new tv or videogame system.