Tip 27 Buy your date a small gift

Buying a gift for a date is prone to disaster so some careful thinking is involved.

You meet someone, you like them, you want to please them so its only natural in our commercial world to want to get your plastic out and start spending. Wrong, stop an think about what you are doing.

Gifts don't buy love so neither do you.

You love someone and they love you for genuine emotional reasons. Yes buying a present or two emphasizes kindness but it doesn't play a major factor. For those who are well impressed by all gifts received, do yourself a favour and steer well clear.

To buy a dating gift well you need to know your lover first, well enough to surprise them and show some of your excellent imagination.

The smallest amount of imagination shows forethought and kindness and it shows that you listen well. Which, in a man's case, is hugely to his advantage when dating. Listen to her and surprise her later, much later.

When you first begin dating, you should show your knowledge and appreciation of the things you have learned about your new partner in very simple terms. For men you should buy flowers, small amounts of pretty natural flowers, not glaring bouquets of red roses.

Don't buy flowers every day because everything in large amounts is heavily devalued.

Always give in person where you can as deliveries are too impersonal.

Also look for pictures and books that she likes, the smallest of teddy bears perhaps and leave it there. For women, its often hard to buy for men but most have some keen interests in a sport or hobby they will have talked about and therefore once again keep it small but pertinent.

You should not then buy further presents until your dating evolves over the next 3 months. If a birthday arises then buy the other dinner as a treat and perhaps the smallest of dating gifts. If Christmas or a religious festival arises in this early period again keep it small and personal.

At the end of 3 months buy a gift for your partner that signifies this small landmark, just one item. Don't make a big thing out of it but make it personal and in keeping with the character of your date.

Splashing out on a trip to Venice can wait for your honeymoon.

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Guys, keep getting your lover small bunches of flowers and mean it when you give them.

You should then infrequently treat your partner with gifts until your first anniversary at which stage you can then let your imagination run riot.

Once you approach your first year you really will be on the right road and now is the time to splash out and buy something more significant, whether it be a piece of keepsake jewellery or a watch or luxury item.

I know one couple who are friends who now buy each other more than 100 presents each at Christmas time..

It is their way of going crazy over each other and they both get immense satisfaction in the amount of creative thinking involved in selecting presents. However, this kind of lavishness (if you can afford it) does come, but not until later.

When you begin dating never forget that it is about the two of you, about your feelings and that no amount of gifts, large or small will make things better.

If anything, large amounts of gifts early on can only have a negative effect by devaluing the whole dating experience.

The sad thing is that most long-term relationships crumble under infidelity or money problems. Don't begin life with your new partner on the wrong foot. If you cannot afford an expensive dating gift, that is fine.

My Top Dating Gift recommendations

• Small bunches of natural flowers

• Quality perfume or cologne

• Cards and messages

• Paying for dinner

• Theatre and concert tickets

• Paying for a small trip

• A well-researched book

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