With Valentines day just around the corner, I found it appropriate to talk a bit about gift giving. How dissapointing is it when get/give a crappy gift? How embarassing is it when you give too little or too much?
For Valentines day, if you've recently started dating (first 3 months), dinner or a small to moderately sized gift is great! If you're not sure if both of you will be on the same wavelength with regards to spending limits, it is a very good idea to discuss this in advance - it can save a lot of embarassment.
If you've been going out for a while and you have the budget, splurge a little and get that someone special something that is personal and thoughtful. Always listen to hints about what the person would like in the weeks leading up to the gift giving occassion. Finally, when your partner gives you something, make sure you positively reinforce them by thanks and praise :)
If you don't like the gift (GAG!!!)
1> Mask the shock as surprise with the gift
2> Ask questions about the gift to show interest and to recompose yourself
3> If you feel like telling the truth, be GENTLE! Phrase it as though "it's not you, it's me".
4> Still thank them - they must have put some thought and effort into this gift.
So... Happy Valentines Day to all you couples and singles out there!