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First Date Gifts - Good Or Bad Idea?

dating psychology first dates May 03, 2022

Landed a first date, and wondering if a gift is a good idea?

I'm Blaine, I'm a dating coach for men, and today we'll cover:

  1. When first date gifts are appropriate. Sneak preview: gifts in a traditional sense are rarely a good idea on first dates, and I'll cover why ðŸŽ
  2. Bad first date gifts. We'll cover examples of gifts you shouldn't give on first dates, particularly ones I've seen other dating blogs recommend âŒ
  3. Good first date gifts. We'll cover examples of gifts that are OK for first dates, plus a few metaphoric "gifts" that are essential for attracting women ðŸ‘Œ

Let's dive in! 




When first date gifts are appropriate

Man and woman sitting at table outside, smiling, on a date

As I touched on briefly a moment ago...

First date gifts are rarely a good idea.


Two reasons:

  1. Bringing a gift to a first date can imply you're needy. Think about your emotional motivation for giving a woman a gift — usually it's to impress her. This is needy, and virtually nothing turns women off more than neediness ðŸ˜¬
  2. Gifts can make her feel uncomfortable. The human urge for reciprocity is well documented — bringing her a gift on a first date can make her feel like she "owes you" for the gift, which creates icky discomfort ðŸ˜Ÿ

As a rule of thumb, save gifts (in the traditional sense of the word) for women you've established relationships with.

That is to say, you shouldn't think about buying a physical gift for a woman until you've been on multiple dates with her...

... and, in many cases, even had "the talk" about exclusivity ðŸ’‘

The only scenarios where it's appropriate to give a woman a gift on a first date are when:

  1. The gift won't make you look needy âœ”️
  2. The gift won't make her uncomfortable ✔️

 Let's look at specific examples next.




Bad first date gifts

Woman looking into camera with distressed expression, seated at a table with a man, seemingly on a bad date

It's generally a bad look to bring a gift for a woman to a first date.

Here are specific examples of gifts to avoid, several of which I've seen recommended on other dating blogs:

  • 💐❌ Bouquet of flowers. Women love flowers, but only from men they already have a romantic connection with. A bouquet therefore isn't the right play on a first date — flowers are best delivered as a surprise, outside of a date, after you've formed a romantic connection with a woman.
  • 🍫❌ Box of chocolates. Same idea as flowers: women love chocolates, but not from men they barely know. Chocolates or other treats are best saved for a surprise, outside of a date.
  • ❌💎 Jewelry. Jewelry should be an obvious no-no, but I saw Google search results for "first date gifts" that suggested jewelry was appropriate, so I wanted to clarify. Nothing would make you look needier (and torch your chances of a relationship more) than to give a woman fancy jewelry before you're in a relationship together.

There are occasionally exceptions to these rules.

For example, either of the following might be OK gifts, even on a first date:

  • 🌻 Flowers you picked en route to your date. If you happened to walk by a patch of flowers on your way to wherever you're meeting your date, then picking one and giving it to your date when you arrive is a genuinely cute and thoughtful idea!
  • 🍪 Cookie you baked. If you were coincidentally baking before your date, you can absolutely bring a fresh-baked cookie you made along with you.

But these are special exceptions — the only reason these gift ideas are OK is because they're small, spontaneous, and authentic âœ”️

If you deliberately bake cookies before a date for the purpose of impressing a woman, the spontaneity is gone, and the gesture won't work in your favor.

Always err on the side of not bringing a physical gift on a first date.




Good first date gifts

Man and woman smiling at each other seated at a table with coffee

I lied to you 😅

There are several "gifts" (metaphorically speaking) that are essential to give to a woman on a first date.

These gifts include:

  1. ⏲️ The gift of punctuality. Women notice and appreciate men who are punctual (i.e. arrive at dates on time) for several reasons. First, being on time signals the date is a priority for you. Second, being on time signals you mean what you say. Third, being on-time (or better yet, early) prevents your date from awkwardly waiting alone when she arrives. Absolutely share the gift of punctuality with your first dates.
  2. 👇 The gift of presence. I've heard it said that "presence is a present," and nowhere is that more true than on a first date. Some guys make the mistake of imagining a future together with a woman too soon; others make the mistake of fixating on past struggles or experiences; both are bad habits for dating! The point of a first date is to understand whether you enjoy spending time with someone here and now — stay present to make this possible!
  3. 💵 Paying for the date. As a man, you should always plan to pay for a first date. This is partially because it's tradition; partially because you invited the woman out with you, and not vice-versa. Unless she insists on splitting the bill, you should decline her offer to split it with you, too.

Paying for first dates (or buying women drinks) always stirs controversy when I mention it on Instagram or TikTok.

I don't necessarily disagree with the guys who argue it isn't "fair" that they have to pay ðŸ¤·‍♀️

Here's the thing though:

If you expect to split the tab on first dates, you'll repel a lot of women.

Treat first dates as a gift, don't expect anything in return beyond good company, and you'll be on the right track!




Recap & Next Steps

Today we talked about first dates gifts, and learned:

  1. First date gifts are rarely appropriate at least in the traditional sense of the word "gift" ðŸŽ
  2. You should avoid gifts like flowers, chocolate, and jewelry because these things can make you look needy ðŸ˜®‍💨
  3. Presence, punctuality, and picking up the tab are great "gifts" for first dates because they send the right message âœ”️

Want to nail your first date, but have more questions?

Here are a few other resources you may find helpful:

And don't miss out on more free dating guides below ðŸ‘‡



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