Today’s my birthday, and what do people love more about birthdays than presents? C’mon, it’s true: from the time, as a child, you start to associate your birthday with gift-getting, your birthday becomes a day to look forward to. Then, once you hit a certain age, getting older is no longer fun, but getting presents always is.

There are different levels of gifts received once you’re in a relationship. If your birthday rolls around right when you start seeing someone, don’t expect much, but definitely look for acknowledgment. If he showers you with too much, it’s all for show. If he shoots you a text halfway through the day (thanks, Facebook, for those reminders!), he’s definitely an under-performer. Really, any relationship with less than six months longevity requires some pre-purchase thought. The gift—and there should be a gift—needs to show that he knows something about you (getting you a cat if you’re allergic is, first of all, way too soon, and not too smart), but not so much that you worry he’s spent countless hours memorizing (read: stalking) your Facebook profile.

Once your relationship takes a turn for the more serious, you’re in for some good stuff on your special day…at least for a few years. Jewelry you actually like, surprise trips, concert tickets to your favorite shows, the like. For a while, it feels like it can’t get any better: he knows you and, more importantly, wants to and knows how to surprise you.

Years go by, you snuggle into a comfortable lifestyle, and there, it takes a turn for the… practical. Your birthday rolls around just in time to upgrade the vacuum cleaner. He wants to teach you how to fix up the house with the handy new “for her” toolkit. Your tire pressure is low, so he presents you with a brand new pump.

Basically, the best time to get into a relationship is a month or two after your birthday, to give him plenty of time to prepare for the next round; and, it’s best to get out before you get too comfortable…unless the home improvement projects have piled up and you’re feeling a surge of inspiration.


Vicky fills the shoes of local Carrie Bradshaw in CandiDates, a blog about her own quest to explore the intricacies of relationships. Originally from Kiev, Ukraine, she has made Denver her home and playground. An editor and writer for 303 Magazine by day, Vicky spends her nights pursuing her passion of ballroom dance.