Post # 1
My birthday was yesterday, and my boyfriend surprised me with a wonderful evening. When he got off work, he came home with a bouquet of my favorite flowers, and instructed me to change into a dress because he had made reservations for dinner. We’re usually a “diners-drive ins-and-dives” kind of couple, so a night in a more upscale restaurant is a bit of a treat. We ended up going somewhere I had been dying to try and ate a beautiful, several course meal, all with delicious wine pairings. After dinner, we floated around downtown, ending our walk at a spa, where the boyfriend said we had a hot tub/sauna room waiting for us. Very relaxing, very thoughtful. All in all, a wonderful birthday.
Today while running errands, I ran into someone I used to work with and she asked me what I did for my birthday. After I filled her in on the previous night, she smiled and said, “That sounds really nice. Did he get you a gift?”
I was stumped. I thought I had just explained the evening that my boyfriend had gifted me with. I guess I didn’t find it necessary that he would also give me something tangible to unwrap, considering that dinner was quite costly, and he’s currently saving for an engagement ring. I truly had a wonderful time and value time spent with him more than I would say, a pair of earrings. But it got me thinking…
Would you ladies have expected a gift in addition to dinner and the spa date? What are your holidays usually like as far as gift giving/general effort goes?
Post # 3
I wouldn’t have expected anything, since holding up expectations only leads to disappointment. Besides, your evening sounds like it was incredible, and that memory is pretty damn awesome.
Post # 4
Nope, that sounds like an event gift. We’ve become event gift over tangible gift people too, it’s a lot of fun for both the giver and the receiver. If it helps, yesterday was my husband’s birthday and I treated him to a formal fancy dinner as well, instead of following up with a sauna, I gifted him a voucher for a flight lesson so I am on board with your gift!
Post # 5
I prefer to be “gifted” an experience like the one you describe. Memories last a lot longer and are ultimately more satisfying than objects.
Post # 6
Wow, what a wonderful night! We give gifts in a very similar way… they’re usually not material things anymore, but time together or a night to be spoiled in ways like dinner out, an activity we love, etc. One year he made me a cake, which I really appreciated since I am the “birthday cake baker” in the family.
Post # 7
Would never expect anything else, maybe she was wondering if he’d possibly gotten you a ring?
Post # 8
Dinner is usually expected, but the spa counts as the “gift.” I think dinner and spa is a great birthday present, especially from a guy. They tend to not value nice dinners and spas as much as us girls do!
My Fiance and I are actually very low-key when it comes to gift-giving. We are not struggling to pay bills, but we know extravagant presents aren’t what’s important. Plus, we’d rather spend the money for a house, our honeymoon, and the wedding!
Post # 9
That sounds like a great gift to me! Maybe it’s just because we’re poor college students, but the most I *expect* from Fiance on any holiday or birthday is a thoughtful note in a card or on some stationery. Anything else is awesome, but I really couldn’t care less, as long as I got something meaningful from him.
Post # 10
No. I would have considered the evening to be a great gift and experience. You got to spend an incredible night with him that you normally don’t do or get to do. That would make it an amazing birthday.
Post # 11
I think that sounds like a great bday present! My SO had a similar day planned for mine and I LOVED it! Not better present than a day of surprises spent with your loved one.
We love to give “experiences” as presents. I took him and some friends tailgating and to a football for his bday last year (I did buy the grill and his mom the tickets, and my mom the booze and food).
Post # 12
I think this all just depends on the couple as well as the individual. FI and I tend to be very extravagant gift givers so yes, personally I would have expected a tangible gift in addition to the dinner and sauna. However, I really really REALLY love to receive tangible gifts, (it’s one of my languages of love), no matter how small so to me a birthday present is not as special unless I can wear it or use it later on and think about the occasion when I received it. On the other hand, I don’t think there is anything wrong with activity gifts if that is what the couple/individual values and prefers.
Post # 13
I’m used to dinner-and-a-gift. The spa part would be the gift in my mind. I made him his favorite foods (and made hot apple cider for him), plus gave him a giant stuffed tiger. Considering that NONE of his family even bothered to call, he was glad someone did something. (My mom sent him a gift card for a dinner out. She felt she had to justify such an impersonal gift.)
I expect my guy to hang out with my dad and grandpa for an afternoon while my mom, grandma, and I go do girly stuff. I expect him to nice to them at dinner. I expect him to go out with us on my actual birthday. I would hope he gives me some form of gift, be it flowers, a book I already own, something relating to a mutual interest (I can always hope) or jewelry (he was asking whether I like black pearls, which is the ONLY reason I’d think that.)
Post # 14
My Birthday is pretty close to Hanukkah and Christmas so I get one big present usually and dinner out since I celebrate Hanukkah and he celebrates Christmas.
Post # 15
We’re dinner and a gift folks as well – If my husband thought ahead enough to plan a spa date as well??? Extra awesome points and it DEFINITELY counts as a gift (plus, the flowers!)
Post # 16
I value experiences more than a gift, and I also tend to get a little cranky when he spends too much on me for holidays because we have other stuff to be spending money on. One of my absolute favorite “gifts” he got me was my first birthday with him when he took me horseback riding, to my favorite (not expensive) restaurant, and bought me a cheesecake as my birthday cake (even though he doesn’t like it!). It meant so much to me because I had mentioned to him before that I really value the thought and experiences more than just expensive stuff, and it felt like he was really willing to go outside his comfort zone to make me happy.
Now, I would say usually if we JUST do dinner he’ll get me a gift. But if it was dinner + spa that says gift to me.