Choosing a Gift for an Online Match: What You Need to Know

Photo Credit: Lusi

Photo Credit: Lusi

Choosing a gift while online dating can be nerve-wracking to say the least.
Gifts are more than just ‘things’ — they are a physical expression of your relationship with someone. They allow you to express how a person makes you feel in a tangible form.

Depending on the choice of gift, the message can be clearly presented or the wrong message can be delivered completely. Choosing the right gift is very important to make the right impression.

In over a decade of experience and interaction in various online dating platforms, here are the top three most common mistakes that I have learned (the hard way).

1. Buying Expensive Or Brand Name Gifts

This is the most common approach but also one of the least effective. The exaggerated use of money encourages an inflated precedent that would need to be maintained. Furthermore, by using this approach you are more inclined to attract ’money motivated’ individuals. Unfortunately, on occasion others have been lured under the false pretences of scammers.

The side effects are:

  • You will typically get a response of disbelief and an inability to accept the offer
  • It makes you look prematurely overcommitted (i.e. creepy)
  • You risk making the recipient feel more uncomfortable than flattered

2. Buying Too Soon

It’s perfectly understandable to feel compelled to purchase something for your online dating interest. This happens frequently within the first month of meeting someone online (usually without first getting an opportunity to truly form a bond).

The lesson to learn is this: give it time Romeo; get to know Juliette a little more first before giving any gifts. As you can see, it is less about the quality of the gift and more about the initial impression you make.

The side effects are:

  • Gifting too soon is a sure fire way to kill a good relationship before it even begins
  • You may only prove with a premature gift how well you don’t know the other person

3. Finding Something Cheap

Purchasing cheap quality items for your gift idea can seem rushed and even thoughtless. It reflects poorly on your commitment to the fledgling relationship.

The side effects are:

  • Your date will feel unappreciated or undervalued
  • Cheap gifts give the impression that you yourself are cheap

Gifts From The Heart

When considering giving a gift, it is more important to show your heart. You will want to express who you are through your gifts to reveal how deeply you care for that person.

When used together I find the following two tiered approach to be the most effective:

Tier One: Truly Listen

By truly listening to your partner you can tune into the subtle undertones of what really matters to them. Additionally, your partner will feel like you are genuinely interested in them. It is important to learn to ask the right questions. By allowing your partner the opportunity to open up to you, they will indirectly give you the information you need to make a great and personal gift selection.


  • Ask about their interests, lifestyle, hobbies and beliefs
  • Practice asking open ended questions to help them open up

Tier Two: Create

Nothing is more personal than a handmade gift. Using your own time and effort (not only money) when creating a gift shows your thoughtfulness and personal skills.


  • What is something you are already good at creating?
  • Creating doesn’t have to show your craftsmanship but should simply be a form of personal expression

By following these principles and suggestions you are now armed with the tools you need to give a truly great and memorable gift.