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Valentine’s Day is a loaded holiday when it comes to picking out the right gift for your man. What you buy reflects how you see him and the relationship, so you want to get something thoughtful, creative, and appropriate for the amount of time you’ve been together.

3 Months

If you’ve just started dating, keep your gift casual. Is it love or lust? At this point, it’s too soon to tell, but it feels good just to call him your boyfriend. So, skip the serious stuff. Anything expensive or too personal will scare him off. Buy something simple but sweet, something that will make him smile and laugh, like a DVD “The Hangover” would be perfect! – or the “Guide For Guys” – a humorous book that walks men through all the things they should, but too often, don’t know. (For example, when attacked in the wild, should you play dead, fight back, or run? How do you change directions on the dance floor?)

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6 Months

This is a tricky in-between phase: You’re an official couple, but are still getting to know each other. Impress him by finding something that shows you’ve been paying attention to his likes and dislikes. For example, if he’s always taking pictures, get him a leather photo album and, if possible, get his initials stitched in! Or get him his favorite team’s sports jersey and tickets to a game. If he has to dress up for work or has just found a new job, cufflinks would be perfect!

12 Months

Things are clearly getting serious (even if he’s yet to admit it). A fun gift for this stage in the relationship is an experience you can have together, so you’ll build more shared memories. Try tickets to a concert, or if you’re both adventurous, set up an appointment to go bungee jumping or jetskiing. It’s okay to spend a little bit more money now, so a watch is always a safe-bet.

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