Should You Bring a Gift on the First Date?

First date giftShould your bring a gift on the first date? It’s no mistake that at The Art of Charm we’re not really huge fans of using material goods to impress women. First of all, it attracts the wrong kind of women. Second of all, it’s probably not going to work in a sustainable way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t bring a gift on the first date.

So should you?

The short answer is no, but — of course — the longer answer is going to shed a lot more light on the subject.

When Is It Good to Bring a Gift on a First Date?

We prefer the way this question is phrased a lot more than the way the first one is. So when is it good to bring a gift on a first date?

Basically when you see something amazing that reminds you of her that isn’t that expensive. Especially on a first date, bringing her a little something small that you spotted can go a long way. Here it truly is the thought that counts. For example, if she confesses to you that she still watches her favorite cartoon from childhood, go ahead and grab her a Spongebob figurine if you see one in your travels. The point here is to show her that you’re paying attention to the things she’s telling you; The point is emphatically not to impress her with how much money you’re spending on her.

Why Not Automatically Bring a Gift?

There are a few reasons we advise men against automatically bringing a gift. The main reason is that you’re basically starting out from a position where you’re trying to “win” her affection with material goods. It doesn’t matter if it’s something small like a box of candy or roses — the point is that you’re saying “please like me” rather than presenting yourself as the kind of high-value man who’s evaluating her as much as she’s evaluating you.

Another issue? You’re making things unnecessarily formal (and maybe even a little bit awkward) by bringing her a “romantic” gift. Remember that you two are just getting to know each other at this point. This means that a gesture like roses or candy can seem forced, awkward or even desperate. You most definitely don’t want to be any of those things. So skip the gift unless it’s something that seems really appropriate to her.

What About Paying for the Date?

None of this applies to paying for the date. For the most part, you’re going to be the one who pays for the first date unless you have a woman who insists on either paying or splitting the check. The main reason for this is that, as the person asking her out, it’s kind of your responsibility to make it happen. So have enough money for your date, but don’t feel like you have to show up bearing gifts on top of that.

After all, your shining presence is a gift enough.

AJ Harbinger - author of 1048 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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