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by Dr. Fayr Barkley Ph.D.
You’ve had a handful of dates and really like him. You and your BFF are out window shopping for the holidays and you spy a gorgeous winter scarf that would be oh so perfect with his steel blue eyes.
Should you or shouldn’t you? Something tugs at your fantasy heart strings…it’s just you and him alone in a cabin on a snowy mountain. You sip champagne as he delicately feeds you strawberries in front of the crackling fire and massages your feet. He just looks so darn adorable wearing that beautiful scarf you got him, and little else.
Seeing the glazed-over look in your eyes, your BFF snaps you back to reality; as all loyal BFF’s do when our fantasy mind has gone astray.
“You seriously aren’t going to buy him a present are you?” The aghast look on her face inspires your most defensive posture.
“But this scarf would look so great on him and I am really starting to like this guy.”
BFF flips over the price tag and looks at you.
“Seriously. You’re going to spend this kind of money on a guy you barely know?”
And the truth of the matter is, yes, you would. And you don’t really even know why you would. You tell yourself that it is in the spirit of the holiday season of giving to others, that he could probably use a nice scarf, that every time he wears it he will think about you and have warm, fuzzy thoughts that will bond him to you forever and ever and you will marry in a cathedral in Paris with a 5 carat diamond solitaire on your finger, be driven in a chariot by white horses while a thousand doves are released into the air around you. Whew! Your fantasy mind races. Suddenly you are yachting in the Mediterranean together.
All this projection of perfection, as I call it, from an overpriced scarf and eyes that make your heart melt every time you look into them.
Logically we know a scarf or any other holiday gift will not bring our fantasies to reality with the current man in our lives. But it is comforting on some level, to pretend it can. Heck, it’s a lot of fun to rev up those hormones and get that Dopamine flying around our brains.
So, when should we or should we not spend money on “some guy” in our lives? Do we wait until the third date? Sixth date? Until we are sure he is going to buy a holiday gift for us?
And let’s say you do buy him a gift and he does not buy you one; or he doesn’t even commit to see you over the holiday season. Your cabin in the snow fantasy is dashed to bits.
Have you ever regretted the holiday gifting scenario? Ever been disappointed that you spent the time, let alone the money, to find something special for him and felt let down when he did not reciprocate? Or when his holiday plans were so “iffy” you didn’t know if he was including you in them or not?
When do you think a holiday gift is appropriate to give and would you put a dollar limit on it based upon how much time you have been together or the level of commitment between you? Are you in a committed relationship or just “dating”? There is a difference. And the answer to that question is something that needs to be determined so that good judgment can prevail; especially during holiday shopping time.