You’ve just started dating someone, things are going pretty well, so far at least, and then, BAM, you find out it’s their birthday. You consider breaking up with them, just to get out of the whole ordeal but better not risk it. Don’t worry. We’ve made you a list of exactly what’s expected of you, based on length of time dating.
If You’ve Been Dating, Non-Exclusively, for a Few Weeks
At this point, besides the fact that you guys are possibly having sex, your relationship isn’t so different from that of good friends. You aren’t that serious yet, so he may prefer to spend a birthday with friends is totally normal. Just remember to send a birthday text or call.
Possibly, your date will mention a party or get-together to which you’ll be invited. Be sure to mingle with people, and don’t expect to spend the whole night by the birthday person’s side. You’ll probably go home together at the end of the night, but if it doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, don’t pout. This night is not about your burgeoning relationship.
If your date doesn’t have plans, you can offer to take him or her out for a birthday drink.
But beware of people who expect you to make big plans for their birthdays too early on in the relationship.
This screams high maintenance, and besides, don’t they have friends to do this? Red flags…
If You’ve Been Dating Three Months or Fewer, Not Exclusively
Same rules apply as above in terms of party behavior: if you go to a celebration, be prepared to buy drinks and go home together. A card is necessary, a token is nice but not mandatory. Next time you see the person, have a card, or offer to foot the dinner or drink bill in honor of their birthday.
If You’ve Been Dating Six Months Or Fewer, Exclusively
So you’re a couple, albeit a relatively new one. Ask early on how they want to celebrate, and plan accordingly. (Maybe they want their birthday ignored all together—but you’ve got to ask.)
You’ll definitely be expected to participate in any and all existing birthday plans.
Dinner with friends? You’re going, and, if you want to earn huge brownie points, you’ll take care of the whole “splitting the bill among eight people” ordeal. Party? You’ll arrive with the Guest of Honor and stay as long as he or she does. The next morning? You’re doing the coffee and bagel run.
Some sort of celebration or token of your own is required here. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it certainly doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. But a book, a cd, a trip to a favorite restaurant, an inside joke from an early date—some kind of little gift to let the person know you’re psyched about dating them,
If It’s Your Birthday
As psyched as you are about being in a relationship on your birthday, don’t put too much pressure on your newly minted significant other to make the day special. Remember, it’s their first time going through the birthday gauntlet with you, so this one is mostly about setting the tone. Go ahead and make plans with your friends as if you were single, and just invite your “Significant Other” along. It’s far less pressure on your relationship.
Dating can get expensive! Read on to find out ideas for meaningful economic gifts.