Trying to find that special birthday gift for your girlfriend? The birthday present you give sends a message to her beyond “happy birthday.” It shows her what you know about her likes and dislikes. It can also give her an idea of how serious you are.
At the end of the day it's all about fitting the gift to the girl. And whatever you do, don't listen if she says she doesn't want anything. Plan to do something special – and remember, special doesn't have to mean expensive.
Traditional with a Special Touch
Flowers are nearly always welcomed. If you can, try to make the gift even a little more personal for your girlfriend. Does she prefer certain colors? Ask a florist to make a bouquet with those colors. If she likes plants go for a living flowering plant instead of a cut bouquet. Your birthday card can mention wanting to give her a gift that would last longer – she'll appreciate that. Of course, if she's ever grumbled about not being able to keep plants alive you may want to stick to the cut flowers – again, it's all about fitting the gift to the girlfriend right?
Simple and Thoughtful
Consider a nice picture frame with a picture of the two of you. If that's a bit too commitment-ish, you can give her a picture of her pet, or of her with her girlfriends, or of her family. She'll appreciate that you took the time to plan out such a thoughtful gift for her birthday.
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Recreate a Memory
Think back to your first date, or to the location where your first met. Were you at an event or perhaps a special restaurant? Show your girlfriend that you remember that special 'first' with a commemorative item (tee-shirt, mug, key chain, postcard, etc) from that location or event.
This doesn't have to be an expensive gift; you're going for points for being thoughtful. This works best if you pair it with a birthday card that has a hand-written message from you about that first moment.
If you've been together long enough to have memories of special events or vacations together, you might take a similar twist: get a memento from that vacation to commemorate that special time together. And again, be sure to pair it with a personalized message in the birthday card.
Think twice before you go this route. Then stop and think twice yet again. Seriously. Women often see a 'sexy' gift is something you got more for you than for her. If you are absolutely, positively certain she'd love something sexy for her birthday then go for it. But just to be safe, I highly recommend you pair this birthday gift with something non-sexy. It'll reassure her that you care for her as a person outside of the bedroom.
Do you cook? Make her a special birthday dinner. For extra points invite a couple of her friends as well. If you're a handy guy perhaps you've noticed something at her place that could be fixed? Perhaps she has a project she's not looking forward to (landscaping, closet cleaning, whatever). You could make a coupon that she can redeem for your help.
Mid-Level Commitment: Claddagh Ring
If you've been dating a while but aren't quite ready for that permanent commitment yet, a claddagh ring is a great token of your love for her birthday. Your girlfriend may not know the language of the claddagh ring: take a moment to explain how it works. Then ask her to wear the ring on the right hand with the heart turned in.
Here is the language of the claddagh:
Right hand, with the heart worn to the outside means she is single and unattached. “her heart is open”
Right hand, with the heart worn to the inside means she is single but in a relationship. “someone has captured her heart.”
Left hand, with the heart worn to outside means she is engaged to be married
Left hand, with the heart worn to inside means she is married
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Ultimate Romance: Engagement Ring
Is your girlfriend the one for you? Would you like to know she'll be in your life always? You asking her to marry you on her birthday will be a memory she will treasure always. Consider it the ultimate birthday gift for a girlfriend.
Of course, choosing an engagement ring can be an intimidating proposition. You can get through it though, I promise.
Start by noticing the type of jewelry she already wears. Does she tend towards yellow, rose or white gold? If she usually wears silver or white jewelry, find out if she has any metal allergies. My article on choosing a white gold wedding band will help you understand your options.
Now, look at her sense of style. Does she prefer clean modern lines or a more vintage style? This will play into the styles of rings she will prefer. It's okay if you don't know what rings look 'classic' or 'vintage' – ask the jeweler to help you. If you can describe your girlfriend's style a good jeweler will be able to guide you to the rings that match. Let your understanding of your lady love be your guide.
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By now you should have at least a couple ideas for gifts your girlfriend will love to receive for her birthday. Her birthday present can be thoughtful and inexpensive, wildly romantic, and anything in between. You will definitely be able to find a gift that will bring a smile.