Celebrating special occasions together is one of the loveliest parts of dating. Whether it’s a birthday or an anniversary, it’s a great excuse to spoil each other.
But knowing how to approach these milestones can be tricky, especially in a new relationship. So follow this simple guide to help you work out how to tackle those big dating milestones in the diary.
This is not a test
You might feel that if it’s the first birthday or occasion you’re celebrating together, how you handle it will be taken as a measure of how good a boyfriend or girlfriend you’ll be. And whilst effort is always welcome, feel free to do it your way.
Social media and constant public projection can make us feel like we have to celebrate everything in a highly shareable and enviable way. when we’re dating But, when it comes down to it, this is just about the two of you. So think about how you’d like to celebrate. What kind of outing feels fitting? What sort of gift would they appreciate? Or arrange it together and incorporate both your ideas.
You don’t need to over plan, just think about what you’d both enjoy and go from there. Your past dates and conversations will hold the key to working out the perfect way to mark the occasion.
It really is the thought that counts
Throughout your dating journey, it can be tempting to throw money at a problem when you’re not sure what to do. But the kindest thing you can do is put a little thought into what your other half would enjoy.
There’s nothing more romantic than demonstrating that you’ve been listening to what your partner is interested in. So buy them that book they’ve said they want to read, or take them to the show they keep mentioning they’d love to see. Or, if you’re celebrating your anniversary, think of something that encapsulates the time you’ve enjoyed together so far. Maybe it’s a meal at the restaurant where you had your first date, or a photo montage of your first year as a couple.
That you personalised the date or gift just for them will make it all the more special.
You don’t have to escalate each occassion
Your celebrations don’t have to become more extravagant and extreme with every occasion that passes – otherwise you’ll be bankrupt before you’ve reached your second anniversary.
It’s easy to feel that what you do for the person you’re dating’s birthday has to be even better than what they did for yours. Or that every Valentine’s Day deserves a more impressive and Instagram worthy meal out. But it’s not a competition.
Give it some thought for sure, and make the most of the opportunity to celebrate if you’d like to. But don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure, otherwise you’ll risk making you both feel permanently inadequate.
Budgets are not unromantic
Money is never a comfortable subject, particularly in the early days of dating. But life is expensive and with so many occasions cropping up all over the place, it can be handy to have a conversation about the kind of money you’re each planning to spend on anniversaries or birthdays. It’s not an unromantic thing to do, and it may actually help you both feel calmer and clearer about the whole thing.
If in doubt, have a chat in advance
Not sure if you’re going to be celebrating their birthday with them, or if they take anniversaries as seriously as you do? Well, the only way to find out is to ask. It can be fun to talk together about how you can mark special occasions, and it’ll also put your mind at ease if you’re feeling unsure.
Of course, if you want to plan a surprise you’re going to have to keep that to yourself. But you can still suss out through friends if they’re free and likely to be up for what you have in mind, if you need reassurance.
Special occasions exist to give you the excuse to spend quality time together as a couple, and to show that you care and appreciate one another. So put some thought into it, show your the person you’re dating that you’ve thought of them, relax and enjoy yourselves.