Love Tokens - What Will Really Win Her Over
Want to wow her at every pivotal point in the courtship dance? These little gifts and gestures — from candy to a framed memento — should do the trick.
Occasion: On your first date
Think flowers—with a twist. Steer clear of clichéd bouquets (red roses will make you look hopelessly uncreative) and swing by her place bearing just a few of the season’s “it” blossoms: Parrot tulips, which look like regular
tulips except they’re striped with vibrant colors, says Susan Holt, owner of Posies flower shop in New York. Or, try roses of a non-traditional color, like orange, lavender or hot pink.
|An armful of flowers won’t fly if you’re meeting her in public.|
Try a bouquet à la carte. An armful of flowers won’t fly if you’re meeting her in public, but that doesn’t mean you have to show up empty-handed. Bring a few sprigs of jasmine tied together with a bow; they don’t require water and are subtle enough to leave on the table during dinner. When it dries, it’ll give off a delicious scent that’ll keep you on her mind 24/7, says Simone LeBlanc, a professional gift buyer for the company Concierge 3.
Occasion: After a few dates
Prove you’ve paid attention. Score major points by getting her something she’s voiced an interest in: If she’s mentioned her love for horses, modern art or Katharine Hepburn, find a book on that topic, says Lash Fary, the “Hollywood Gift Guru” whose company, Distinctive Assets, puts together goody bags for red-carpet events. For offbeat options, go to Argosybooks.com or Othermusic.com.
Spring a love note on her when she least expects it. Any sweet nothing you write will sound romantic if she stumbles across it by surprise. So, slip a card saying “Right now I’m missing you” in her coat pocket before you part ways.
Don’t spend a bundle (at least not yet). At this stage, dropping tons of dough or getting her something too personal (clothes or home items) will look like you’re trying too hard to impress, or stake your claim. Tiny gifts will pack more punch—just ask Judy Koven, 28. “On our first date I told Ron that my favorite candy bar was Krackel, and I complained that they’re super-hard to find,” she says. “The next time we went out he surprised me with one at the end of the night. I thought it was so sweet.”
Occasion: You’re officially lovers
Give her lingerie that she, not you, will love. No gift better conveys that you see her as a total sex goddess—but beware, anything trashy will turn her off (and crotchless panties are more of a gift for you, aren’t they?). A stretch-lace camisole and undies set from Hanky Panky (Shopbop.com) shows you care about her comfort too, and the stretchy factor
means even if you have to guesstimate on her size they’ll still fit (when in doubt, play it safe and go with medium).
|Skip the standard heart necklace and get her something unique.|
Write yourself into her future. This little gesture won’t cost you a thing, and yet she’ll rave about it to her friends. When she’s not looking, grab her pocket calendar or PDA. Enter a few things she’ll stumble across in the coming days that will make her smile, whether that’s “It’s our one-month anniversary, let’s celebrate!” or “Save this day for you and me.”
Start stocking things she needs at your place. If she’s started to bunk in your bed regularly, show her she’s welcome by keeping things she loves handy, like her favorite tea for those lazy mornings (or turn her on to something new that’s obviously for her, like a tea named Love’s Labour Lychee at Mariebelle.com). Or, ceremoniously clear a shelf in your bathroom cabinet or a dresser drawer, prop a card in there saying "all yours"… then tell her to open it.
Occasion: You two have made it exclusive
Jewelry always works. (And, no, we’re not suggesting The Ring.) Jewelry is timelessly romantic, and it makes the perfect way for her to show off her new coupled-up status to her friends. What to choose? Skip the standard heart necklace and get her something unique. “A simple gold chain with a little charm has a sweet, poetic quality, and looks very stylish right now,” says LeBlanc. “Look for charms made of colorful stones, like semiprecious gems, coral or turquoise, or a gold charm in the shape of a feather or her first initial.” You can find a selection of such designs at Alexisbittar.com and Jenniferleitzes.com.
Pick out something for her pad. She’ll be touched because a gift for her home implies that you plan to spend lots of time there. “I’m crazy about Japanese food, and one night Matt said he was bringing it over to my place for dinner,” says Melissa Brooks, 26. “He arrived with sushi, along with a whole set of beautiful Japanese dishes, like sushi trays, soysauce dishes, sake cups and fancy chopsticks.” Your girl doesn’t dig sushi? Serve her favorite foods on a set of hip home designer Jonathan Adler’s new dishes at Crateandbarrel.com, or show you’re looking forward to lots of cozy couch time at her place by gifting her with a subscription to Netflix.com.
Frame a memento. Take a token from your together time thus far—say, the ticket stub from the concert you went to on your second date or the cover of a menu from the fancy restaurant where you asked her to become exclusive—and have it professionally framed. It’ll say that you think your relationship is special enough to preserve and show off.
Celeste Perron is a New York-based freelance writer. In her mind, the best love tokens are actually the classics: a bottle of red wine and dark chocolate.