I am a huge gift-giver. I love getting people Christmas presents! I feel like it’s such an easy way to be like hey, I appreciate your existence. I always get my guy friends presents and I didn’t think it was a big deal. But then, I was unceremoniously informed that any time you get a guy a holiday gift, he automatically assumes you want to take a one way train to bone town with him. I would then assume that if you’ve got some kind of half-relationship, he might think a gift means you want to marry him and have his children.
So, it begs the question: when do you give a gift, and when do you not?
I’d never pretend to be a relationship guru and I sort of don’t think it matters (if you want to give a gift, you just should), but I know a lot of people who read into things like this. So, let’s start easy. You should absolutely give a gift if you’re in a serious relationship. You should absolutely give a gift to a guy who is your very close friend (best friend tier).
I think if you have a guy friend you want to start something more with, a Christmas present might be an easy, flirtatious way to say “I’m down to clown”. That depends on the type of present you get him. I think a fun thing would be his favorite bottle of alcohol and you can tell him you want to drink it with him sometime. Note: giving someone alcohol doesn’t automatically mean you want to bone them. You need the note, or it’s just a nice gift with no additional subtext.
I would not get a gift for any guy you’re hooking up with or “talking to” unless you want to express a desire to take it further. If you’re content with the way things are and you want to keep things casual, don’t give him anything. It might make him bolt for the hills and ruin a good thing even if your intention was completely pure. Weigh that risk.
Guys are always reading into girls’ intentions and it drives me insane. You can say “but girls overthink everything!!” til your face is blue but at least acknowledge that all I have to do is say “what’s up” to a guy and he’ll be off telling his buddies “she totally wants to bone”. Or, even worse, when you treat them with respect and friendliness after a hookup and they decide you’re like, totally trying to date them. Drives me up the wall because I promise, you’re not that special. So maybe this is less on girls to figure out who to give stuff to and more on guys to stop reading into presents. Personally, I’m going to give every guy in my life a holiday present and if you want to be weird about it, that’s on you. For the rest of you, hopefully will help you avoid awkwardness this holiday season.