In the early days of a new relationship, the stress of finding a holiday present that strikes the right note is almost enough to make you wish you were back free-wheeling it on Tinder. Your anxiety-inducing goal: To find a thoughtful, price-appropriate gift that says, “Hey, I really like you… but, you know, not too much.” Equally, you don’t want give a present that shrugs, “Yeah, I didn’t know what to get you, so here’s a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. You drink coffee, right?”
The perfect no-pressure gift comes down to finding something that shows that you get who he is, without any potential for awkward misinterpretations. With this in mind, we hunted down 10 new-relationship presents guaranteed to do no harm.
Crosley Solo Radio and Speaker
You first got talking over bands, so queue up a personally curated Spotify playlist on your iPhone and plug into this modern take on a mid-century radio — or just dial into a real live AM or FM station and prove that they really do still exist.
Urbanears Plattan II Headphones
His 3-train commute is a daily topic of discussion. Help him block out the world’s bad behavior with headphones and a few new podcast suggestions.
Joy Maps International Scratch Off World Map Poster
He’s been to Finland, India, and Vietnam in the four months that you’ve been together. This world map lets him quite literally scratch every new country he visits off his list.
Native Union Clic Card Leather iPhone Case
Somehow your new guy is on his third replacement screen. It’s OK. Help keep the new one un-shattered with an iPhone cover to shield it. This one also happens to double as a credit card case.
Nordstrom Wool & Cashmere Hat
While a hand-knitted hat might be totally appropriate 1 year+ into your relationship, in the first few months, a store-bought version like this one shows you care about his comfort — but without seeming creepy.
Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973
The two of you agree that Ziggy Stardust was Bowie’s best persona. And you're correct, as this Tachen tour book by legendary photographer Mick Rock proves.
Calibrate Crewneck Sweater
A basic crewneck in a neutral hue is arguably the safest of new-relationship options, with the bonus that you'll probably enjoy seeing him wear it.
Paul Smith Striped Sock Trio
Four weeks in is just too soon to be gifting underpants. Socks, on the other hand … totally innocuous. This trio by Paul Smith is equal parts fun and practical. If $70 seems steep, know that you can gift a single pair by the British designer for significantly less.
Barneys New York V-Neck T-Shirt
A basic black V-neck tee doesn’t say much about your intentions one way or the other, which might be precisely the message you want to send. Package this one up in its Barneys gift box along with a nice note and be done.
Nifty Mobile Charger
This lightweight little charger features a USB-C outlet that can fully power up his new MacBook, as well as a lightning outlet to keep his iPhone or Android phone going for several charges and counting as he travels on business (or just forgets to plug in before leaving home).
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