The Best Gifts for a Cool Person You Just Started Dating

The holidays are just around the corner—and while it can be kinda exciting to spend it with a new boo, it can also strike fear. What should you gift someone who has only just become an actual someone to you? Meaning, a few months ago, they were just a contact in your phone with a name like “Sweatpants Brian,” “Hinge Madison,” or “Jaeger Sally Wed Night.” Now, those cryptic contacts have started to earn a real place in your heart, as well as in waking daylight, and y’all might be revving to exchange gifts this holiday season—which is both sweet, and stressful. Maybe you made it official just a few weeks ago, or maybe you haven’t even DTR’d (defined the relationship). Either way, it would be weird to hang empty-handed whilst surrounded by mistletoe. Let’s roast those chestnuts, baby.

What are the best gifts for a new partner, lover, or situationship? The key is to find them something that slaps, but doesn’t feel like they’re getting love-bombed; if your mans is gifting you an original LOTR prop on the fifth date, run. No, you should be giving them something affordable, thoughtful, and perhaps a bit cheeky. Find a present that you can carry to the bar, or could also work for at least two other people you’ve slept with, which might sound toxic, but welcome to dating in 2022. Wicked games, jabroni. 

Remember, socks are a forever safe zone that deliciously walk the line between “I love you” and “Who are you?” while a strategically picked, National Park-scented candle can indicate that you might actually hit the great outdoors together soon. Shower them with delicious ice cream, Carhartt beanies, goth incense, fancy cake mix, unique bouquets (no roses!), and other treats that say, “I like you. Today.”

Fancy coffee is a good bet

Can’t explain it, but it’s true: Hot people have insomnia, shredded nail beds, and lots of stomach problems from a life of slammin’ beans down their thrussy. We have an entire guide of gifts for a coffee-obsessed significant other, but Nguyen Coffee Supply’s Phin Kit is definitely one of the chillest, guaranteed-to-rock presents in the mix. 

The box of chocolates for the modern date

A heart-shaped assortment of mediocre milk chocolate feels too cheesy, but a multi-tiered crate of super-expensive truffles feels too stuffy. That’s where Compartés’ chocolate bar gift sets come in. The brand makes high-end chocolate that’s lux, but fun—and this gift bar set’s fun flavors—Donuts & Coffee, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cereal Bowl, and Chocolate Chip Cookies—are perfect for saying, “You’re cute, but I’m playing it cool.”

For someone who you wanna take to Vegas

Maybe you’re not yet sure you want your marriage officiated by an Elvis impersonator, but you do know that you’d like to hit the slots and eat cheap steak dinners together.

For the cutie who likes to keep things analog

Maybe they deleted their Insta, or they’re always talking about how they prefer movie theaters over streaming platforms. They’re dropping hints that they’re a little bit old-school, and an appreciator of the pre-NFT arts, and that makes them the perfect recipient of legacy camera brand’s Ilford’s compact and character-filled Sprite 35-II . It has a built-in flash and versatile 1/120 second shutter speed, and comes in a rainbow of colors. Get ready for the dreamy photos to spew forth.

Yours is a dArk fAirYtale

​“The tale of two outcasts and star-crossed lovers caught in the throes of a torrid, solar flare of a romance featuring: feverish obsession, guns, addiction, shamans, lots of blood”—you get the idea. If your boo and you are steeping in dramatic feels à la MGK and Megan Fox, why not indulge in a smoky, sexy candle from Boy Smells? Hinoki Fantôme is like making love in a pile of incense ashes (in the best way possible)—it starts with a base of Japanese cypress and then layers on notes of resin, jasmine, moss, and amber.

A toothbrush that says “of course you should sleep over”

The Philips One toothbrush not only has charming looks (in a variety of colors); it’s also made in collaboration with Sonicare, which makes those top-of-the-line electric toothbrushes that keep your chompers squeaky clean. At under 30 bucks, it makes the perfect gift to present while you also say, “Hey—you might not need a key yet, but you’re welcome to practice good dental hygiene when we spend the night.” After all, everyone appreciates fresh breath during morning sex.

Luxurious body oil

It sure feels good to slather on a body oil when you hop out of the shower, or when you’re ready to be touched… which is why Maude’s quick-absorbing, lux-feeling Oil No. 0 is a great gift for self-care or for in the bedroom.

Sock it to them

Will these show a peek of flames or cow print and end up cherished forever, lost in your bedsheets, or eaten by the dryer? Who knows, as you’ve only been dating for a few weeks. Love this game.  

An affordable massage gun

Sure, a gift certificate to a spa is nice—but it’s a little soon to be dropping 200 bucks on one of those, no? Plus, that session will only last an hour or so. Instead, present them with Flyby’s F1Pro massage gun, one of our editors’ picks, which is powerful, rechargeable and has six different heads, so they’ll have years of massages ahead of them on any part of their body that needs a bit of TLC.

The best gift you’ll ever give for under eight bucks

All of our editors, and a solid five-star rating from nearly 32,000 happy home cooks, can attest that Maldon sea salt will change the lives of any individual who’s still dousing all their food in crappy, granular iodized table salt. It makes cooking taste better and feel fancier, and even the box is beautiful. Plus, it costs less than a single complicated Starbucks drink order.

Tea for lucid dreaming

Looking for more interesting intel when you roll over in the morning and chat through the weird narratives of your subconscious? This tea allegedly helps summon pleasant, vivid dreams, via a calming combo of herbs and botanicals including ashwagandha, passionflower, skullcap, and kava kava. Not making any medical (or metaphysical) claims on this one, but the description says: “This formula exalts deep alpha and beta waves, creating a profound lucid dream atmosphere. It has been studied that the more the Brain enters the Alpha/Beta state, it enters into the most self-regenerative realm.” (Worth noting: Anima Mundi, which makes the tea, uses sustainable sourcing “directly from native people within Central and South America” and other small farmers around the world.)

A candle that smells like a romantic vacation you miiiiiight someday take 

Yo, it is wayyy too early to be planning a coastal getaway with this Hinge cutie—but, maybe you want to drop a hint that that's something you'd consider in, you know, a while, if things go well. But mainly, we could all use a delightful scented candle to make our homes smell less grody. D.S. & Durga's popular Big Sur After Rain candle and Good + Well Supply’s Zion candle are both modern classics.

They’re your beanie baby 

If your dates are mostly drinking Modelo at the skate park and copping their rolling papers, a fresh Carhartt beanie is perfect. (Also, you can just steal it back when you break up.)

For the boo who’s still basically a drinking buddy

OK, so your dates have been pretty alcohol-fueled so far. Nothing wrong with that, as long as everyone’s getting home safe, practicing consent, and keeping an eye on the wellbeing of their liver. In fact, getting kinda drunk on your first few dates with a new somebody can be a sheer delight, if the company is good. But if you’re transitioning to more of a “drinks at home while hate-watching And Just Like That” energy, a dirty martini kit—complete with olives, brine, and picks—is just the right gift for saying “I like you, but I want to keep things feeling like a party.”

…and if they prefer Old Fashioneds?

No problem, we’ve got just the ticket: Luxardo cherries, which have been considered the GOAT of cocktail cherries by bartenders for decades. They’re not cheap for cherries, but the price is right for gifting to a new crush.

A frother for their morning latte

If you don’t have a frother yet, how are you making perfect matcha or super-silky oat-milk lattes?! These handy little gadgets are super-affordable, but make a world of difference in achieving that super-smooth and creamy top layer of foam in your milky morning bev.

The gift that gives back

Been staying at their place quite a bit lately? Might be smart to upgrade their kitchen equipment. After all, doesn’t a perfectly poached egg on your Benedict sound like a nice thing to wake up to on a Sunday morning?

In fact, upgrade their bed setup while you’re at it

Silk pillowcases have benefits for your hair, skin, and even sleep quality, with their cooling, smoothing, acne-fighting properties. So if you’re going to be snoozing on a pillow that isn’t yours, or even just selflessly want to help your crush achieve a shinier coiffure, cocoon it in Mulberry silk. We’re big fans of Quince’s affordable basics, from linens to cashmere sweatpants, and at around $40, the price is right for giving your boo a bitty bed upgrade.

A tie-dye kit for making any and all of their clothes vibey

This is fun, because it’s both a chill, creative bonding activity for you and your new Netflix bud, as well as a way of giving all of their crusty sweatpants a second life. 

Can’t go wrong with Aesop soap

Because you're not ready to treat them to a spa day, but you can at least make their bathroom sink feel a little more luxurious. There’s a reason Aesop soap peoples every celebrity home, and the reason is that it actually makes you leave a slug trail of crypto and gold bullion in your wake. Rich people scents, baybee. 

Cleverly concealed CBD joints

We love Dad Grass, maker of smokable CBD that’s for chilling without paranoid thrilling, for many reasons, not the least of which is its wildly inventive and crazy-cool array of merch. The latest drop includes this candy-heart-wrapped five-pack of bad-vibe-free joints, which are low- to no-THC and thus legal to ship straight to your door. Choose from the classic high-CBD Dad Grass or its CBG-heavy counterpart, Mom Grass.

A starter sex toy 

Because maybe you just started dating, but you met them months ago on a smash-n-dash dating app. A couple’s sex toy is a gift you will both enjoy; for hands-free clitoral stimulation during intercourse, try Eva, the portable (and less visually imposing) clitoral vibrator by Dame. For a TikTok-famous gift for her, the Rose Toy is another great option—it provides gentle suction for powerful orgasms during solo or couples play.

A vintage Sopranos promotional snapback

If this person doesn’t want this hat, are you sure you want to be dating them?

Happy holidays, to your and your… cool person. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.


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