Enitan Bereola Offers Tips On Surviving The Holidays With A New Love
Should there also be a conversation about how much to spend on gifts?
Absolutely. 100%. Not just with the significant other, but with family. The worst thing that can happen is someone expects something of great value possibly based upon what you do or what you have and then they don’t get that. Then they’re disappointed by something that was supposed to be looked at as a very kind gesture. Gift giving is a privilege—to give or receive. It’s nothing that’s owed to anybody. But for sure, talk about budgets. Make it inclusive: “We don’t really want to spend too much this year, but I was looking at XYZ online.” Then you can kind of go through it and point out the stuff you like. Then if he points to something too expensive you can say, “Ehhhh, you know…” You don’t want to get people’s hopes up.
Men be can pretty difficult to shop for. Do you have any gift ideas or advice when shopping for a significant other?
Social networking for the most part. I don’t think a lot men are into Pinterest, but even looking at someone’s Instagram. A lot of times, guys post what they like. With Facebook or Instagram, you can at least get an idea. I think cologne always makes sense. I always say that the perfect scent makes perfect sense. It’s a gift that benefits both people. You smell good for her. You smell good for yourself. It’s an easy gift. It’s affordable. This time of year it usually comes with some extra perks. You know, a gym bag or something.
Not all guys are into tools. Not all guys are into electronics. So it’s important to pay attention. Check us out. We’re not really vocal all of the time, so stare at us like five minutes longer and see what we touch while we’re in the store. See what we kind of gravitate towards. If you visit his home, women are very good at determining what we need. A lot of times guys get what they want. It’s the things that we need that actually help our process, but it’s the things that we may neglect. A lot of times a woman’s touch is something beautiful. You have that eye and this innate thing where you just know what we need.
How would a Gentlewoman carry herself during her first Thanksgiving dinner with her significant other’s relatives?
This is universal, whether you’re visiting family or a significant other: you should always come with something. Especially considering that you’re being served. I always say that a bottle of wine or champagne is good. Even if they don’t drink, maybe the guests do. If it’s not that type of party and they’re pastors or don’t get down like that, call ahead or inquire via him and say, “Let’s get something for them.” If he’s completely clueless, just grab a card in advance. You know, a thank-you card or a “nice to meet you” type of card just to show your appreciation. I think that those small gestures will always hold weight.
Also, just be yourself. Don’t get too caught up in expectations. Mom is probably going to have more expectations than Dad. Dad is usually sort of low key. He may ask a few questions and check you out. He probably thinks you’re cute, but won’t say much. Mom will probably be doing a lot of talking. You can’t be anybody but yourself. And know that the son is the one that is interested in you. It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day—I don’t care what people say—it doesn’t matter what Mom thinks. When a man makes a decision to marry, he lets go of his mom and dad and joins with his wife. Their opinions matter, but for grown people they really don’t matter. I don’t like grown men saying, “Oh, you gotta pass my mom’s test.” Come on man, you’re grown with a beard.