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The ultimate guide to grad gifts

Flowers are a classy gift perfect for any occasion in college.
Flowers are a classy gift perfect for any occasion in college.
Grace Johnson

It's the month of college graduations, but job searching isn't on everyone's minds. Instead, it is the problem of graduation gifts. Do you get one for your significant other? What do you get him or her? Here is a guide to help you figure out all of this in a jiffy, saving you time and energy for making your post-grad plans.

If you've been dating...

Less than six months: No need to purchase a gift. If anything, you could give a small bouquet of flowers to your significant other, but there are no real obligations to give anything. If you feel like being crafty, you could even do something like redeemable coupons for items such as “Date Night” or “Free Back Massage When Stressed” to let your S.O. know you care.

Six months to a year: If you buy a bouquet of flowers, you should also buy something else that's small. You still don't need to go overboard—you're still technically college students, after all, and no one expects a college student to fork over hundreds of dollars for a gift. You could easily give some roses and perhaps a little something to indulge his or her sweet tooth. That could be candy, elaborate Cookies by Design or Edible Arrangements, or even a nice bottle of wine to share. Alternatively, you could cook a nice meal together or dine out at a restaurant that is normally out of your budget.

More than a year: There is no set amount of money you have to spend, but a small piece of jewelry might be appropriate, such as a pretty pair of earrings or a nice watch. Just because you have been dating longer than many college couples, however, it does not mean that you have to splurge. If it’s out of your price range, think about a special date night the two of you could have together. If your girlfriend has been dying to try Bottle and Bottega, but that’s normally not your thing, give it a try. If your boyfriend wants to go golfing with you, play a round. Having these special memories will matter more than a physical object in the long run.

Above all, though, don’t feel pressured into getting a gift. If you don’t want to exchange gifts for whatever reason, just let your significant other know so that he or she doesn’t expect something. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating—communication is the way to ensure your happiness and your S.O.’s.

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