Q. This may not be your bailiwick because it is a hybrid question that crosses over from style to relationship. I have been seeing a woman for about a year now. Due to the disparity in our ages (23 yrs.), I refuse to be involved more than just dating and am clear about my availability. When she travels, she always brings me a little something. I was in Santa Fe on business and brought her an inexpensive liquid silver necklace ($60). You would have thought that I brought her a 3k diamond. Now I need to get her something for her birthday (27th), I would like to get her something nice, preferably jewelry, but don’t want to send any message other than I enjoy her company.
-Guy and Younger Girl
A. Having had romance, love, liars and cheats, I can take on the role of style and relationship expertise for your answer. I think your soon-to-be 27 year old has been sticking around believing and hoping that your “dating” has turned into more of a commitment. While you made it clear early in your dating that you did not want a relationship due to your age difference, she probably needs a refresher course. She’s probably a great girl who has treated you well and thinks of you often, as is obvious with her consistent gift giving. But it is apparent that you are only offering her morsels of attention when she deserves a full banquet.
Perhaps you give her a grand gift like sending her and a friend off on an all expense paid spa weekend (spafinder.com) and let her know that you are setting her free to find someone closer in age that will give her a chance at true love, perhaps marriage, and maybe a family. A man that wants to travel the world with her or plant a garden and barbeque in the backyard they share. A weekend away with a friend will give her a chance to vent, release and relax without a bill at the end. She’ll walk away with clean skin, polished nails and a pampered body to start anew. Pair the gift with a heartfelt note about her best qualities and how lucky you have been to know her.
If you are direct with your “only dating on your availability” and she still chooses to stay, then I presume you’ve also made it clear that when a good man comes along and asks her on a date, she should go since you have a no-strings attached affair.
No spa grand gift? Don’t wimp out and buy a gift that carries no meaning or barely cost you a hundred bucks. Does she have a lovely apartment or home? Why not choose photographic artwork and have it framed to add décor to her home. Jewelry is always a safe and memorable gift, but this time, choose real gold in a style that is simple and sophisticated. Or how about a stunning pair of expensive heels that she’s been coveting but would never fork over the cash for. Get her an appointment with a personal shopper at a department store (it’s free) and give her a gift card for $500 or more bucks to spend with the help of the personal shopper so she can get the benefits of the shopper’s talents of finding what she wants in her size. As long as you are honest, your gift can be exuberant, lovely, and expressive in its meaning that you appreciate her.
Some of my favorites:
1. Satya Jewelry aquamarine relief lotus necklace, $158 at satyajewelry.com
2. 18k Gold Circle Pendant, $150 at bluenile.com
3. Kevia Tulip Shaped Rococo Hoop Earrings, $138 at blueluxe.com
4. Tiffini Dooris Luna Necklace, $228 at tiffinidooris.com
5. Julie Sandlau Mint Crystal and Cubic Zirconia Circle Earrings, $224 at blueluxe.com
6. Julie Sandlau Champagne Zirconia Circular Chandelier Earrings, $211 at blueluxe.com
$300 & UP
5. Anna Beck Large Teardrop Pendant Necklace, $398 at nordstrom.com
6. Quinn’s Tulip Small Disc Diamond Earrings, $413 at blueluxe.com
7. 18K Gold Ginko Leaf Pendants by DeanBurke, $300 at vivre.com