You’ve just started seeing someone, things are going pretty well, so far at least, and then, BAM, you find out it’s their birthday. If you were more seriously involved, you’d at least know what was expected of you: you’d play the “Significant Other” role with aplomb, providing gifts, planning romantic birthday dinners, buying drinks, half-hosting the celebrations, and, most importantly, providing a safe passage home at the end of a boozy night. ) in, and your future with this person isn’t yet assured, you have to awkwardly toe the line between being presumptuous and doing too much, or being callous and not doing enough. If he or she mentions their upcoming birthday in passing, you should casually ask: “Fun, how are you planning to celebrate?You consider breaking up with them, just to get out of the whole ordeal — maybe they would take you back in a week, once their birthday has passed? ” The best case scenario is that they say something like “Oh, probably just doing X with my friends,” which makes it clear that you won’t be really expected to join in or participate — which is .

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If you go, treat it as you would the birthday of a friend you very much like: bring a card, buy them drinks, etc.

Be sure to mingle with people, and don’t expect to spend the whole night by the birthday person’s side. If your date doesn’t have plans, you can offer to take him or her out for a birthday drink, but be wary of this.

Sure, it’s possible they’re just not big birthday people, in which case it’s perfectly fine to spend the day together without making a huge production out of the birthday.

But beware of people who expect you to make big plans for their birthdays too early on in the relationship — this screams high maintenance, and besides, don’t they have friends to do this? Same rules apply as above in terms of party behavior: if you go to a celebration, be prepared to buy drinks and go home together.

A card is necessary, a token is nice but not mandatory.

Buy breakfast the next morning, make sure he or she isn’t too hungover, mingle with friends, etc.If you’re invited to a more intimate celebration, such as dinner at a restaurant with friends, don’t feel obligated to attend.Of course, it’s lovely if you do — but if you don’t feel you’re quite yet at the Birthday Dinner With Friends level yet, you can offer instead to take him or her out for a birthday drink on your own (possibly at a later date).If you don’t participate in a group celebration, some sort of acknowledgement about the birthday is still necessary.Next time you see the person, have a card, or offer to foot the dinner or drink bill in honor of their birthday. Ask early on how they want to celebrate, and plan accordingly. : Some sort of celebration or token of your own is required here.(Maybe they want their birthday ignored all together — but you’ve got to ask.) You’ll definitely be expected to participate in any and all existing birthday plans. You’re going, and, if you want to earn huge brownie points, you’ll take care of the whole “splitting the bill among 8 people” ordeal. You’ll arrive with the Guest of Honor and stay as long as he or she does. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it certainly doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.