About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Birthday Traditions

Whenever there’s occasion that requires gifts or celebration, the BF and I like to clarify our expectations – such as a budget and activities – in advance. He really enjoys giving and receiving presents, so we pretty much try and participate in all the obvious things, such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas . The key to this being a success is that 1) we both get a say in the activity (which means there are no surprises surrounding any event – I think Lance’s GF is kind of lame for insisting that Valentine’s Day is all about the girl) and 2) there is a budget that we agree not to exceed.


For Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, it’s typically along the lines of $25-50, depending on our financial situations at the time. Birthdays run around $100-150, and Christmas is about $200. To help the first person get something the other person will like (I am not especially interested in presents and so tend to have a very difficult time deciding what I could ever want), we keep categorized lists with items, stores, and websites as “inspiration” for the other person. These are updated as we think of new things we want and also as we get things on our lists.

These gifts are usually separate from any celebratory dinner…I have learned that depsite the fact that he is very good with people,

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the BF is an introvert – he prefers to go out only with me rather than in a group with friends. Since his birthday is on Monday, we are going to go out for dinner on Sunday (it’s looking like crab is what he’s craving) and a movie. Then Monday I’m giving him his gifts, which it looks like I am going to go Tempe Festival of the Arts to try and find him something cool that’s not on his list. This has him a little nervous because apparently he doesn’t like deviation (and also he is a huge fan of returning gifts he doesn’t like and he wouldn’t be able to do this). To which I say, ha! Too bad for you :-)

Actually, there are at least four vendors that I know he likes because we’ve bought things from them at previous street fairs, and these events have tons of nice decorative and artsy things (you just have to keep your eyes peeled because there’s a lot of chintzy crap, too). I love street fairs! He’s going out shooting with one of his buddies from work, so I have the afternoon to drink wine outside and inspect all the booths. Awesome!

How do you handle gifts and special occasions when you’re in a relationship? I’m trying to think of something to do to celebrate the fact that I’m graduating with my PhD this May…I actually never would have even thought of this as a celebratory occasion, but then he asked what I wanted to do and I was like, hey, this is a big deal! Our 3-year anniversary is the same week so it’s kind of difficult (and kind of expensive) to separate out the occasions. My best friend and her husband want to go to Vegas with us, and I think that’s actually kind of cool as a PhD celebration thing (and he was on the fence about whether or not he could go so this gives me a little bargaining power) and then we can just have dinner and a sex fest here for the anniversary.

If this post made you want to update your wish list, you might also enjoy:

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Happy b-day to the BF! I think wish lists are a great idea for couples and might just have to steal that idea one day. As for finally getting your PhD, let me clarify something for you: YES, this is a big deal. Congrats! : )

    The Dateable Dork´s last blog post…Who needs men when you’re having multiple mind-blowing orgasms?

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Thanks, DD! As far as the PhD, it was obviously a big deal for me to do it and I was really excited about it in the beginning…it’s just tough to get into that mindset again. After 5+ years, all I can think is, Ugh. I’m glad it’s almost over!

    Thank god I didn’t go for the whole tenure-track thing.

    Honey´s last blog post…Birthday Traditions

  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    Yeah I don’t bother with gifts apart from on my SO’s birthday. And even then I just mail her a check with a note that says “No idea what you’re into these days. Figure something out.”

    It’s that kind of raw, emotional honesty that I think has kept us together for going on three decades now.

    That and apathy.

    Janak´s last blog post…Grainy penis photos for casual encounters

  • http://20-forty.com/ lisaq

    The year I got my master’s, Kira graduated high school, & Kaci finished middle school we took a celebratory trip to Hawaii. It was fabulous. This year Kaci turns 21 so her sister & I are taking her to Vegas. Love trips to celebrate special occasions!

    lisaq´s last blog post…3 Reasons Men Leave Women They Love

  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    I’m going to the moon. To the motherfreaking MOOOoOOOn.

    Janak´s last blog post…Grainy penis photos for casual encounters

  • http://simonandcole.com simonandcole

    I’m new to this site but I really hope that when I read that your boyfriend is “going out shooting” that you really meant it. It just paints an awesome picture of who this guy is and I’m NOT kidding.

    simonandcole´s last blog post…Handjobs by Cole

  • http://simonandcole.com simonandcole

    I hope when you said “going out shooting” you really mean it because that is thirty times more bad ass than shooting a basketball. Although that would paint a somewhat more normal picture of your boyfriend.

    simonandcole´s last blog post…Handjobs by Cole

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Hi, Simonandcole,

    Yes, the BF has a glock and his friend has some sort of semi-automatic something. They drive out into the middle of the desert and shoot at cans and bottles. Sometimes he goes out with the senior associates where he works…these guys make mega-bucks so they have all sorts of automatic weapons, shotguns, and antique guns.

    I am not really a fan of guns but suppose I will at least have to learn how to use the Glock eventually, since he keeps it in his nightstand. Perhaps sometime I’ll tell the story of how he pulled a gun on our petsitter while I was on the phone with him (To be fair, the petsitter brought a friend over on a night she was NOT scheduled to be there – we have hard liquor out on the baker’s rack that I think she was helping herself to. We don’t use that person anymore.)

    Honey´s last blog post…Social Artistry at Its Finest

  • http://simonandcole.com simonandcole

    that’s hilarious. i think i’m going to write a blog post about pet/house/dog sitting and how it can lead to the best sex you’ve ever had (because it’s forbidden) or your worst nightmare

    simonandcole´s last blog post…Handjobs by Cole