I’ve been dating this woman for a month or two, and it’s a pretty good relationship, outside of I’m more into her than she is into me and we both acknowledge this. She has specifically noted that it is NOT a LT term, committed relationship where we share each other’s lives completely, but very specifically that we are only “dating” (seeing each other for dinner, movies, sex once or twice per week) and we are sexually monogamous. Oh, and also I may introduce her to people as my “girlfriend.” (Which is a strange word, anyway, because we’re both in our fifties.) Long story short, she’s still going through a divorce and is fairly unavailable emotionally, to me, anyway, and I’ve accepted this condition because I’m pretty crazy about her. (if you want the LSL, see my “Broken Heart–PRR-style” thread in IMHO about a month ago, in which she broke up with me abruptly, and then reversed fields ten days afterward–the breakup had to do with my being too into her.)
Anyway, some of the stuff that’s freaked her out has to do with long-range planning (I’ve speculated about trips we might take someday, to Europe and the like, which had the undesired effect of making her feel trapped in my fantasy world) BUT she has a birthday coming up in less than a month and I have no clue what’s appropriate, given her skittishness. Normally (everytime I’ve been insane about a woman, in fact) I just buy her a slightly inappropriately expensive birthday gift, which often advances the relationship somewhat in a good way, but this situation has me stumped.
She has agreed (everything in this relationship is a bit of a negotiation, though I’m hoping this tapers off as we get used to each other) to be taken out to dinner on her birthday (a nice steakhouse is what I have in mind) but I think I need to get her something else as well. (I’ve also offered to take her somewhere overnight --I suggested a trip involving a plane-ride and a motel on some beach, but she said that was way too much, plus which we haven’t literally slept together yet and she’s still trying to figure out if she’s ready to spend the night and wake up with me.) So my question is
nice steak dinner and nothing else?
nice steak dinner and a set of earrings? (she likes earrings)
nice steak dinner and something more mundane and domestic? (she’s admired my water-filter system but says it’s too expensive for her budget–it costs under 25 dollars! Also she needs kitchen stuff, like spatulas, tongs, etc.)
nice steak dinner and something of your own choice and experience that is neither as intimate as jewelry nor as emotionally neutral as a water-filter or spatulas?
Finally, she’s considering a one-night, local (no plane travel) overnight, so that’s my choice if she’ll agree, but if she rules that out as too much, what’s an appropriate gift in these circumstances?