You can’t believe it but it has been a year since you and your boyfriend started dating. It has been 12 months of great times, a couple of hard times and perhaps one or two near breakups – but now things are well on track! The fact that you made it through the first year of your lives together is more than enough reason to celebrate. There is no better way to say I love you to your boyfriend than with a perfect one-year anniversary gift. ..but what would be a perfect gift for the occasion? It is not easy to find a perfect gift, especially for a man. You want something special, sentimental but appropriate.
Thinking Through Options for a First Anniversary Gift
You could find yourself racking your brain for days trying to come up with the perfect gift. You don’t want to get him something that will spend the rest of its life at the far end of his closet but you can’t afford to get anything too pricey. Here are the two most important points to keep in mind.
- Think of things he really likes and get a gift along those lines. If you have been together for a year, you should have a fairly good idea of what he fancies and more importantly, what he hates.
- Always try to add your own personal touch to the gift. This gives it a more intimate feel compared to a generic gift.
Traditional Thoughts about One Year Anniversary Gifts
If you are a child of the digital age, you have probably done some internet research about one year anniversary gifts. Be careful not to get ahead of yourself. A lot of the ideas you find will be in reference to a one-year wedding anniversary and you are not there…yet. Traditionally, the ideal one-year anniversary gift was believed to be something made of paper – which symbolizes newness and fragility. Now that we are no longer living in traditional times, you need not be tied down to a paper gift. You can be as creative as you want.
Here are some not-so-conventional gift ideas your boyfriend is bound to like.
What to Get Your Boyfriend for Your 1 Year Anniversary
1) A Weekend Getaway
Material gifts are great but experiences are also a delightful gift. Even if nothing tangible is left, memories of a wonderful time spent with a loved one never really fade. You do not have to go away on a week-long vacation. Pick him up from work on Friday afternoon and take off for a weekend of fun at that exotic spot you have both been wanting to go to for so long. Great memories can be made in a day or two for you can have the time of your life and still be back in time for work on Monday morning.
2) 3D Portrait
Your parents and perhaps their parents’ parents all had portraits of themselves hanging on a wall somewhere. Do the same but with a digital age twist to it. Pick out a photo of yourselves you both like and have a 3D portrait done. Wrap it up and present it to your boyfriend on your one-year anniversary. You can be sure it will be different from what any of your relatives have hanging on their walls!
3) I Love You Beans
If your boyfriend is a nature lover, he will, no doubt, like an I love you bean plant. Be warned, it does take a fair amount of patience to pull this one off and it does not always work perfectly. You may want to buy several beans and try them out well before the anniversary date to see how long it takes to get to the ideal stage for presentation. The idea is to give him a seed before the anniversary date, ask him to plant it in a pot and keep it properly watered. Hopefully, it will sprout and on the anniversary day, you will use it to say I love you.
4) Breakfast in Bed
Surprising your loved one with breakfast in bed is about the oldest romantic gesture there is, but it never gets old. It will still work to make him feel special on your special day. Add a cute personal touch to it with heart-shaped waffles. Serve him your heart on a plate and let him know just how much love each waffle carries. If he likes chocolates (and who doesn’t?), you can drizzle some chocolate sauce all over the waffles to make it extra sweet!
5) Date Night Piggy Bank
It is a drag when date night comes and neither of you can afford to spare any cash for dinner at your favorite restaurant. Why not get him ( but really, it is for both of you) a date night savings bank. You can both put some money in it whenever you can and leave it there until the need arises. When date night comes around, no one has to worry about paying for dinner and you can order anything you want on the menu!
6) Printed Photos
With great quality cameras on smartphones and social media, who prints out photos anymore? Well, no one really but that does not mean you can’t. Print out a bunch of photos of you and your boyfriend from different times in the course of your first year together and display them creatively. You can pin them onto a decorated board or pin them onto a board and have it framed. He can hang it up on his wall like any other picture.
Just because you are getting him a gift, it does not mean that you can’t enjoy one too. His and hers sets are a cute way to say I love you and I am loving us. You can get his and hers sets of virtually anything – everything from coffee mugs, watches, towels, pajamas and even comforters. All these are personalized gifts which appreciate him as an individual and the two of you as a couple.
8) Dance Classes
Dancing is a great way to de-stress and keep fit. If he does not have two left feet, why not sign up for a dance class together? This way you can spend some quality, bonding time together and pick up on a new skill at the same time. You can practice your steps at home and then show off your skills to your friends next time you all go out dancing.
9) Spa Treat
Do not be fooled by their macho demeanor – men love pampering too! You could treat your boyfriend to a day at the spa for a massage and utter relaxation. Alternatively, treat him and yourself at the same time. Many spas have special packages for couples so you can have your massages side by side and perhaps chat through it all then end the day with dinner at his favorite restaurant.
10) Dinner At Home with A Personal Chef
Dinner at your favorite restaurant to celebrate your anniversary can never get boring but it can be pricey. If you want to enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by a professional without having to sit at the restaurant, why not have the chef come to you? You get to enjoy a fabulous meal in the comfort of your home at a fraction of the cost. It also helps to be home if you want the next stage of your romantic evening to be spent in the bedroom.
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11) Anniversary Journal
Some people are against journaling because it makes them remember the not-so-pleasant experiences from their past. Others love it because it is a personal documentation of their life’s experiences. If you are both believers in journaling, why not get him a journal specifically for anniversaries? On your first anniversary, document your celebration of the day with a couple of paragraphs describing the day as well as some pictures. Do the same for your second anniversary, third, and so on. You will be surprised how treasured it will be twenty years down the line.
12) A Shopping Spree
Most men do not like shopping but if you can convince your boyfriend to join you on a shopping spree, it would be perfect. He need not know this part but if you are not totally confident that you can get him a gift he actually likes, a shopping spree is the way to go. This way he picks out exactly what he wants and likes. You never have to worry about your gift gathering dust at the back of his closet for months and months. It will probably cost you more than a single gift would have but hey, he is worth every penny, right?
13) A Poem from the Heart
If you are a poetry lover and have a way with words yourself, let your boyfriend be a beneficiary of your gift. Take time to pen a romantic poem for him and use your art to creatively express your love for him. You can then have a calligrapher write it out on a scroll and package it in a cute little box. Even if he is not the best at expressing his emotions, he will treasure this gift forever because the words are straight from your heart.
14) Bouquet of Paper Roses
Tradition does say that one year anniversary gifts should be made of paper. Flowers, on the other hand, are generally assumed to be gifts for women but who said men can’t have flowers? Combine a little tradition and be a little unconventional by buying your boyfriend a bouquet of paper roses.
15) Card Holder
We all struggle with cards which we need to carry around. Well, women don’t struggle as much because there is always extra room in her purse but men do. Get your boyfriend a card wallet made of quality, Italian leather for him to carry all his important cards in his back pocket. It is a great gift because you will pop into his mind every time he takes out the wallet to make a credit card payment.
16) Lovebirds Terrarium
No one ever looks at those cute little love bird terrariums and doesn’t think how cute they look. Now think how great it would feel to have one of your own with the two little birds in there representing you and the one you love. Get a love bird terrarium for your boyfriend and have him display it somewhere where you both see it every day. It will always be a reminder of what the two of you share.
17) Hidden Love Notes
Hidden love notes are a perfect option if you are on a budget. Even if you are not low on cash and just want to make your boyfriend feel loved throughout the special day, get lyrical on the love notes. Place them in different places where you know he will find them as he goes about his day. Set one on the pillow beside him before he gets up in the morning, fix another onto the bathroom mirror, and stick yet another on the steering wheel of his car. If he carries a lunch pack, slip one in there too. They will totally make his day!
18) Date Night Ideas Box
There are lots of new restaurants and places you keep thinking you should try. When date night comes around, for some reason neither of you can think of a good place to go. You end up racking your brain for half an hour only to go back to where you were the last time. Make your one-year anniversary gift a pretty little box. Whenever you think of a place you should try for your next date night, write it down and place the little sheet in the box. If you can think of a few, write them all down and do the same. When date night comes round, surprise yourselves by randomly picking a sheet out of the box and going to the place on that particular sheet.
19) Video Game
Boys will always be boys. The sooner the women in their lives accept it, the better. If your boyfriend likes video games, go ahead and get him one for your one year anniversary. He will appreciate it even more if he knows you do not particularly like video games because it means his happiness is important to you. It won’t kill you to play a few games with him now and then to make him feel even more loved. Plus. you just might develop a liking for Assassins’ Creed, Grand Theft Auto or some other game he is currently into.
20) First Year Together Photo Book
You will probably spend many happy years together but the first year is always special. Gather all your favorite photos of yourselves at different times in the year and have them printed and bound into a little book. It will always be a source of happy memories no matter how old you get.
21) Create a Time Capsule Together
If you are both into sci-fi movies or about time travel, this will make a fabulous gift. Fill the capsule or whatever storage container you choose to have as your capsule with keepsakes reminding you of your first year together. Bury it somewhere and try to forget it is there. Wouldn’t it make the most romantic fiftieth anniversary gift for you to dig it up together?
22) Subscription to Dollar Shave Club
Every man has some form of facial grooming to do. More so if he likes to keep his face clean-shaven. Even if he likes to keep a full-grown beard, it does need some grooming every now and then too. Why not sign him up for a subscription to the Dollar Shave Club? With this, he will receive a set of fresh, quality razors every month. It is everything he needs to maintain a well-groomed face, wrapped up in a whole lot of love from you.
23) Tickets to an Event
There is always an event your boyfriend would love to attend. It could be a popular musician’s concert, the opera or a jazz festival. It could even be a big sports match. By now, you should already know what his preferences are. If you can’t figure out what to get him for your one year anniversary, get yourself a pair of tickets to something he will enjoy and remember for a long time. If he loves jazz and you don’t, make an exception and attend the concert with him – it will make it even more meaningful for him.
24) Flashy Headphones
Whether he has brand new but ordinary headphones or his set is starting to show signs of age, every man would love a set of Beats. Whatever he has, Beats by Dre are an upgrade from that.
Amazon’s Choice Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones – Matte Black
25) Chocolate Soap
If your boyfriend loves to eat chocolate, he will love the scent of it in the shower. Chocolate soap is ideal for any chocolate lover. If he could also use some encouragement to take a shower, chocolate soap will do the trick. Be sure to mention how much you love the scent of chocolate on him every time he uses it and he will never skip a shower again. This is how you can hit two birds with one stone!
26) Chocolate Roses
If your boyfriend has a sweet tooth, chocolate roses are an ideal gift. What better way to say I love you than through edible roses? Roses are usually enough to say it all but now that he can eat them later, it does not get any sweeter than that.
27) Bespoke Post subscription
This is another way to stretch the ‘I love you’ from one day to a month and perhaps a year. Bespoke subscription gifts will have your boyfriend receive a gift from you every month for as long as you can afford. Bespoke Post, for example, is an agency which you can have deliver a package of lifestyle accessories to your loved one every month. No package is the same as the last so he always has something to look forward to.
28) 31 Love Notes
Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions is a great way to express your feelings to someone you love. It always leaves them with warm fuzzy feelings towards you. However, it also only lasts for a day. What if you could stretch it out so that those lovely feelings keep going on and on for a month? Well, you can! Take time to write down 31 love-filled messages to your boyfriend. You could choose to write them out from scratch or buy ready-made sets with messages already written on them. Find a nice-looking jar and fill it with the notes. Let him pick one and read it every day for a month. Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate an anniversary month and not just a day?
29) Matching Tattoos
Are you both tattoo lovers? If you are, matching tattoos are the perfect way to spend the day of your one year anniversary. They are a sign of commitment and dedication to each other. It will feel great when you can both flaunt your tattoos to the world. The pain will all be worth it then.
30) Commission a Piece of Art
If your boyfriend appreciates art, this is a gift he will treasure forever. It has a very personal touch because he will always know it was created from scratch with him in mind. It also tells him you put a lot of thoughts into a special something for him and know him well enough to understand that he appreciates art. Whenever he looks at it, it will be a reminder of you and that oh, so memorable one year anniversary.
31) Ride On a Hot Air Balloon
Celebrate your one year of love with a hot air balloon ride. Either take an early morning ride or late evening one so you can watch the sunrise or sunset up in the air. Whichever one you choose, it will leave you feeling on top of the world and looking forward to another magical year of love and bliss together.
32) Write Him a Love Letter
Who writes letters anymore? It is so much easier and faster to send a text message or an email. In this digital age, letters are virtually unheard of. Well, that is what would make a handwritten love letter to your boyfriend so much more special. Take time to express your love and affection on paper and post the letter in time for him to receive it in the mail on your one year anniversary.
33) A Sundial
There is something timeless about a sundial. It never grows old or out of style. It just does the same thing over and over again for years. Express your endless love for your boyfriend with a unique gift like this. You can get a sundial with a special message engraved just for him.
34) Customized Gifts
You can customize just about anything nowadays. These are some common customizable gifts to consider for your one year anniversary.
- Customized Book of Your Story
Every couple has a unique story about how they met. After that, there are lots of little memorable incidences you have had together. For your one year anniversary, make a customized book with a pictorial narration of your individual story as a couple. You can be as creative as you like and feel free to add some humor into it. It will be a beautiful reminder of your first year together and a reason for a good laugh many years from now.
- Customized Fortune Cookies
Here is another great customized gift idea for you – fortune cookies! Regular fortune cookies would work just fine but you can make the gift extra special with customized cookies just for him. Fill them up with cute little messages of why he makes you smile and things you love about him. Even if he does not particularly like cookies, they will taste good because each comes with a loving message from you.
- Build Customized Rings
What happens when you can’t find a ring you like because the rock is perfect but you don’t like the setting or vice versa? Should you pay for it even though you are not totally satisfied? No! Instead, you should have one custom made. In today’s market, you can customize just about anything, including jewelry. Have a customized ring made for your boyfriend with all the little details as he likes them.
- Custom Made Whiskey Barrel
One year together may seem like nothing to people who have been in relationships for years but do not let your spirit be dampened. It is indeed a milestone worthy of celebration. To mark the day, get your boyfriend a personalized whiskey barrel. Whiskey gets better with age and so do relationships. Even if he does not really see the value in it now, wait for a few years and he will appreciate it when he is pouring himself a glass of fabulously aged liquor.
- Customized Wine Glasses
Do you both enjoy a glass of wine after meals? If you do, this gift can be put to use often. You will both enjoy whiling your evenings away as you swirl some chilled wine in a glass engraved with your names.
Finding the perfect gift for your boyfriend on your one year anniversary can be more difficult than you think. But even so, it can be fun just going through all the options, disqualifying most and retaining some. The most important thing to remember is that guys are nothing like girls. Women like flowers, chocolate and cute, little sentimental knickknacks. Guys are more practical. Take the time to think about what he likes so you can be sure to get him something he will genuinely like. He will be able to tell when you have put a lot of thought and effort into a gift and he will appreciate it even more.