Holiday Picks: Top 10 worst gifts for new relationships

NEW YORK Tue Dec 4, 2007 7:21am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If love is in the air with a new relationship going well ahead of the holidays, Yahoo! Personals has some advice on how to ensure it stays on track by avoiding gifts that can kill the romance.

Kristen Sasser, Yahoo! Personals' online dating expert, has put together a list of the top 10 worst gifts for new relationships after asking Web site users for suggestions.

She found giving jewelry, particularly rings, topped the list because it could make the recipient very nervous and cause them to bolt.

"A gift expresses a lot of how people perceive others and how they are thinking of them so it can be a point that makes or breaks a relationship," she said.

"If they have not put any thought into it, you start to wonder if they care enough to make it work."

Buying lingerie or clothing was a bad idea because giving the wrong size could cause all sorts of arguments. Giving something cliche like flowers or chocolates was out because it showed little thought.

Yahoo! Personals' spokesman Jason Khoury said animals were also a no-go zone.

"Someone wrote in about how they received a bunny rabbit from someone they had just started to dating and it died the next day. That is a really bad omen," he said.

Gifts bought for yourself disguised as a present also tended to fall flat.

"One guy had bought his new girlfriend a Nintendo Wii but she had never been a gaming person while he had all the other consoles at his home and he brought over the Wii to keep at her house. You have to ask who that is for?" he said.

Here is the Top 10 list which Reuters has not endorsed:

1. Unless you are planning on proposing, avoid gifting jewelry, especially a ring, as that perceived level of commitment may intimidate your sweetheart.

2. While a ring may be considered overboard, anything impersonal, such as a kitchen appliance or gift card, can be construed as thoughtless or insincere.

3. Avoid gifting lingerie for your first holidays together. It may be considered too intimate and send the wrong message.

4. Gifting something selfish, such as sporting event tickets when you know your significant other isn't a sports fan can relay that you may be more focused on your own interests than that of the person you are getting the gift for.

5. Work-related items that promote efficiency at the office should generally be avoided. Why bring up work during the holidays, which is a time for relaxation.

6. Clothing may be offensive, especially if you aren't sure about what size to purchase.

7. Animals as presents are generally bad ideas unless you know the person very well. Pets are huge commitments and way too serious for a first holiday together.

8. Re-gifting is never a good idea, especially if it's a gift from a past relationship.

9. Forget cliches, such as boxes of chocolates or flowers. They show little thought or effort.

10. Avoid gifts that may suggest that your significant other needs to change something about himself/herself, such as exercise clothes or gym equipment, which may say that he/she doesn't look good enough as he/she is.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith)