Throughout the course of a relationship, gifts can play an essential part in signifying certain milestones and intentions on the part of the giver. For example, many first dates include a man offering little presents such as flowers or chocolates.
â€œApproach ritualsâ€ like these indicate that a man is ready and willing to invest in a relationship and also that he comes from good breeding.Â In early American courtship, these were signals to the woman that the man was financially secure.
Later along in the relationship, â€œconfirmation giftsâ€ such as jewelry, intend to bring certainty and a desire to keep the relationship strong.
â€œTogetherness ritualsâ€ are presents given on anniversary days, often after marriage, and serve to reinforce the desire to have a common future together. They provide assurance that doubts have been removed from the relationship.
Source: Berking, Helmuth and Camiller, Patrick, trans. Sociology of Giving. London: Sage Publications. 1999. 12-13