February 22, 2024

Dating in Harare: The gift that keeps on giving

Gifting is probably one of the most difficult things when dating, especially in the early days. What to get, when to get it? To go over the top or to keep it simple? Is gifting some sort of yardstick used to gauge a person’s feelings? Are they even necessary sometimes because “love is all you need,” right? Wrong. Sometimes a physical manifestation of the love you have for your person is very much necessary, regardless of your Love Language. Having said that, it really shouldn’t put you out budget-wise. As a start, you really should know the person you intend to get a gift for. While some ideas may be pretty awesome, they might not be a hit with everyone. As a starting point, I’ll go for what I call “level one” gifts; these are basically the normal, run-of-the-mill gifts…with a twist.


Time is the most important gift you can give someone, which, in as much as it’s been said since time immemorial, is still very true today. Making time in person through dates (going out or staying in), helping out with errands or making time to make that simple call and/or text is priceless.

Why? Let me get all academic here. In Economics 101, one of the very first concepts learned is Opportunity Cost, which is the cost you accrue for pursuing a particular action, not being able to enjoy doing the one thing because you’re doing something else. Basically, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. To bring it back home, you can use your time to do a plethora of other things, but spending time with someone is literally giving them something that can’t be physically taken back or transferred. It really is a bigger deal than people make it out to be.


Personally, I’m not the greatest fan of flowers – the ones detached from the mother plant and presented in bouquets, in particular. Generally, they’re great, look amazing and smell divine, but after a couple of days, they sort of look a bit sad, wilt and die especially if they are not taken care of properly. Yes, they can be salvaged and with the help of a couple of drops of essential oil can be made into some decent potpourri, which will eventually have to be thrown out.

Instead, I would suggest procuring live flowers – potted plants like orchids. I know for a fact that these are one of the most beautiful flowers ever; they smell pretty good and won’t give up on life within a week (provided they are also looked after). It’s definitely one that is a living gift that pretty much ticks all the boxes a conventional bouquet of flowers does. It’s still very aesthetic and it also avoids the stress and hassle associated with procuring a vase. Baby succulents are also pretty cool – they can be gifted to either a male or a female and make an awesome gift that is also pretty versatile. Apart from being nice to look at, it could be used as a paperweight as well.


Fun fact: historically, chocolate has been believed to be an elixir of love that prompts amorous feelings amongst both men and women, which explains why it has always been one of the gifts of choice for couples. For those who know people who love the fruit of the cocoa bean, you could give a couple of these ideas a try. Buying different chocolate bar brands, bunching them together in a creative way (like a bouquet, or stashed in a gift bag or wicker basket) and/or using each brand name in word-play, for example, “You Aero my heartbeat,” or “You Lindt up my world.” Yes, as corny as it is, it’s kinda cute. It also moves away from the culture of just a box of chocolates, which might not be as personal.

Speaking of personalisation, how about hand-picking the type of chocolates your person would actually like. I know a friend of mine who is into dark chocolate, another who is into mint, and for me, anything with nuts pretty much rocks my boat. Café Veldemeers has an expanse of chocolates to choose from depending on said person’s preference. Also, taking it as a “do I know my person?” challenge would be a fun and most certainly yummy activity that the both of you could do.

Another place where one can custom-pick these guilty pleasures is Vanilla Moon in Belgravia. The selection of your pick would obviously be dependent on the budget but regardless, you’ll always be guaranteed that the packaging is presentable. For the non-chocolate eaters, maybe a mix of dried fruit or fresh fruit basket with the same concept – “You make my life peachy,” isn’t such a bad gift tag.

What on earth do you get guys?

One of my male friends, speaking on behalf of all males in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole, declared that gifts to guys have to have some sort of practicality and that things like soccer jerseys with names emblazoned on them shouldn’t be part of the gift repertoire in 2018 but should have been left alongside the Apolo-Jersey in 2017. I’m on the fence with this one.

A shirt is still practical though, methinks. As long as it’s personal and not an afterthought, I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I also get the “practicality” aspect in his sense. So, suggestions that came with it were things like external hard drives, headphones, etc., basically something that can help in day-to-day operations, I guess. I think gifts like books or subscribing a person to a particular course of interest or simply buying them that album or even tickets to watch their favourite artist perform would also still be great.

I could go on and on and on but I think I’m going to stop here for now. I will, however, stress the fact that personalisation is important. It’s always pretty cool to know that a person has taken time and put in attention to the “T” to get/make you something.

I should also add that birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only times to get someone anything. “Hey, here’s a baby cactus because it’s a Tuesday!” Or, “Oh, I got you this particular chocolate bar today because it reminded me of this time when you said/did…” Actually, it doesn’t even have to be bought, even little handwritten notes (in a world where we hardly handwrite anything, this is pretty precious, although a couple of rough drafts may be necessary to practice on first) or making them a home-cooked meal or baking them a cake is pretty awesome, too…Oh, and yes, Pinterest is still your best friend, trust me!

Want more tips on Dating in Harare? Check out this other articles by Miriam:

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