Ah, Valentine’s Day — one of the most confusing days of the entire fucking year, am I right? If you ask me, it brings up more questions than its worth. Like, should I buy a Valentine’s Day gift for my situationship? What’s a good gift for my long-term boyfriend who likes nothing? Does a night at home without the kids count as a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband? (Because we’re TIRED y’all!)
I’m not saying that I’m an expert in the field, but as someone who spent a decade of her life as a relationship columnist who considered EVERY aspect of the dating scene…okay, I am an expert. (Sorry to brag!!) I also happen to LOVE to give, and count myself as quite the gifter.
So if you’re scratching your head about whether or not you should even bother giving the guy who texts you “WYD” at 11 PM on a Tuesday a card (no <3) or what, exactly, to buy the man you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with (tbqh matching underwear is kinda adorable?!) then you’ve come to the right place. I have your advice on gift-giving etiquette, along with gifts to give to the men who *actually* deserve it, below.
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The “Talking” Stage
To buy or not to buy? My ruling on this is a hard no, especially if you guys have been on less than four dates with this person. In fact, unless you’re sure that this is someone you *actually* think you want to date in a more serious way, I don’t even think you should be seeing each other on Valentine’s Day.
Instead, I suggest staying home with a bottle of wine and splurging on yourself. You know that Barefoot Dreams robe everyone is obsessed with? I think you deserve to splurge and buy one for yourself. Or if you’re looking for a sexier time, why not *finally* upgrade your vibrator? Your old one is tired, honey!! (And the one I recommended below is better than 99% of the men out there…trust me. I’ve done the legwork.)
Repeat after me: I deserve this robe!
Just make sure your roommates aren’t home when you use this ~satisfying~ vibe
A Full-Blown Situationship
To buy or not to buy? So you’ve been on more than five dates, but less than 10, and any time you try to broach the “what are we” conversation, the man turns whiter than Jeremy Allen White’s Calvins? Girl, no. Do not spend your hard-earned money on this man — ESPECIALLY if he is fucking around and taking you out for Valentine’s Day without defining the relationship. Men. They’re so predictable, am I right?
But don’t cancel that date, babes. (Hey, a free meal is a free meal!) Instead, show up looking absolutely STUNNING in an LBD you will absolutely wear again. And then, as a prize for smiling and nodding at his bullshit for three hours, gift yourself a luxe candle so you can zen out when you get home.
I mean, not to objectify you, but *I* would DTR with you in this dress
Bonus: You can use the vessel to store your jewelry once you burn out the wax!
Dating for a Few Months
To buy or not to buy? Finally, we’ve gotten past the fuckboys and landed on the *men*! (Also known as “reaching your 30s.”) You’ve been together a few months! You’ve met his friends! You aren’t running to the bathroom in the morning to brush your teeth before you give him a kiss!! Yes, you should buy this man a gift! And the best ones to gift are the ones that bring you a little bit closer as a couple.
Why not spend your Valentine’s Day indoors mixing up some yummy cocktails, and then ordering some pizza and making out on the couch? I mean, maybe I’m an elder Millennial, but that sounds fun as shit — and if you pay for the classes, it’s a nice little two-for-one gift. You could also play around with a cute lil card game that’s designed to bring you closer together. Regardless of the gift choice, keep it sentimental, without being cheesy, and you’ll be in good shape.
Even if you eventually break up, you’ll always have the cocktail recipes.
Sexy card games are having a *major* moment.
Dating for a Few Years
To buy or not to buy? If you’ve been together a few years, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you really, really know this guy, so of course you should buy him a gift. You probably have a notes app note filled with ideas on your phone, right? No? Okay, I get it — some men are *impossible* to shop for. But don’t panic!
You can go one of two ways with the man you’ve been with long enough to know when he should go to the dermatologist because, you know, that mole doesn’t look great! You can go the sentimental route, and tug at his heart strings, or splurge on an essential you KNOW he wouldn’t buy for himself. Either way, you’re giving him a gift that says, “Hey, I get you, pal.” And if that isn’t true love, than what is?
A scrapbook filled with your favorite memories is *too* sweet
If he’s the king of the kitchen, consider this his sword
To buy or not to buy? So you’ve exchanged rings and dropped a *ton* on the reception — do you really need to still be exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day? Don’t sharpen your pitchforks, but I’m going to say no, you don’t have to buy your new hubs a gift. I mean, come on. At some point these things become a little trite, no?
I’d recommend, instead, splurging on a really nice dinner out or staying in and cooking together. But then again, my fiancé and I love to cook together, so I may be biased. If you really want to buy your husband a gift, make it something you both can use or that upgrades your shared space. Because then it’s technically a V-Day gift, but not really, so it’s fine…right?
Get the luggage that *nobody* bought off your registry (WTF?!)
Your husband can ask this Assistant his easily-Google-able questions instead of you!