Stumped about what to get your boyfriend or girlfriend? Our gift guide has got you covered.
Valentine’s Day is a loaded holiday when it comes to picking out the right gift for your man. What you buy reflects how you see him and the relationship, so you want to get something thoughtful, creative, and appropriate for the amount of time you’ve been together. We know guys are notoriously tough to shop for, so our guide is full of great outside-the-box ideas for every stage of coupledom.
Less Than 3 Months
At this point in your relationship you have maybe gone out a few times but you are still getting to know one another. Gifts at this stage can be thoughtful without being over the top. Too much at this stage can potentially damage a relationship, so a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift is the perfect solution.
For Him: Guys want to be appreciated, however the symbolism of Valentines Day typically means more to the girl. Something as sweet as a nice card or making your favorite dessert will send him the message without overwhelming him. If you’ve just started dating, keep your gift casual. At this point, anything expensive or too personal will send a scary I-like-you-a-little-too-much message. Plan to spend around $20-$25 on something simple but sweet, like a DVD of a movie he really liked — such as Inception — or a book by one of his favorite authors (a Michael Crichton novel is always a safe bet). For a different route, bake him a batch of chocolate chip cookies (step away from the heart-shaped cookie cutter) — they’re a guaranteed guy-pleaser and he’ll love that you made them yourself.
For Her: You can’t go wrong with tried and true gifts like flowers or chocolates, so why not add a unique twist to these favorites? For example, give a bouquet of something unexpected like calla lilies instead of roses or a unique chocolate from a Dessertier like a delicious high-heeled chocolate shoe in her favorite color.
At this stage in a relationship each partner knows more about their likes, dislikes and personality traits. Giving gifts that are more meaningful and personal are good at this stage.
For Him: Whether it is a certain song that makes you think of him every time it comes on the radio or you know his favorite artists by heart, he will appreciate you picking a personalized gift that speaks to his preferences. Via iTunes you can send him your “song” with a personalized note or create a playlist with a medley of his favorite songs for his iPod. This is a tricky in-between phase: You’re an official couple, but are still getting to know each other. Impress him by finding something creative that’s totally him. For example, if he’s always taking pictures, get him a gorillapod. Of if he’s into craft beer, pick up a Brooklyn Brew Shop Kit. You’ll probably shell out slightly more (around $25-$50), but don’t go overboard with a fancy present. The point is to show that you put real thought into it.
For Her: This is a great opportunity to show her how much you care for her and know her likes/dislikes. From buying her favorite perfume to taking her to a Broadway play, give her something special so she knows you are thinking of her!
Okay, things are starting to get serious (even if he’s yet to admit it). A fun gift for this stage in the relationship is an experience you can have together, so you’ll build more shared memories.
For Him: Try tickets to a concert (Kid Rock, Linkin Park, and Bon Jovi are touring in February) or an NBA or NHL game. You can also plan a surprise date. Make it an all-day thing: Tell him you’ll pick him up on Saturday afternoon and that he should bundle up. Then go ice-skating, get spiked hot chocolates after, and finish up with dinner at a cozy restaurant.
For Her: You’ve crossed over into the long-term commitment zone, so this is a great time to commemorate your relationship or show off how well you know her. Frame a cute picture of the two of you (have it printed out nicely, in black and white), or find something that will remind her of a fun time you had together. For instance, if you took a trip to Cape Cod, get her an antique map of the town you stayed in.
At this stage of a relationship, the two of you are committed to one another. You really have a sense of who that other person is and the relationship takes a more focused avenue. At this point, your relationship is an investment for the future.
For Him: This may be your first Valentine’s Day or your fifth, whatever the number you know what he likes pretty perfectly. More than anything your man would love a night of romance, whether it is a home cooked meal with dimmed lights and lit candles, or snuggling up watching your favorite movie. You have been together for awhile and what better way to celebrate Valentines Day than having a romantic evening. Looking for a more straightforward gift? You can spend a bit more now that you’re pretty serious ($100-$200, depending on your budget) on a big-ticket item. Here's a really cool idea: ballpark cuff links made from the stadium seats from his favorite team.
For Her: Now is the time you have been with your girl for quite sometime and this is the perfect opportunity to surprise her with a piece of jewelry. Whether it is a simple necklace or bracelet or better yet, a beautiful pair of diamond earrings, your girl will be delighted and very thankful. After all, every girl loves a keepsake!
More Than 3 Years
After years of birthdays and holidays together, it gets tougher and tougher to come up with surprising gifts. A lot of women just grab stuff he needs, like socks or new button-downs, which is nice and all...but boring. Instead, get him a present where he’ll learn something new. If he’s adventurous, book him an exciting experience, like a flying lesson or hang gliding. (Excitations.com offers a ton of amazing gift ideas.) If he’s a whiz in the kitchen, sign him up for classes at a local cooking school where he’ll find out how to sear the perfect steak or tell the difference between a rioja and a tempranillo. Or, book a weekend getaway at a romantic hotel in a nearby town where you can spend lots and lots of time in bed.
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