Valentines day is around the corner and with so much hype and pressure applied by women at this time of year it’s increasingly challenging for us guys. There are so many things women like and don’t like that no one glove fits all (except Christian Grey, but we cant all be him). If you have ever been on the receiving end of a bad gift or the person in the firing line after presenting a pathetic present, dodge the embarrassment this year by familiarising yourself with some fundamental do's and don't's of Valentines gift giving.
If you are wondering what to get your loved one on the 14th February make sure you continue reading. To help the more confused buyers amongst us, not only will I present some of the worst ideas out there, but I will also suggest some alternatives as well. At least then you'll have a valid reason to blame me and not yourself.
World Bank of Savings and Love
Issued by the World Bank of Savings and Love, ‘sex checks’ are probably one of the worst gifts a person can receive, even more so if the book has been pre filled with your requests. Avoid giving gifts like this because it implies in a sour way that your love life needs spicing up. A good alternative to imply the same message in a more subtle and contemporary way could be to buy some “50 shades of Grey merchandise”. If your other half has read the books or intends on watching the movie, they will likely be thinking of only one thing.
The Double-Sided Present
To buy someone a gift on valentines for you both to share is not always a great idea. Particularly on this occasion where it's meant to be focused entirely around the other person. It's often far more obvious than you realise for your other half to clearly see that the gift is more for yourself than them. In this instance, the gesture simply highlights your failure as a partner. A typical example of this idea might be a TV, which doesn’t specifically benefit the benefactor. If the gift is for a lady, then more suitable alternatives could be either a massage pillow or a foot spa. There is much less chance of her thinking you will want to use it, but you can always use it secretly when she is out (if you like that sort of thing).
Jewellery is usually a safe bet for most people but there also boundaries associated with it. Not everyone has a Cartier budget and most women do not have anything against a bargain, however that $19.99 necklace from Kmart just wont cut it. A general rule of thumb should be to stay away from dirt cheap and tacky jewellery which have too many colours and fake stones. If I wanted a quality bargain piece for my other half I would visit Star Jewels, because they have a wide range of well priced affordable items suitable for most people’s wallets. Head to the Valentine's specific category where they've got a number of popular pieces marked down by an average of 20-30%. Also, if you spend over $50 (which you really should be doing) you'll get shipping for free.
Most people want a gym membership to look after their body and take care of their health, but nobody wants to be told that they need it. In light of this, whatever you do, do not buy your other half a gym membership or gym clothes for Valentines day, unless she explicitly requests either, as it sends bad vibes. A more subtle approach could be to give them a spa day at the potential gym that they've previously talked about joining. This sets up the likelihood of them thinking, during their pampering, that gyms aren't such places to visit regularly after all.
Gifts that symbolise togetherness may seem like a novel idea, but in reality they all too often scream neediness. A shared glove or a two-person piece of underwear says one thing: extreme co-dependency. To show your loved one that enjoy being with them, avoid such gifts and instead consider something you can enjoy together such as a few nights away or tickets to see their favourite show/sports event. This gift shows you want to spend time with them without strapping yourself to them. Just make sure the particular event or trip away are in line with what your other half's first choice would be. Otherwise you could be in danger of straying into "double-sided present" territory as described above.