The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts for Every Stage of a Relationship
Is your heart racing just thinking about what to buy for Valentine’s Day? Whether you’ve just started dating or have been together for years, you’ll be smitten with this gift guide.
Love is in the air
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February 14 is nearly here and that means it’s time to show your better half just how much you love and appreciate him or her. Of course, that’s a sentiment that should flow from your heart all year long, but today is the real show-stopper. “Valentine’s Day can be very intimidating for couples in every stage of a relationship, but it doesn’t have to be,” say Rachel Federoff and Destin Pfaff, the duo who made a name for themselves on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, and are now elite matchmakers with their own business, Love and Matchmaking. “Whether it’s an opportunity to profess your feelings to your crush, a thought-out gift she always wanted, or the perfect romantic gesture for him, Valentine’s Day should really be your favorite holiday of the year—and the jumpstart you need to making every day Valentine’s Day for your relationship!” Just be sure to avoid these Valentine’s Day gifts that send the wrong message.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
For a budding love interest: Homemade treat
Too early to label someone a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend?” Then it’s probably too early to shower them with over-the-top gifts, too. “When you’re still in the early stage of growth, a small and inexpensive gift can speak volumes in letting someone know that you’re thinking about them on this romantic holiday while subtly communicating that you could be open to something more in the future,” says Seth Meyers, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist who writes for eharmony‘s relationship advice blog. “Gifting something they can use on a regular basis, based on a hobby or passion they may have mentioned in a conversation, is a meaningful way to show that you are attentive to details about their life. Anything cooked, baked, or made by you is also a meaningful way to let someone know that you wanted to give them something special.” Bake a batch of sugar cookies in various shapes of hearts or choose one of these totally original DIY heart-shaped food ideas.
Dating one to three months: Fine chocolates
Congratulations on being an official couple! Since your relationship is just getting started, gifts should be casual and simple—and it’s the perfect time to show you’ve been paying attention to the things they like. “Chocolates and perfume are perfect for up to three months,” says Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. Consider a scented candle of their favorite flavor, a coffee mug with a cute saying filled with their favorite sweets, or a bottle of wine he or she enjoyed on one of your previous dates. If your new love interest has a sweet tooth, don’t risk getting one of these 8 types of Valentine’s Day candy everyone secretly hates (including cheap grocery store chocolate boxes)—instead, choose a box of 19 assorted chocolates from Godiva. If they’re not a fan of chocolates, try out these gifts any boy will love.
Dating three to six months: Relationship game
“This is the time the honeymoon phase of the relationship comes to an end, and things go from fun to serious,” say Federoff and Pfaff. “Make a romantic dinner and let the fun times begin. This is where gifts are great, but activities are even better!” They suggest a DIY Adult Jenga! game (where you write sexy suggestions on each block)—and setting up a date night behind closed doors. Or try Talk Flirt Dare Game by Artagia, essentially a date night in a box, with fun conversation starters to promote connection, and flirty games and dares to spice things up. This stage of a relationship might also be a good time to take a pulse check of the relationship; check out these 15 signs that your relationship is solid as a rock.
Dating three to six months: Modest jewelry
Jewelry is always good, but don’t splurge too much. “A heart necklace might seem a bit cliché, but it’s also a great gift because the price point can be on the lower end when you have only been dating for a few months,” says Trombetti. To make sure there’s no confusion about what this bauble means (hint: diamonds may send the wrong message), consider something like this dainty 14k-gold mini heart pendant from Nashelle—you can add her initial for an extra touch of personalization. These are 30 more personalized gifts that really go the extra mile.
Dating three to six months: DIY cocktails
If your Valentine is a budding mixologist who likes to recreate favorite bar cocktails at home, then a mixology bartender kit is a great gift idea. The starter kit from Modern Mixology comes with everything they need to look just like a pro, including a martini shaker, jigger, strainer, bottle opener, various utensils, and recipe cards to create the perfect cocktail.
Dating three to six months: Slipper socks
You know the saying, “Cold hands, warm heart?” Well, hopefully, that applies to feet as well. If she’s always shivering or putting her cold feet next to yours to warm them up, a six-pack of fuzzy heart-covered crew socks is not only budget-friendly but guaranteed to knock her socks off (er, on?). Besides, you can never have too many socks. If you’re worried she won’t be impressed with this genius idea, don’t miss these Valentine’s Day gifts women actually want for more inspiration.
Six months to a year of dating: Gemstone jewelry
“Welcome to engagement territory,” say Federoff and Pfaff. “We’re not saying you have to pop the question, but giving a real piece of jewelry is a fantastic way to show how important the relationship is to you. Think Tiffany’s, because that little blue box makes a big statement.” Another option is a cushion-cut sapphire, blue topaz, or amethyst pendant necklace and stud earrings set from Victoria Townsend.
Six months to a year of dating: Framed memory
By now, you’ve likely gone on a trip together. So how about a personal keepsake that shows how much you cherish those memories? A framed picture of your favorite vacation moment will be the perfect addition to his or her desk or fireplace. For instance, if you spent a week relaxing on the sand in the Caribbean, choose a creative frame that combines your heartfelt sentiments with those romantic, beachy vibes. And if you haven’t yet taken a couple’s vacation, now’s the perfect time to plan one of these 15 romantic weekend getaways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Six months to a year of dating: Plant
Forget flower deliveries; everyone does that. A fun idea for someone with a green thumb is to treat them to fully grown plants. A triple-heart-shaped bamboo arrangement will send a romantic message. Other romantic ideas include greenery that helps recreate a magical moment shared on vacation (such as a sago palm bonsai tree) or an orchid, which also represents love. If you insist on flowers, at least know the meaning behind each kind of color rose.