Classic Valentine’s Day 101

1st February 2017

You’re the less romantic one in your relationship, and maybe Valentine’s Day is causing some anxiety. If you’re curious how to make the day a win for you, these are some sweet, hyper-traditional gifts. They say the only thing your love wants to hear on Valentine’s Day: I remembered.


For Valentine’s Day, the actual Valentine is obligatory. You can buy a card, but a handmade Valentine is sweeter. This set of ten heart cards with envelopes, $9 lets you write love notes for other occasions too. Earnest expressions of affection are a safer bet than humor. “Be my Valentine, [love’s name]!” is just fine. Maybe draw a little picture, or cut and glue some photos from magazines. Effort counts here.

Now you need a present. You don’t have to spend a lot, google free or cheap Valentine’s Day gifts if you need help.

A small heart-shaped box of good chocolate is kitschy fantastic.  Prestat Artisan Pink Heart Shaped Box, $25 is a great one. (You can get it on Amazon for $34, if ease is your thing.) If your Valentine is dieting, ask if chocolate would be a nice treat or an act of sabotage.

A dozen red roses, $31 is Valentine’s Day in floral form. If you’d prefer a grand gesture, you can order two dozen roses, $48. People who find this cheesy can be ferreted out by asking, “Do you think red roses on Valentine’s Day are cheesy or nice?” And if the answer is “Cheesy, but I like flowers.” look for another bouquet with only one type of flower. Because of the flower rush on Valentine’s Day, florists sometimes sub-in weird stuff when you order a “mixed bouquet.” If your person doesn’t like flowers “because they just die,” your partner may not actually give a crap if you remember Valentine’s Day.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, $10 is solid. Ideally, you’ll read it first, and inscribe the book with something romantic. If you’re at a loss, “I love you!” is a good bet, but you can also quote a line from one of the poems. If Neruda isn’t your jam, here’s a nice edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. For bonus points, read through and mark a few applicable sentiments.

Jewelry as a gift says you’re serious about this person. Diamond studs, from $235 are classic, but you can buy any kind of jewelry in your price range. Like these gold-dipped studs for $20, or this pretty bangle for $28.

Unless the person has specifically mentioned they want a piece of jewelry, you’ll want to keep your choice very simple. Avoid heart-shaped pieces, because most of those are cute on Valentine’s Day but a little odd to wear otherwise. Also avoid rings, because they can cause a confusing Is this a proposal? moment.

Okay! Today is February 1. Order something now and set an alarm on your phone for February 13, so you can get everything sorted for presentation on Valentine’s Day morning.  First thing. This is so your love doesn’t spend the day worried that you forgot, instead of smiling about how uncharacteristically thoughtful you’ve been.

In addition to a card and a gift, plan for one special meal or event — maybe breakfast in bed, or a nicer dinner than usual. If you’re broke, a long walk or lighting candles for regular dinner counts too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friend. You got this.

See also:
Not Stupid Gifts for Women
Valentine Gift Guide for Her