Best 2017 Valentine's Day Gifts For Her
Shopping for any relationship status
I’ve made a decision. It’s time for us to collectively agree to stop freaking the f*ck out about Valentine’s Day. Is it the most important holiday of the year? No. Is it worth protesting as a Hallmark-invented hoax? Nope.
For better or for worse (in sickness and in health), Valentine’s Day is here to stay. Acknowledging its existence with a token of your affection at any stage of a relationship—even, perhaps, before it truly becomes one—is good for everybody involved. Happy wife (girlfriend, recurring Tinder hookup), happy life. Truly.
From infatuation to familiarity, the best Valentine’s Day gifts for her:
Relationship Status: Still New
Let me tell you a story: My senior year of college, I’d been seeing a guy for just a few weeks when Valentine’s Day rolled around. Around 11am, he texted me “Happy V-Day.” No exclamation point, no kissy face. He didn’t even ask to see me later.
I was ecstatic. Not Clearly he loves me, and we’re going to get married! ecstatic, but sort of a relief that we weren’t going to have to pretend the holiday didn’t exist simply because we hadn’t exchanged “I love you’s” yet (which we never did, incidentally, but I promise I’m not blaming the lack of punctuation for that one).
My point? Small but significant is the way to go at this stage. No generic “thinking of you” present like a Starbucks gift card—unless you have some inside joke about Starbucks gift cards..in which case, that’s the perfect gift.
So what can you give that’s meaningful to someone you’re still getting to know? How about a delivery to her office of something that’s NOT flowers? A bulk order of her favorite French fries to share with her coworkers maybe, or balloons. Who wouldn’t smile at a ridiculous delivery of cool balloons?
Want something less public? Opt for a t-shirt from a charity you know she’s passionate about, or coffee beans from her favorite roaster (presented in a brand-new coffee mug with a bow on top and you won’t even have to wrap it).
Relationship Status: Coupled Off, but No Ring
When you’re more settled, a gift that benefits the both of you is bound to be appreciated. Personally, I’m terrified of the new Amazon and Google eavesdropping speakers, but one of the fancy wireless systems that you can extend from room to room is a great gift; bonus points if you set it up as a surprise.
Another can’t-miss gift at this stage? Cool beauty stuff. Emphasis on cool. Sure, bubble bath is nice, and replenishing her go-to hand cream is fine, but I’d encourage you to skip the standards and treat her to something new from a cool-girl brand like Ouai, Glossier, or MILK. You’ll immediately gain some bathroom cabinet street cred.
Relationship Status: Newly(ish) Married
Here’s my thing about gifts, especially in a long-term relationship (married or otherwise). They’re great, and are good to give any time of the year, not just at holidays. In fact, I’d argue surprising your partner with a little somethin’ somethin’ in the middle of May might actually mean more than what you give on Valentine’s Day. That said…yeah, you still want to give a gift.
You can’t beat a good experiential gift, especially in a relationship where “scheduling in date night” is a reality. A pair of really great sneakers and the news that you’ve signed the two of you up for a 5k or Color Run (skip the Tough Mudder unless the two of you are super duper fit). Or make her a really great Spotify playlist with a track at the end you record, letting her know you’ve gotten tickets to a band whose tunes you included in the mix.
Relationship Status: Married for a Buncha Years
What “a buncha” constitutes is really in the eye of the betrothed beholder, but we’re talking, have definitely thrown up in front of each other, or on each other at some point (why that’s my yardstick for “in it to win it” I’m not sure, but here we are).
Once again, thoughtfulness is key (are we seeing a theme here?) Gift her with something that acknowledges you’re paying attention: a really nice wallet if hers is falling apart, or a candle that’s so expensive it makes you want to vomit, but you remember her pointing it out before while browsing the Goop website on her phone during a long car ride. Maybe she’s been complaining…I mean discussing…redecorating; surprising her with new prints, like this chic-but-playful whiskey and cocktail recipe pairing will add about a thousand points to your good husband karma.
That’s right; Valentine’s Day gifts don’t have to be reserved just for folks you’re K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
If you are lucky enough to have a particularly awesome work wife (definition: the woman at work you’re closest with, identified by volume of Slack conversations and daily coffee trips), you can absolutely give her a little something on V-Day without it getting weird. A couple caveats: obviously nothing romantic—no flowers, no chocolates, no jewelry. No clothes, and nothing too expensive. And smaller is better; make it something she can stow away to keep from prying office eyes. Think: a really great makeup bag, or a cool water bottle, maybe a new notebook.
HOW ARE YOU CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY THIS YEAR (AND WITH WHOM)?