Those who read this column may already know that I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. All of the expectations and pressure surrounding gift giving can be more detrimental than bond-building. Fortunately, most of the guys I know don’t expect much for the holiday – usually a loving lady’s affection is enough! But let’s say you want to go the extra mile and do something nice for your man on V-Day. I’m here to help! Here’s a quick gift-giving cheat sheet no matter what your Facebook relationship status is:
Not Yet Exclusive (Or Just a Crush) - BUDGET: $0Bake! Whether cookies, brownies, or a healthy vegan loaf, baked goods show that you care without investing too much time or money. Short of a commitment, it’s definitely best to keep the gifts homemade - even a card might still be a bit too personal. Source: ShutterStock
It's Official! (But Under 1 Month) - BUDGET: under $10At this point, homemade gifts are still a great option: you can up your game to arts and crafts (though nothing too clingy like “Our Day-By-Day History of Love Calendar”), or stick to sweet treats (though I’d skip the vegan loaf this time around). If you must buy something, a goody bag full of candy, toys, and knickknacks based on his various interests might work, too. Source: ShutterStock
Dating 1-4 months - BUDGET: under $20It’s too soon to be spending serious dough on this guy, but a small purchased gift is totally appropriate. Make it about the both of you by putting him in a cute t-shirt or a pair of socks that you not only know he’ll like, but that you’d also like to see him in (or on the bedroom floor [winky face]). If you’re feeling a bit insecure about where you’re headed, or want to keep things casual, try putting a romantic spin on electronic accessories - like a new pair of iPhone headphones and a two-way splitter so you can both listen on the bus. Buy this one here
Dating 4 Months-Year - BUDGET: under $40Daters in this category have likely already dropped the L bomb, which means that you can now safely invest in the fancy stuff. Cologne is a great gift which he’ll enjoy, and you’ll enjoy even more (which, of course, then means he’ll really enjoy it, if you know what I mean [two winky faces!]). Scent, of course, is entirely subjective, so go with what you like. But for around $40, I prefer Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue pour homme (that means “men”…or maybe it’s short for “homeboys”). My girlfriend and I love it! Buy this here
+1 Year - BUDGET: your choice!You’ve made it this far – at this point you probably know more about your guy than I do! Now you get to treat him to anything you think he’d like best (and your budget will allow). A foot massage and a home-cooked meal? Sure. How about an Amazon Kindle? Sounds great! A Ferrari? Only if you’ll be my girlfriend. Source: ShutterStock
Hopefully this cleared things up for you girls. Have an awesome Valentine’s Day!
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.