One of the biggest reasons Valentine’s Day is mocked so often is because it is a giant, corny cliche that makes everyone roll their eyes. According to stores everywhere, all anyone wants is flowers, chocolates, corny cards, balloons, and giant teddy bears. Every V-Day gift must be heart-shaped and red or pink. It gets pretty boring after a while, and once that happens, these just become overplayed gift ideas no one really wants.
Doesn’t your Valentine deserve better than that? Whether it’s your boo or your bestie, I think they do. Presents are supposed to be ~*~romantic~*~ but what does that even mean? It’s different for everyone, but I can tell you that these lame excuses for presents are decidedly not romantic because they’ve been done to death. Don’t worry – not only will I tell you what to avoid, but I’ll also give you a better alternative for each snooze fest of a gift to make Cupid’s arrow hit its target this year. Here are 11 overplayed Valentine’s Day gifts you shouldn’t buy anyone:
1. A heart-shaped box of cheap chocolate
Just because something is a tradition does not mean it is worthy of remaining one. This is probably the most cliché Valentine’s Day present in this list of cliché Valentine’s Day presents. Unless you shell out the big bucks, these are cheaply crafted cardboard boxes of poorly-flavored mysteries. And even the $$ boxes with the *fancy* chocolates can still be cliché.
A Better Alternative: If your significant other is actually a fan of chocolate, how about something slightly more unique, like a special flavored chocolate—coffee, raspberry, extra dark, pumpkin, etc.—or a chocolate of the month club, or a coupon for unlimited movie snacks for life (or the duration of your relationship). If they aren’t, getting them their favorite candy immediately scores you lots of points.
2. Candy hearts
These are a chalky nightmare of a candy that people use in an attempt to flirt with their crush by handing them a heart saying “U R a QT.” Trust me, there are better ways to tell someone you like them.
A Better Alternative: Literally any other kind of candy.
Talk about wasting your breath. As New Girl excellently illustrates, multiple balloons get tangled incredibly easy, and one balloon is just silly. It’s all too easy to lose your grip on the string, causing the balloon to float away, meaning you lose your present and pollute the environment. Lose-lose situation all around.
A Better Alternative: A fruit basket. Seriously, a fruit basket is better than a balloon.
The second most cliché Valentine’s Day present on this list. Unless roses are honestly your significant other’s favorite flower – and if they say they are, there’s a 95% chance they’re lying – do not buy them roses. Get even a tiny bit more creative than this. It will be worth it.
A Better Alternative: Literally any other kind of flower (dandelions are weeds, so no, they do not count).
5. An over-sized stuffed teddy bear
Tell me seriously where you expect your crush to store this thing. Is it going to sleep like a human being next to them in bed for all of eternity? No. It’s going to sit on a shelf collecting dust, become a playmate for their dog, OR go straight to Goodwill, all depending on how much they like you.
A Better Alternative: A regular-sized stuffed teddy bear.
6. A talking stuffed teddy bear
Didn’t anyone else think “Ted” was creepy? Animals can’t talk, and stuffed animals shouldn’t be able to talk either. If your S.O. wants to hear your voice, we have this amazing thing called a phone.
A Better Alternative: A non-talking teddy bear.
7. Any kind of teddy bear, really
Boring. Enough said.
A Better Alternative: Any other kind of stuffed animal. I’ve been given multiple stuffed hedgehogs and polar bears, because they’re my favorite animals. And I love each and every one of them.
8. A singing card
I don’t know who this is more embarrassing for: you, for thinking something this tacky is a good idea, or your Valentine, opening this and enduring its song in public.
A Better Alternative: A non-singing card.
9. A picture of yourself
I know we live in a society dominated by selfies. But that’s what Instagram is for. You don’t need to print and frame a photo of yourself to remind your bae what you look like anymore.
A Better Alternative: A photo collage of both of you and all the awesome things you’ve done together.
10. Sexual favors
Why are “coupon books” such a popular gift? They’re always filled with things you’re going to do anyway. When you’re a kid with $1.75 to your name it’s adorable to give your parents a coupon to do the dishes “for free” (as if they were ever going to pay you for doing the dishes) but now it’s a little played out. You’re going to make out with your Valentine anyway—IF and ONLY IF you’re comfortable doing so, of course—so why waste the paper?
A Better Alternative: A coupon book for specific date nights you’ve been wanting to try, like that new tapas restaurant or glow-in-the-dark bowling. Because that involves planning, and planning is romantic.
So you’ve agreed to skip the cheesy romantic gestures this year? Good for you. Except. Except one person always still expects something and usually one person still buys something and one person doesn’t and it just breaks hearts and who wants their heart broken on Valentine’s Day? No one, that’s who.
A Better Alternative: If it’s a money issue, agree on a homemade gift or a cap on the amount you can spend on each other. If you’re really that anti-Valentine’s Day that you feel physically ill at the thought of exchanging gifts, then why in the world are you reading my advice?
Which of these Valentine’s Day gift ideas do you hate? Which do you disagree on? Let us know in the comments!