Valentine’s Day Ideas – Giving the Perfect Gift

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SO we admit it. Those of us at SO do not really get Valentine’s Day. This sounds oxymoronish given that we are all about spreading the love. It is not the basic concept of expressing love for those we care about that we take issue with. The real problem is the holiday has become little more than a commercialized pressure cooker for most of us.

Let’s be honest. How many people really know who, what, when or why we even celebrate this day? In case you were actually wondering about those answers, the History Channel created a Bet You Didn’t Know video on The History of Valentine’s Day to fill you in on the juicy details.

 

Now that we are clear on that we still have to come up with the perfect Valentine’s Day plan. It doesn’t matter if you have been married, living together, dating for a while, in a budding relationship, or you just met a couple of weeks ago, your SO (significant other) might have some expectations. Knowing how to meet those expectations in a way that feels comfortable to you can be stressful.

How could it not be? It is the only “holiday” that comes with so many implications. There are husbands who have been married for years and know their wives have high expectations, but after so long it gets hard to come up with something new and exciting. At the other end of the spectrum are the couples who just began dating. You like this person and they could be the one, but how could you possibly know for sure this soon. On top of that you have to consider what kind of message you send if you do too much or too little.

The key to a perfect Valentine’s Day gift is knowing what matters to your SO. If hearing words of affirmation or love is what keeps their heart beating for you, your best bet is to use your words to express your love and affection on that special day.  If you are thinking you just got off easy by just having to buy a card, do not go running off so fast there, Buddy. You cannot buy just any ole Valentine’s Day card. For the SO who needs words of love, they also need those words to mean something. You will not get off the hook with a simple Be My Valentine or Funny Valentine card. You should choose something more poetic that expresses the emotions that are specific to your relationship.

I hear you groaning already. That is no easy task and it will take forever to read all those cards to find the perfect one. Problem solved. Write your own words. If you write your own words, they do not have to be poetic, or even rhyme. All they need to be is from your heart. You could write on piece of toilet paper that got stuck to the bottom of your shoe as long as what you say is from your heart. We recommend that you find a nicer piece of paper, but if the inspiration strikes and that is all you have to write on, go for it before the moment is lost.

For some grand romantic gestures is what keeps their heart fluttering. In this case, you will need to do a little more work. The simple answer is dinner reservations at a nice hotel restaurant followed by an evening in a nice suite with champagne, candies, and flowers.

This could be pricey and out of reach for a lot of us. In that situation you will need to get creative. Think about the places that have meant something to your relationship. Is the first movie theater you went to as a couple still open? Get tickets to the most romantic film being shown on Valentine’s Day, or rent the movie you saw on that first date. Is there a dish at a special restaurant your SO enjoys? Check the internet for the recipe. If you do not know how to cook, ask someone who does to teach you how to cook the dish in advance. This will help ensure success on that special night. Of course, to complete the grand gesture you will also want to have some candles and special music to go with dinner.

No matter what speaks to your SO the most, it is important that your gift expresses your feelings honestly. Never give a gift that implies you have stronger feelings than you actually have at this point in your relationship. You may not get caught. It is possible that you could take a girl you just met two weeks ago on a whirlwind weekend trip to a romantic destination, fall madly in love, marry and til death do you part. OR, she may go on this whirlwind weekend trip and enjoy it, but in the back of her mind get hung up on “is this guy a freak,” and never be able to move forward with a relationship out of fear that she cannot trust your emotions.

In almost every case, if you are gifting out of fear, whether it be fear of expressing too much emotion or too little, the gift will be inappropriate for the relationship and will damage the relationship in the long run. If you sense that your SO is at a different place than you emotionally, then it is best to discuss those feelings before Valentine’s Day. If for whatever reason you are not able to have that conversation in advance, you will create a worst case scenario by giving a Valentine’s Day gift that is not in line with your true feelings. Never lead someone to think that you are more or less committed than you actually are.

For goodness sakes, whatever you do NEVER, EVER break up with someone on Valentine’s Day. They will forever have a horrible memory attached to a day that is already filled with pressure. You will be making it that much more difficult for all the people that come behind you in relationships with that person. Valentine’s Day can be the breaking point for relationships that were not going to last anyway. If you know you are in that kind of relationship, make it a priority to end the relationship this week, so there is time and distance between the break up and Valentine’s Day.

If you sense that your SO has stronger feelings than you and you are not ready to have an honest conversation before Valentine’s Day, it is best to choose a gift that is appropriate based on your feelings, not theirs.  Giving a gift that matches where you believe them to be is sending the wrong signal. It could even be perceived as a lie that you did not mean to tell. You will have only two choices in the future if you give more than you feel. Either, your emotions will have to catch up at some point, or you will hurt someone more by leading them on.

On the other hand, if it appears that you have stronger feelings than your SO, but are afraid to have the honesty talk ahead of time, things could get a little tricky.  You will need to begin to tune in and rely on your gut instincts. This means putting out feelers in conversations before you purchase that Valentine’s Day gift. It could be that your SO is afraid to jump right in, but if you made a move they would reciprocate.

Then again, you may be more in touch with what you want and were able to more fully commit before they were. If you put your feelers out and still are not sure, you should think about what you really want out of the relationship. Are you willing to give them the space they need to figure it out, or will you need to move on if they are not where you are yet? There is no point in wasting your heart’s energy on a grand Valentine’s Day plan if your SO does not reciprocate and you will need to move on. It is best to give a gift more appropriate to the level you perceive their feelings to be, then wait to have the honesty talk after Valentine’s Day. This will keep negative emotions from being tied to the holiday for both of you. This is the exception to the rule that the gifts you give should portray your honest emotions. There is a caveat to the rule should you find yourself in this situation. Shortly after Valentine’s Day it is imperative that you pull your guts together and talk honestly with your SO about where you stand and what you want out of the relationship. The gift becomes a lie when you do not take this step.

No matter what situation you find yourself in we want to help you to have the perfect Valentine’s Day. If you need date or gift ideas, we have created a Valentine’s Day Ideas Pinterest board. Before you guys scoff at the idea of Pinterest, you should give it a try. Pinterest is choked full of information for everyone’s needs, such as home DIY projects, how to dress properly, landscaping needs, grilling, etc. If you can think it up, Pinterest can help you get it done.

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Lora Leathco

Blogger at SentientObserver.com; Mad Crocheter for Studio KLS; Nonstop talker about TV, Books, Sports, and Hot Topics

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