Da Dump! … Da Dump! The foreboding music from Jaws? Yes. Plus it’s also the ominous sound of Valentine’s Day about to bite us and our wallets. We just overpaid for a night on the town on New Year’s Eve. Aren’t there other ways of demonstrating your love besides getting ripped off? No. The restaurants know we’re trapped – why else would they jack up the prices?
When I offer up Valentine’s Day gifts, I feel like such a walking cliché. “Oh, a heart-shaped package of chocolates. How novel! And flowers. So… lacking in original thought-ful!”
You also run the risk of overestimating the relationship. “What makes you think we’ve reached the red roses stage? Pink roses, maybe.”
I don’t know about you, but when St. Valentine nears me, his aim gets sloppy. Our hearts may be his target, but his arrow winds up grazing our handheld devices before images of little iPhones®, not valentines, erupt over our heads. Translation: We’re checking JDate for what else is out there.
Just kidding, guys. It’s a great holiday. And we’ve still got a week to finalize our plans. How ‘bout… chocolate flowers?
Dear Gems from Jen,
I’ve been dating a nice guy since October. One might think that by now I would know how to handle the upcoming Valentine’s Day in terms of the form a gift might take. However, he’s got a hard time accepting any compliments or any expression that translates to “you’re special.” Also, neither of us is into expensive gift giving. Typically, what’s the role of the woman for Valentine’s Day? I love giving to people, but in this case, I don’t know what to do.
Dear Valentine’s Day Gift-Giving,
I would be interested to know more about the difficult time this guy has accepting compliments. It sounds to me as if he has a difficult time validating how you truly feel about him. With this said, I can definitely empathize with your plight. I might be wrong, but it appears that you are walking on eggshells where this guy is concerned. If giving to people is your thing, why stop now? Part of being in a relationship is staying true to you. With that said, I don’t know if there really is a typical role for the woman when it comes to gift giving on Valentine’s Day. What do you want to give him? What makes the most sense to you? If he were able to accept your compliments what would you consider giving him? Ask yourself these questions and then make the decision. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but they should translate into how you are feeling towards the recipient. For instance, if he is into wine buy him his favorite bottle. If he enjoys basketball get him a couple of tickets. If he likes your cooking make him a homemade meal. Just remember, gift giving should be an enjoyable experience not one that causes anxiety.
Gems from Jen
I have a question about a birthday gift for my boyfriend. We just met last week and he invited me to his birthday next week. I don’t know what to buy. We’ve only gone out two times and I don’t know him that well.
Dear Birthday Gift,
I understand how awkward this can feel. You barely know this man and now you are supposed to find him an appropriate gift. Since you have only had two dates with this man my first suggestion would be a gift certificate to a local bookstore, movie theater, or coffeehouse. If you believe that you know his tastes well enough to buy him a specific gift, then I would go ahead and chose something using these guidelines:
What does this man enjoy? What are his hobbies? What type of food does he like? Does he drink wine? Does he like sports? These are some of the questions you might ask yourself and hopefully this will help to trigger some birthday gift ideas. If you know his favorite food/foods, and they include baked goods I would consider baking him something. If he enjoys sports, perhaps a subscription to a sports magazine. If he likes drinking wine a bottle of his favorite vino might be nice.
The point here is that you want to make the gift something personal, but not over the top. Let him now you are paying attention to who he is and what he has shared about himself.
I hope you have a great time at the birthday party!
Gems from Jen