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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Every Relationship

Here are some of the best (and worst) gifts you can give, no matter how long you've been together.

Valentine's Day is a holiday for couples, but not all relationships are the same! We've put our heads together to come up with some of the best — and worst — Valentine's Day gifts you can give, depending on the stage of your relationship.

awkward gift

Just Started Seeing Each Other

If you're reading this article, it's a safe bet you want to help the relationship move forward. If you don't, skipping out on a Valentine's Day gift is a pretty clear breakup signal... but it's also a pretty mean way to send the message. If you're seeing someone who doesn't spark your interest, let the person down gently before the holiday.

Best Gifts
Guys have it easy here: flowers! (You can't go wrong with a dozen roses.) While the one-size-fits-all nature of a bundle of blooms makes it a Valentine's gift that can fall a little flat in more-established relationships, it's the perfect gift for someone you don't know all that well. It says, "I want to get to know you better — and I wanted you to feel special today!"

If you're someone who can't manage to boil water, craft beer might be an appreciated gift.

Ladies, how can you convey the same feelings? It's definitely tougher. If you're a deft hand in the kitchen, homemade treats can be a great route. Don't limit your options to cookies and candy, either. Almost any food becomes Valentine-y when you stick a heart on it, so those cheesy jalapeño poppers you're so great at are totally a possibility. Or you could bring your sweetheart a bouquet of bacon roses! On the other hand, if you're someone who can't manage to boil water, craft beer might be an appreciated gift.

Worst Gifts
Anything too over the top. It may work in the movies, but in real life, the grand romantic gesture from out of nowhere will probably come off as creepy.

couple laughing

Definitely a Couple

You've been together for a few months, hung out with each other's best friends, and gotten a peek into the real person behind the snazzy ties or glittery earrings. You're not quite sure if this relationship has what it takes to go the distance, but you know you're having an awesome time right now!

Best Gifts
Jewelry is a great bet for ladies. For example, she'll likely appreciate a small, understated pendant that can be worn with almost anything. She'll think of you every time someone compliments her lovely accessory — and she gets to brag about you a little, too! Still, pay attention to her tastes. If she prefers simple pieces, that huge, chunky pearl necklace studded with gems probably won't be worn as often as you might think.

SEE ALSO: Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Kind of Man

What to do for guys? The homemade foodstuffs mentioned earlier are still a great bet — especially if you step it up and deliver them to his work. If that doesn't feel quite right to you, we suggest tickets! You hopefully know him well enough at this point to be aware of his tastes, so you can probably come up with an event he'll love. Some ideas: tickets to a sporting event, the theater, a concert, a stand-up comedy show, or an escape room!

Worst Gifts
We're still going with "anything too over the top." It's a hard line to draw, but try to guess what your Valentine will do for you and see if your intended gift seems balanced. Even if you don't care that she baked a plate of cookies while you festooned her office with flowers, she might feel a bit awkward about it. An awkward Valentine's Day is just the worst.

couple in new apartment

So... You're Getting Pretty Serious, Eh?

Whether you're looking at apartments together or keeping your long-distance relationship going strong for another year, everyone knows that you're an item. You're the peanut butter and jelly of your social circle; if one name is mentioned, the other will surely be close behind.

Best Gifts
Don't get us wrong — the old standbys that were good before haven't gone bad. Yet, the best gifts will show your sweetie not only how much you care, but how much you care about them personally. Is your flame a tennis fan who doesn't play much anymore? Buy a pair of rackets and ask them to teach you. Does your significant other miss having the time to play video games? Buy a 2-player title and gift it with the agreement to play through it together.

If you know any of your other half's childhood obsessions, use that! Has he always been a Star Wars fan? Buy a couple of figures and set them sparring over his gift.

Nostalgia rarely goes awry. If you know any of your other half's childhood obsessions, use that! A bear holding a chocolate heart may be kind of lame, but putting the chocolate in the hands of her favorite Care Bear is adorably sweet. Has he always been a Star Wars fan? Buy a couple of figures and set them sparring over his gift. Knowing someone loves and accepts even the silliest parts of you is a wonderful feeling.

Worst Gifts
Anything in a small box that's not an engagement ring. Look, you're the one who just admitted you were pretty serious! When you pull out that elegantly wrapped box, you know their mind will jump to, "Is that a ring? What am I going to say?!" Whether finding a lovely pair of emerald earrings instead comes as a huge disappointment or a small relief, you can be virtually guaranteed that they're going to be at least a little distracted from appreciating your gift.

marriage proposal


You're in it for the long haul now, so that opens up some new gifting options.

Best Gifts
If you're planning a somewhat-traditional wedding, you know someday soon you and your beloved will be in the spotlight on the dance floor. So what could be more romantic than couples' dance lessons? We'll note, however, that this gift is better given between two outgoing individuals — or from the wallflower to the diva. If the one comfortable in the spotlight gives it to the one who's not, it may come off as a bit self-centered.

SEE ALSO: Everything You Need to Know About Synthetic Diamonds

Worst Gifts
A pet. I don't know why you'd decide to buy a pet for Valentine's Day, but seriously, don't. You have enough to do with wedding planning and future in-law wrangling; it's probably not the right time to add a pet to your lives.

couple selfie


Best Gifts
Something that nods to your newly joint status. Prepare a candlelit meal in your new home together — why not get the recipe for her grandma's famous double-chocolate cake to serve for dessert? If you didn't order a wedding album, but have rights to your wedding photos, your spouse would probably be touched if you took the time to put one together on a site like Shutterfly. Add in little captions to share thoughts from the day you might not have been able to communicate at the time — how attractive your spouse looked, how excited or nervous you were, etc.

Giving your snuggle bunny an item that's legitimately needed to complete a household task is the opposite of romantic.

Worst Gifts
Stuff for chores. Yeah, I know — "guys like tools," and "she's been complaining about our old vacuum not working right for months." Just don't go there. If it's a tool or appliance for a hobby — like a Dremel set for someone who likes putting together models — that's one thing. But giving your snuggle bunny something that's legitimately needed to complete a household task is kind of the opposite of romantic.

family on couch

Time-Tested Marriage

This isn't your first Valentine's Day, that's for sure. It can be hard to make the day special year after year, but we have some ideas.

Best Gifts
For parents of young children — what gift could be better than some extra time together while a babysitter watches the kids? You don't even have to do anything fancy — just walk around a park and enjoy the fact that you don't have to carry anyone else with you. Or a diaper bag. Or spare Kleenex. Or Mr. Fuzzywuffles.

If you don't have kids — or the kids are older — maybe it's time to mix things up a little! Try to find something you've never done together that you think will appeal to your spouse. Whether it's a ski trip, a balloon ride, or art lessons, doing something new is a great way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from years' past, and to form new bonds in the meantime.

Worst Gifts
Again, stuff for chores. 'Nuff said.

Readers, what do you think of our suggestions? Do you have a brilliant idea for the perfect Valentine's Day gift? Let us know in the comments!

Contributing Writer

Formerly a content writer for DealNews, Erin Coduti now brings that experience to the blog team as a freelancer. Previously, she wrote for a television news station and a literary fan magazine.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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Most people who comment on DN still live with their parents, don't have a girl friend and are pushing 250lbs. Just sayin'
The picture changes depending on your browsing habits....

Thanks for posting a pic of what love really looks like!
On that equality note, I notice that whenever there's a deal on an item available in both male or female versions, e.g. shoes, jackets, bicycles, you ALWAYS post the (shown) picture of the men's version. Why is that?
G. Fieri DDD
Man, I've driven from one side of the US of A to the other, from Flavortown, ME to Flavortown, CA, and I'll tell you what - there is nothing that brings people together more than love. Love for good food, love for bad TV, and love for each other, whatever your creed, color, or gender.

But that's all changes now that I'm announcing "Guy Fieri's Literal Butter on a Stick", coming to Krogers and Shop-Rites nationwide. Because love might come from the heart... but Literal Butter on a Stick is coming *for* your heart. Rockstar, man.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
Hi everyone!

While we love an active dialogue on blog articles, we believe the conversation started to get off topic. If you'd like to discuss whether these are good suggestions for different stages of a relationship, have at it! Otherwise, we reserve the right to moderate comments to keep the conversation friendly and on topic.

If you have complaints or feedback about DealNews as a whole, you can reach out to us at letters@dealnews.com. That email address goes to my inbox, and I will respond to everyone personally.
These are some great ideas. With a new one in our mix, this as some great tips on still being able to enjoy the holiday together. Very insightful!
I'm a gay man that is planning to marry my partner of 8 years. I get annoyed with "over the top" images or messages of homosexual relationships...it's like shoving it in your face and it's not reflective. However, I don't find any problem with this article...the only reference to homosexuals is the selfie pic - no special exceptions for same sex couples, trans couples, etc (I'm a grown man...I think I can adapt the article to fit our lifestyles so I don't throw a fit over it). And in reality, it does reflect the estimated percentage of homosexuals in the population. It's quite appropriate.
I gave my wife a Roomba one year - its not a tool for doing a chore, it's a tool that DOES the chore. (It was a hit, by the way.)
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)

DealNews is happy to celebrate all kinds of love this Valentine's Day, as we have a diverse reader base and staff.
Really like your site, but I don't need the homosexual pictures in this article. You can write great articles without promoting alternative lifestyles.