Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of your coupledom, but there are so many expectations around the holiday—and so many terrible gift ideas waiting in the wings to trip you up—that February 14 is often more about anxiety than amore. Ditch the stress and surprise your sweetheart with a present that suits their personality as well as the specific stage of your relationship.
When It’s Still Brand New
You don’t have to be a hipster to appreciate the look, feel, and distinct sound of vinyl. Crosley portable record players combine throwback charm with modern-day tech like full-range stereo speakers and Bluetooth capability for wireless streaming from your tablet or smartphone. The player lives in a briefcase that snaps shut for easy transport, just in case things fizzle out sooner rather than later. Give this gift as is, or pair it with a combination of old and new albums like a Billie Eilish LP bundled with the 70s-inspired stylings of Greta Van Fleet.
Scent of a Woman(‘s House)
Ever wonder why your lady’s apartment smells so danged good? Womenfolk are extremely skilled at picking out candles, infusers, and wax melts that are aromatic without being overwhelming. Thing is, quality candles cost big money. Here’s a secret: nine out of 10 females want more Anthropology candles, but they also want to do important things like pay rent and buy books. Do the unexpected and give your new flame coveted pieces like the Anthropologie Apricot Blossom Glass Flower Candle or the Eden Ceramic Flower Candle – both better and far longer-lasting then real blooms.
It’s Getting Serious
You have to warm up to jewelry, but this personalized zodiac necklace feels special without making you sweat over the price tag or any hidden perceived meaning (notaringnotaringnotaring). Plus, it proves you know both her birthday and her initials, which will probably be more impressive than it should be.
The Luggage Pledge
Something about a leather satchel says commitment. Maybe it’s because it conjures up mental images of European train trips and weekends at a B&B upstate. Maybe it’s because leather lasts forever and giving someone an Italian leather carryall bag like this Robe Di Firenze feels like a promise of adventures to come—or maybe it’s just a nice way to say “come stay with me more often” without just relying on the old “I got you a drawer” trick.
Shacked Up/Gettin’ Hitched
Cheers, Big Ears
While your friends are merging their CD collections and trying to decide which sheets to keep, you’re over here wondering where to put all your booze. Finding bar space is your job, but we’ll do our part by recommending this Yours, Mine, and Ours Decanter Set. For cocktail enthusiasts who like to share a tipple at the end of the day, this set is the perfect “welcome to your new home” surprise.
Cooking for Two
Kitchen gifts can be kind of iffy territory—you don’t want to make your sweetheart feel like you’re asking to be catered to, and you need to be careful about giving a gift that’s more utilitarian than it is fun—but make meal prep a giggly activity for two and you’re delivering an experience more than just a mere present. Date Night In is a collection of more than 120 recipes categorized by season and made into menus that work for everything from family dinners to a romantic beach picnic.
Married with Kids
Getting older sucks, but age and sexiness are not mutually exclusive. Show your love how much you appreciate her still-bangin’ bod with high-end lingerie she’d likely never spring for herself. Agent Provocateur is like the Lamborghini of underthings; the aesthetics are there but there’s also craftsmanship in play. These pieces feel as good as they look, and that’s important.
A Day of Pampering
Time is a precious commodity, even more so when your partner is juggling household duties, a demanding job, and, well, you. Give the gift of relaxation with a spa and wellness gift card from Spa Week. You can get exclusive deals for spa and wellness packages at some 9,000 luxury facilities across the United States or leave things open-ended so your Valentine can choose the facial, massage, wrap, mani-pedi, peel, or wax-a-palooza they prefer.
Aged Like Fine Wine
The kids are gone, the house is quiet, and you finally have the time and space to get the heck out of Dodge. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be crazy extravagant with a VIP trip to St. Martin (although that would score you some serious partner points). HomeAway offers properties of all shapes, sizes, and styles across the globe, many of which are likely close enough to your hometown to be easily accessible yet far enough removed to be memorable. Whisk your love away for a few days of dancing in Nashville or skiing in Breckenridge—you can even snag a prime pad in New Orleans and finally cross Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras off your joint bucket list.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Valentine’s Day is just 24 hours long, but your love is a year-round thing, so why not give your favorite person a gift that delivers month after month? GlobeIn is a subscription box that focuses on handmade and ethically sourced finds from all over the world. Each artisanal item comes with a story. It’s a way to salute your partner’s preferences for responsible shopping without sacrificing beauty and character in the process. Plus, she’ll think of you every time she opens that prettily wrapped package, and that’s practically priceless.