You’ve Said, “I Like You”
Because we’re all friends here, I’m just going to lay it all out on the table:
If you’re in a brand new relationship, Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a minefield.
Take it too seriously, and you may freak her out. Let it pass by, and she could think you’re not interested after all.
The beginning of a romantic liaison is all about getting to know each other and having fun, so don’t over-think this one. At this point, a Valentine’s gift is just a small gesture to say, “You’re awesome, I like you, let’s keep hanging out.”
How can you communicate all of that feeling (but not too much feeling) in a gift?
We say, keep it light—but thoughtful.
Skip the impersonal chocolates and tiny teddy-bears-holding-hearts in favor of something that you might actually like, too. Is there a particular book you loved recently? Get her a hardcover copy and write a short note inside the cover. (A Moveable Feast is one of our classic lit picks, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt is even better than her more recent novel, The Goldfinch.)
Dig in, and drink up
Instead of an expensive dinner reservation, track down a specialty treat shop wait for it – in her hometown (or alma mater) – and see if they deliver, asap.
Another option? Help her outfit her home bar. If you’re frequently meeting up for happy hour, put together a kit of her favorite cocktail mixings and suggest a boozy night in.
We love a classic Moscow Mule, for which you’ll need ginger beer, vodka, traditional Moscow Mule mugs, and a slice of lime (plus a dash of mint if you’re feeling festive). To make your night in even more fun, add some competitive energy with a fun, old school game like Catch Phrase or Twister.
As we mentioned in our “You’ve Said, “I Love You” V-Day gift guide, a gift that is actually doing something together is kind of obvious—but in a good way.
Making memories pretty much always trumps material things, if you ask us. If you’re dating a sports fan, get her a cap and two tickets to your local team’s opening day. Baseball games make for a fantastic date and she’ll appreciate that you’re thinking about the future—even if it’s only two weeks away.
If you share a love of music, go for the most thoughtful, least expensive gift ever: Make her a playlist. It’s the digital age equivalent of a mixtape.
Create a mix of songs that are cool and romantic but not too, you know, bow chicka wow wow. The ideal Valentine’s Day playlist has a balance of old and new jams. Share some of your favorite new music (we’re digging BØRNS and ASTR) and add in some can’t miss icons (Paul Simon, Van Morrison, etc). Don’t be afraid to wink at what’s really on your mind (and hers) with some cheeky, smile-inducing tracks like the modern classics “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie or “Ignition Remix.” (No, really.) To give you an idea of what we mean, check out our Valentine’s playlist on Spotify.
If you’re down to the wire and stumped for ideas (Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, guys), consider upgrading her favorite accessory—like gloves or a scarf—to cashmere. These dove gray gloves from Portolano are cozy and sophisticated, inexpensive and have that fancy finger so she can use her touchscreen phone. Expect a “Thank you” text with a kissy face emoji the first time she wears them.
Tell Me: What (or who) made for the best Valentine’s date you’ve ever had?
Taylor Davies is a fashion and menswear editor in New York City and occasional contributor to Style Girlfriend. She lives for croissants and swears by an Old Fashioned. You can find her blogging here and ‘gramming here.
And don’t forget to check out the previous Valentine’s Gift Guides
Now go forth and get romantic!