Design

15 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

18 Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

If you’re newly dating someone cute, but you’re not exactly sure what’s happening, go for something sweet and simple: a plant, a cute card, or two slices of pizza at the movies.


18 Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

Happy Galentine’s Day! If you want to surprise your best friend with a treat, consider a cool candle that smells like ivy greens, Glossier’s new-and-improved bee-stung lipstick, or a facial together at cult-favorite Heyday.


18 Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

If little kids are always banging on the bedroom door saying they desperately need to tell you something (what? just ours?), and you want a shot of romance in your marriage, these candlesticks are so, so beautiful for intimate dinners. Meanwhile, Alex requests salami for every gift for every occasion, and Olympia Provisions is coming in hot with this heart box. LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST, we are losing our minds in the office over this hands-free vibrator because omgomgomg.


18 Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

For those in long-distance relationships who miss each other like crazy, you could send Ovenly’s salty heart cookie with funny sayings, gorgeous flowers from Urban Stems (they always get it just right), or a weekend getaway to look forward to.


18 Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Type of Relationship

What if you don’t care about Valentine’s Day but still want to be sweet? Pick out a book you know they’ll love, or sneakily swap out an old showerhead with this massage number. You could also make his or her favorite childhood dish. (As reader Kim says, “There was a five-year period of my childhood where I exclusively ate chicken fingers and caesar salad. A few weeks after telling my husband this story, I came home to an ‘elevated’ childhood dinner of buttermilk chicken tenders and a kale caesar with shaved parmesan and homemade croutons.” Hat tip!)


Thoughts? How do you usually approach Valentine’s Day?

P.S. 15 great reader comments on sex, and do you care about height when dating?

(Illustrations by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo. Pizza photo by Alex Lau for Bon Appetit.)

  1. Maika Clarke says...

    My friend is a Therapist and she is doing some research on communication issues that come up for couples. She created a very quick 2-minute survey — would you mind helping her out by sharing your experience? It’s a win-win you can help me, and help improve mental health care. Thank you in advance if you choose to participate.

    Here is the link to Krista’s survey.
    https://go.bucketquizzes.com/ds/7dd7dc39?fbclid=IwAR1z_CRebcZPPBOuvZ1B1Y4hEE-__VbRJXPjk6tLTCZf7b4DqQDWlOMjpCQ

  2. LP says...

    We are married (17yrs) with tweens (13 year old boy, 11 year old girl) and our kiddos are a part of our valentine celebrations. We decorate –hang a banner and some hearts etc., we decorate the kids doors with hearts about a few things we love about them and give the kids some local made chocolates treats. We include our children in our valentine dinner. This year we’re ordering heart shaped pizzas and a heart shaped pizza bouquet. We also talk about the actual Saint Valentine . We love including them because we know soon our house will be very different and quiet without them. These two that fill our hearts and and home and our every thought are our best investment and the single most important aspect of our Valentine celebrations.

    • CaraM says...

      I love this so much – this sounds like (almost to the letter) what my parents did for me and my siblings growing up! My Mom almost always made heart shaped pizza and we did nice/secret things for each other in the spirit of Saint Valentine. I treasure those memories and hope to do the same thing with my kiddo!

  3. Laura says...

    I bought the Eva II from Dame, and when they launched their newest vibrator, Pom, I couldn’t open my wallet fast enough. Both are INCREDIBLE.

  4. Rachel says...

    My (now) husband and I started dating around Valentine’s Day. He brought me Girl Scout cookies and I knew I was in love!!

  5. Sarah says...

    I have been looking for a good easy baked good/gift option that doesn’t feel cheesy or overpriced and not that good, and I am so excited to see Ovenly!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the cookies are SO GOOD.

  6. Courtney Langton says...

    My partner of seven years and I somehow fell into a tradition of alternating treating each other to Valentine’s gifts each year – he gets the even years, I get odd ones. It’s nice because we each get a year off from having to source a gift for the other, it takes away the somewhat sexist pressure on my male partner to be the one going all out on Valentine’s stuff, and it gets us reminiscing about what we got the year before.

    Last year my partner did amazingly and got us both an Iranian cooking class with a cooking school that has chefs/teachers who are asylum-seekers. I can never live up to that one since we are backpacking in South America this year and trying to stretch our budget. He’s been yearning for a maté cup every time he sees an Argentinian with one (aka constantly), so I’m going to let him pick out his own cup, straw and some maté. It’s not quite the usual surprise, but I’m sure it’ll be something we enjoy remembering next year!

  7. I’m just here for the vibrator. . . I’m totally intrigued. Who’s tried it? Please report back!

    • Laura says...

      I have the Eva II and the Pom. Cannot recommend enough.

  8. agnes says...

    French reader here so Valentine’s day is not a thing here; but I love the illustrations and noticed that Alessandra also did the drawing for the post from the dying mother to her daughters. Her drawings are so sensitive, I love that you integrate drawings in your articles. That’s all ;-)

  9. Nikki says...

    You guys should have seen the Valentine’s Day box I sent my boyfriend who is deployed to Afghanistan. He is going to hate how mushy it is, but it was so worth it. :D

  10. This year, I have encouraged my fiance and my friends to donate to charities or purchase gifts that give back in lieu of dinners and flowers. I’m at a point in my life where I feel really grateful to have all of the essentials and not worry about living paycheck to paycheck, so it’s time to give back in small ways. A card is all I need, let’s transfer the money to the communities who need more this time of year!

  11. Maggie says...

    My best friend hosts a Galentine’s every year, and it’s the loveliest little tradition. We start planning it in December! And, I loved your suggestion of Ovenly… but went in a slightly different direction – Jeni’s! Just placed an order for four pints, headed for my boyfriend (and his coworkers) on Valentine’s Day! Maybe this will be a fun new tradition :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yum!!!!!

  12. Marsa says...

    I laughed at loud and immediately had to show this post to my boyfriend of three years. Two years ago on Valentine’s Day we found ourselves not wanting to celebrate in a big way. I think we went to a concert we forgot we had tickets to, had some quick indian food on the way, and I bought him a card, but he didn’t do anything for me. I told him that yeah, valentine’s day isn’t really a big deal for me, but it would be nice if you at least got me a card or something. Just a simple gesture. The next evening as I was brushing my teeth before bed I noticed something shiny peeping out from the top of my shower curtain. He had sneakily replaced my broken shower head with a fancy new one. I laughed so hard I cried. I called him and he said “Happy Valentine’s Day”. It was perfect.

  13. Kristen says...

    We have a 6-month-old and plan to stay in this year. My husband got us two paint by numbers and some wine – so it’ll be like a paint and sip class, but we’ll be in our sweats in our living room. Which is perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Ashley says...

      This is such a sweet idea!

    • Jess says...

      Love this!

  14. Lisa says...

    In more than 10 years together we’ve only celebrated Valentine’s Day once, and that was by mistake. A friend was supposed to get married on feb 14th in another country, but his fiancée called off the wedding a week before. Pretty much everyone went anyway because the notice was so short. On the 14th, my husband and I ended up being unwitting tour guides to some of our more annoying friends so they wouldn’t bother the friend of ours whose wedding day it was supposed to be. More and more people contacted us over the day about what was being organised, so we directed all of them to the most annoying friend’s hotel lobby, switched off our phones and went to the beach, for drinks and then out for dinner. It was great!

    This year we are doing a long haul overnight flight with a one and a two year old. Possibly one of the least romantic things you can do in the world

  15. J says...

    The comments today!!

  16. Steph says...

    I love the expression on the toddler’s face in the ‘married with young kids’ illustration. It so captures my 3-year-old’s face if I’ve had to physically remove him from a situation; he is resigned to the fact that he’s smaller and can’t fight it but that doesn’t mean he has to like being carried, either. Keep fighting the power, kiddo.

  17. sandra says...

    This year…. Married 35 years. For Valentine’s Day – Planning to invite 3 other couples (all 35 years together) and we have all been friends before married life. I know…. LUCKY US! Menu: Heart Pizz with .Karbach “Love” Street Brew. Play the Newlywed Game and maybe just maybe a little dancing in the kitchen. Over by 9:00….. or not. :)!

  18. Nicole says...

    Go to an art museum (or any other beautiful, public space), treat yourself to any kind of yummy treat you want (on solo dates I love to get myself a coffee and pastry from a new bakery or coffee shop), browse a record store, buy yourself a bath bomb and face mask and then take a long, relaxing bath…you can also try cooking a new recipe (that one always makes me feel great)! Some of my favorite evenings have been when I made shrimp scampi for one, poured myself a glass of wine, and then watched my favorite shows all night. :-)

  19. Corinne says...

    We’re not big V Day people, but we do have a sweet tradition of opening a nice bottle of wine and making “Lovers Pasta” together at home: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/article/a-pasta-for-lovers. I do, however, have quite a V Day story.

    The first couple of years that we were dating, my husband sent me flowers at work, until one year the mail room delivered my bouquet to a recently widowed co-worker “Connie.” Our first and last names sound very similar and are mere letters different in spelling so it wasn’t the first, or last time we got each others mail (and email, and voicemail…) But, oh, the sight of Connie walking through my office door holding this stunning bouquet of roses mere months after she unexpectedly lost her husband broke my heart into a million pieces (my husband was so devastated he hasn’t sent flowers to my office since.) Later that day, I snuck back to Connie’s office and left one of “our” roses in a cup of water on her desk with a Valentine’s note. I didn’t know it, but she was so touched that she dried the rose and kept it displayed in her office until she retired. I’m glad to say that we’ve had a good laugh over the mix-up many times since, although these days my husband and I just stick with picking out flowers together at the grocery store or farmers market!

    • Julia says...

      Oh my goodness that story is so sweet.

  20. kash says...

    also…when i was single, i used to get really stoned on valentine’s day, order a pizza, and watch “the shining” or “silence of the lambs.” honestly, i would recommend this activity. felt great.

  21. Em says...

    My husb. is decidedly anti-Valentine’s Day, but he made the mistake of telling me that for the first time via a horrible email late in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, a few months into our then new (long-distance) dating relationship. I had stayed up till 3 in the morning a few days earlier making him homemade heart-shaped cheese crackers (after his favorite snack) so I could get them in the mail to arrive to him on time. I asked him on the phone Valentine’s night if he’d found something in his mailbox, and he said no, but his apartment mail room smelled weirdly like garlic. Someone else got them! Epic fail! We still laugh about it. Now we do our taxes on Valentine’s Day. It’s weirdly romantic! We have a toddler, though, and I fully intend to do Valentine’s with her the way my family celebrated it growing up–heart-shaped pancakes, homemade cards, and similar small gestures of love.

  22. Peyton says...

    My fiance and I started dating 4 days after Valentines, and I love every holiday ever created, so I LOVE this time of year. We had been going on dates before Valentines but weren’t “official” so our first VDay together I was so unsure of what to do. I ended up getting him a vinyl of a band we talked about on our first date and he got me the most beautiful flowers. Now we’ve made it a tradition that instead of doing two gifts back to back, we do gifts for Valentines and an experience for our anniversary. I always get him a record, and he always gets me a plant. I like the sentimentality of getting to look back at the plants we have and listen to the records and know which stage of our relationship they came from.

  23. Gill F. says...

    I just broke up with my long term girlfriend and moved into my own place (on my own for the first time in 3 years!) and so it’s just me and the cat this year. Any fun solo ideas to take my mind off the day and treat myself?

    • ANDREA says...

      1. Go out for a fancy breakfast.
      2. Go see a movie you want to see.
      3. Order in dinner and rewatch some shows you want.
      4. Make a list of things you love to do and find ways to do more of them.

    • Taylor says...

      Find a recipe you have been wanting to try and make it (maybe something a little fancy), buy a bottle of wine or whiskey (whatever your calling), play some upbeat tunes, dance with your cat, light some candles and treat yourself to a wonderful meal. If you don’t want to be alone invite someone else to join!

    • H says...

      Go to the movies, sneak in champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, or any other silly Valentine’s day treat! A friend and I did this one year and it was a blast! Easily enjoyed solo as well :) Happy Valentine’s from another newly single reader :)

    • Lisa says...

      When I was a student, my flat mate and I had a single girl’s V day experience, where we had brunch with lots of pancakes and watched funny movies. It was epic

    • Elizabeth says...

      Whatever you do, wear some bright red lipstick! I love that COJ beauty uniform where the woman said, i get asked so often how to wear red lipstick. you literally just put it on your face.

  24. Hilary says...

    For those of you who love puns/have kids/etc. Trader Joe’s has the CUTEST punny Valentine stickers at the check out counter. I got a bunch to give to my homeroom (teacher here!). I don’t do V-day with my husband but love celebrating with my middle schoolers!

    A great idea from a friend who’s married with 3 kids: Book a hotel for two nights. Night one, one person goes and leaves the other home with the kids. Night two they switch! They said it’s such a luxury to have a hotel room to yourself and 24 hours to do as you wish. Maybe not a traditional romantic idea but how fun to meet for lunch on Sunday and catch up on your weekends over brunch!

    • Reem Faruqi says...

      Genius!!! Just pricey!

  25. Mary says...

    Just putting it out there that the Dame toy is not all it’s cracked up to be—I was disappointed that even though it’s technically “in place,” that doesn’t necessarily mean snug to your body. I found you still had to apply pressure which defeats the whole “hands free” marketing slant.

    • Jen says...

      SAME.

    • t says...

      thank you so much for this review.

    • Michaela says...

      Thanks for sharing this! I was curious too. One other thing that gave me pause was that they accept returns…I assumed this just meant getting a refund, but in their FAQ they mention something about bleaching the toys after they receive a return. Does that mean they resell them?! I would definitely need clarification on that before purchasing!

  26. Andrea says...

    V Day FAIL!

    My husband mentioned something he wanted about a month ago, so I went and ordered it for V Day. I thought it was just a tag you could use for your keys or bag (it’s made out of material from the type of plane his dad flew). It turns out it’s a PERSONALIZED tag for your keys or bag WITH MY INFORMATION on it (from ordering it).

    I had to laugh when I took it out of the packaging yesterday. I was going to slip it on his key ring as an early gift, but now it would just lead people to our house, should he lose his keys.

    Fail! Fail! Fail! Just when I thought I was so clever in getting him something he wanted EARLY!

  27. Hannie says...

    Ahhhh reading all of these comments triggered a memory of when I bought a high school boyfriend a carnation through Student Council to send with a message to him on Valentine’s Day – and he broke up with me before Valentine’s Day! I was so mortified but thankfully my mom was understanding enough to let me stay home “sick” that day from school…oh boy.

    • MM says...

      Oh no! You’re mom though — good lookin’ out!

  28. Sarah says...

    One of the best Valentine’s gifts I received was after my boyfriend and I had been dating for a year, and I had to make the six-hour drive from the Bay Area to Palm Springs for a long work trip. He made me six CDs, so I wouldn’t have to listen to the same song twice on the long drive. They were a combination of his favorite songs, songs he knew I liked, and songs we had listened to together– every CD had a theme. The last CD had no title, but I realized halfway through that the theme was ME: every single one had been picked for a special moment. Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire came on and I started sobbing while driving through the desert and realizing how much he believed in me. Needless to say, it’s been six years and we’re married now. Never underestimate the power of a classic mixtape :)

  29. Lauren E. says...

    After nine years together my husband and I STILL hate Valentine’s Day and will go out on February 13 to one of our local favorite restaurants, but my absolute favorite VDay tradition has become a weekend away with my girlfriends in honor of Galentine’s Day! We each buy each other little tokens (face masks, candles, etc – this year all my girls are getting a copy of Come as You Are) and gush over how grateful we are for each other and have fruity pink cocktails. It’s magic.

    • Laura D. says...

      I love this Galentine’s Day tradition! What a great idea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that:)

    • Courtney Langton says...

      BEST GIFT. Come As You Are is amazing.

  30. J says...

    My favorite valentine from my husband was on our first Valentine’s Day, when we were briefly long-distance: he mailed me five pounds of almonds in a grocery store bulk bag with a little note saying “I’m nuts about you!” It was so weird and sweet and practical.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that is so cute!!

  31. Emily says...

    i make a homemade valentine for my husband (usually with a horrific pun). then we cook a project dinner together, something like beef wellington or homemade pasta that we’ve never tried or wouldn’t normally do on a weeknight.

    another thought, and i know this might not land well coming from a married person, but… i was extremely single for a long time, and i have always loved valentine’s day. i think it gets a bad rap, but what’s not to love about love – for your mom and dad, siblings, friends (or better yet, friend’s kids who are so into all holidays and appreciate the smallest thing!), DOGS!?! it doesn’t have to be a whole “thing,” but i think it’s a nice to take a beat and recognize that this is a pretty cool thing that we can do, loving each other.

    • Emily says...

      Love this!

    • Sarah says...

      Emily, I am the same! Although I’m married now, I didn’t have a significant other for many years of my life. My mom instilled in me very early that Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love; it’s about love for our parents, friends, pets, coworkers, everyone we care about! I am so grateful for that lesson, and I love having an extra opportunity to send love to those people each February 14th.

    • megs283 says...

      same here, regarding your second paragraph. I always felt like it was a fun day to dress a bit cuter for work and give your friends goofy valentines (or just straight up candy).

      now that I’m married and we’re in a poor swing, it’s decidedly less fun. hopefully I can make it magical for my girls :-)

  32. Hanna says...

    I’m taking the car to shop and the kids to my mother’s for Valentine’s Day. It’s definitely the present my husband needs!

    He may even like it better than the 8 page, fully-illustrated “Limericks of Love” card that I made for him 20 years ago — which was definitely the nadir of my Valentine’s Day efforts. :-)

  33. Alison says...

    super cute post! I actually just ordered my boyfriend the pizza box of socks you had posted in your Christmas gift guide for brothers I think? It was sold out at Christmas time but I did not forget about them! I also have a homemade pizza card idea to make… we make/eat a lot of pizzas together :)

    Thanks as always for so many fun ideas!

  34. escondista says...

    Every year for Valentine’s Day, I buy my husband 4 or 5 nice tiny portions of cheese. I go to Central Market’s cheese area and ask for recommendations and tell them I want 3.00 worth of each – BONUS I get to sample.
    He buys me a rose bush every year! I currently have 4 different kinds of roses that bloom around our house – a different type for every year of our marriage!

  35. Carrie says...

    I got my husband a little assortment of goods. Jerky, handle cover for his cast iron skillet, a brush to clean it, Reese hearts, tiny candles so we can (romantically) see each other during sex, and a card. :) Feeling proud I got his gift put together so early this year!

    • kat says...

      You know those pink rock salt lamps that have become so trendy? Those make AMAZING “romantically see each other during sex” lighting.

  36. Victoria says...

    Eons ago when I was in high school, I was newly dating a boy around Valentine’s Day, was BROKE – and also even if I had money didn’t know if it was going somewhere to spend a lot on – I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and wrapped them and it was to this day probably the best reaction to a gift from a man I have ever received. I’ve done it a few times since and it never fails!

  37. Abby says...

    Overall a good list, but I think a plant for “newly dating” is a terrible idea!! The plant will either thrive or, more likely, wither and die, and either way will be seen as some kind of symbol of the relationship. Taking care of a plant that has too much meaning is very stressful! ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha you make a good point!

      for those who do like plants, for my birthday, two friends gave me a Pilea Peperomioides plant, and i love how the leaves look like silver dollars.

    • Wendy D says...

      hahahaha! I was reminded of the “love fern” from How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days….

    • Hilary says...

      This reminds me of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. You killed our love fern!!

    • Callie says...

      Read this and immediately flashed to the scene in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days with the “love fern”.

    • Kaitlin says...

      “Our love fern! YOU LET IT DIE!?”

  38. liz says...

    my boyfriend and I usually just go out to dinner — we both prefer splurging a little on experiences rather than giving object-gifts to celebrate each other

  39. Michelle says...

    Valentine’s Day falls between my birthday on the 7th and my fiance’s birthday on the 27th, so we usually don’t end up doing much since we prefer to go “all out” for birthday celebrations. A quiet night in with a bottle of red and the three “C’s” (cheese, charcuterie, chocolate!) is my favorite way to celebrate.

    • inga says...

      happy birthday 🎈

  40. Alyssa says...

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost a year. He is very anti-Valentine’s Day. I told him that I bought him some fun snacks as just a little gift. He walked in yesterday with a new board game expansion for our favorite game and a smirk. He’s like “I caved. Happy Valentine’s Day!” So I gave him his gift of lots of ridiculous candy this morning. A week early, but definitely more true to who we are. <3

  41. Ellen says...

    Carhartt, $12.99!

  42. Solveig says...

    I need a printed version of the martied couple with kids illustration! Is that in any way possible?

  43. Amy says...

    My husband generally dislikes gifts, so I stick to making some of his favorite foods on gift-days. Never fails to make him feel relieved and excited (in that order, haha!)

  44. Jessica says...

    My son was born last Valentine’s so now I’m not sure if we get to celebrate it anymore haha even though we did used to get each other gifts :)

  45. kash says...

    i live with my boyfriend of five years now, but we did long distance for two whole years (whew!). it felt like a million years while it was happening!

    a cute idea (we used to do while we were long distance) that would be good to do for valentines: go on a long-distance movie date! pick a movie you both want to see, and find a theatre where said movie starts at about the same time. call one another on your way out of the theatre to discuss!

    my boyfriend and i did this a few times over the long-distance time–the biggest hit was when we went to see annihilation, and i walked nearly an hour home to stay on the phone because we both had so many thoughts

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really cute, kash. my old roommate (in NYC) used to watch movies with her boyfriend, who lived in london. they would order the same type of take-out (and even argue about what to get:) and then watch a movie while facetiming each other. it was such a cute date night. i remember she would always blow dry her hair first!

  46. Amanda says...

    I just want to put out there, if anyone is feeling lonely this Valentines Day, here’s a trick I’ve employed in the past: Buy a pack of kid valentines and send them to your friends, your grandma, theneighborhood kids, your work bestie, etc. It’s SO fun and silly and such a whimsical way to remember that romantic love isn’t the only or even best love – and isn’t it fun to be REALLY cheesy sometimes? XOXO

    • N says...

      Such a good idea! XO

    • Annie says...

      i love this and was going to post a similar thing. i used to paint watercolor valentines for the wonderful people in my life (mom + dad, a favorite teacher, my dear friends, my sister) and it made me so happy. i think it made them happy too. :) <3

  47. Shannon says...

    When my husband and I were newly married, we were on completely different pages about what it meant to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We started the tradition of low key Chinese takeout and a movie the next year and Valentine’s Day has felt sweet and stress-free since.

  48. Oh! Thanks for the reminder! Not sure what my husband and I will do, but my sister is recently separated and I’m going to be sure to send something fun to her work. <3

    • Nikki says...

      I just sent the cookie cake to my boyfriends very single sister. Being single when you don’t want to be can be so hard. The cake Jo listed is pretty affordable, $34 for the cake and shipping. Cheaper and less of a sting then flowers. Great suggestion COJ team :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s great, nikki! what a sweet friend you are.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      lashley, i’m sure she will love that. so nice of you.

    • H. says...

      Obviously everyone has different preferences, but I’d just be mindful that if you send her something, she might be MORE disappointed than if you just let the day pass — It’s a terrible feeling to see a gift and get excited that maybe you have an admirer only to realize it’s from a friend or family member who just pities your single state.

  49. Oh! Thanks for the reminder. Im not sure what my husband and I will do but I am definitely sending something showy to my recently-separated sister at work!

  50. Emily says...

    Our first Valentine’s Day was when I studied abroad in Spain so we FaceTimed and ate McDonalds since that was the only common thing we could both eat. Now every Valentine’s Day we eat McDonald’s! 7 years later…

  51. Heather says...

    My husband and I will be in court on Valentine’s Day, taking steps to adopt our foster son.

    After nearly 15 years together, we keep it simple. We’ll talk to the caseworkers and the judge, then grab a nice lunch.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh that’s wonderful, heather.

    • Sarah says...

      Congratulations!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Best of luck Heather, how wonderful.

  52. Sasha L says...

    How about married 24 years, empty nesters? Valentine’s falls right after my birthday, so it’s hard for my dear husband to think of something else. And February is not that far from Christmas either. I’ve got 3/4s of a birthday cake and THREE of my favorite chocolate bars already mocking my resolution to somehow eat less sugar.

    I bought my dogs and very old cat an electric heated blanket for the animal couch today, happy early Valentine’s to them. It’s a huge hit as it’s been below zero since Sunday.

    • diana k. says...

      My mom’s birthday is right after Valentines Day! My parents house looks like a florist shop all week. Also we always go out to celebrate on the 15th when the restaurants are less crowded but there’s usually still a special menu.

    • escondista says...

      Valentine’s doesn’t have to be effusive or showy. How about asking for really comfy socks or warm new slippers and getting a meal from a restaurant y’all love and watching a classic movie on the sofa?

    • Sasha L says...

      Escondista, socks are my love language lol. My husband always gets me nice warm wool socks for Christmas (& chocolate covered PB sandwich cookies).

      Our very first Valentine’s (extremely broke) he bought a bag of m & M’s (pink and red Valentine ones) and arranged the whole bag in a giant heart. One year he made homemade red colored water and sprayed painted a big heart and love you message on our front lawn, covered in snow.

      I think I might check out the local cheese and charcuterie shop – he loves that stuff.

    • escondista says...

      Sasha,

      The M&M story is precious! I get cheese every year for my husband! Its the best gift.

    • Courtney Langton says...

      I like the commenter above who said she and her boyfriend give each other the same type of thing (records and plants) every Valentine’s Day. Something like that (I would choose books, personally!) would take all the stress out of yearly gift giving and save your husband’s brain power for the birthday gift choices.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, courtney! i love that idea, too. our editorial assistant franny and her girlfriend always give each other books, which feels so personal and heartfelt.

  53. Jax says...

    I love Deborah Eisenberg and look forward to reading that book of short stories (not essays!).
    She’s fantastic and did you know, she’s been married to playwright and actor, Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless, The Good Wife) for decades!

  54. We no longer eat meat, but I would still second Olympia Provisions as a treat! We tried to stick to local food and wine for our backyard wedding reception and when I stopped by their stand at the farmer’s market to pick up a few items, I told them what it was for as we chatted. They were so incredibly nice and gave me a few items completely unexpectedly for free. It warmed my heart and our guests loved it!

  55. jade lees says...

    Those candle sticks! Valentines Day gift to me from me?

    • Ae says...

      Yes to self love!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes definitely!! you can use them forever!

    • Tess says...

      Yes!! Feel the hunka hunka burning love- to yourself!
      You will never be disappointed in giving yourself that joy!

    • jade lees says...

      I splurged. Jo – I spied them(?) in the photos of your Birthday dinner and fell in love with them then. Serendipity that you then posted them.

  56. Ellen says...

    Next week we’ll see how this gift goes over… my husband and I have 2 young kids and have been together for 15 years. Our first Valentine’s we were in a long-distance relationship and broke, and I mailed him a stocking cap in his favorite color. He still wears it almost daily in the winter. On a whim, I just bought him a replacement of that stocking cap, because after 15 years it is looking a bit raggedy. Same cap, same color.

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Can we know what cap lasted 15 years with only a little wear and tear?? :)

    • Ellen says...

      Carhartt, $12.99!

  57. L says...

    More info on everyone losing their minds over the vibrator, please! Tried it and love it, or just love the idea of it? thanks!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love the idea of it but I just ordered and will report back!! :)

    • Jessica says...

      Yes please, do provide an update, Joanna! I’ve been eyeing it for a while but wondering if it’s too good to be true…

    • Sarah says...

      YES on the update!! I just spent way too long reading the reviews for it on the website. I was totally riveted.

    • Yay says...

      Agree wholeheartedly…women need to know! I spent a heap of time on that site last night, reading reviews, and I am trying to decide which I and we will hopefully like best!

    • Mary says...

      Bought it, tried it, consider it a waste of money. I commented below but just because it is held in place because of the wings, that doesn’t necessarily correlate to it sitting snugly against your clitoris. I found you still need either body friction or a hand down there to keep it from actually providing any kind of stimulation. User experience may vary, but I was disappointed.

      If you are looking for couples/individual toys, Lelo is running a Valentine’s Day special (25% most models, I think?) and I’ve always been happy with their products!

  58. Emme says...

    This post is making me think about the first gift I ever gave my boyfriend of five years now. I think it was a trip. Last night I asked him what his favorite gift was that I’ve given him. His answer: cashmere sweater. Of course! Wins every time. I think it’s because a lot of guys don’t think to splurge on a cashmere sweater for themselves (even though the one I bought was $80 on sale from club Monaco). I say to get your valentine whatever they wouldn’t spend on themselves :)

  59. Joaquina says...

    No salami for anyone you care about. Plenty of research shows that cured meats lead to higher chance of colorectal cancer.
    Instead gift plant-based foods to show your love!

    • Veronica says...

      I’m getting my mom Rancho Gordo beans for Vday :)

  60. Magdalena Barry says...

    linking $65 fern that you can get for about $5 in Home Depot made me roll my eyes.
    I like your blog, but seriously?

  61. sara says...

    I’ve purchased my boyfriend of four months a bidet.

    • Sasha L says...

      I am speechless.

      Also jealous. I would love one.

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Bold move!

    • Amy says...

      Oh, I’d definitely take a bidet for Valentine’s Day. And/or a squatty potty. Maybe not as cute as heart-shaped chocolate, but what a daily upgrade!

    • Amanda says...

      I got my husband a squatty potty a few years back for his birthday. A B-Day Bidet ;) might be in his future. Can you link to which one you bought?

  62. Em says...

    Love this!! Any recommendations for “1 year in, want to have the conversation about moving in together, and I love you to bits” gifts would be much appreciated!

    • Katie says...

      May I suggest a cute keychain as a gift?! (you know, to put your keys on!) Nothing like the present to have the conversations with those we love.

    • Emme says...

      Donut, coffee and newspaper in a ribbon taken to the park so you can have a relaxed and romantic valentine’s morning together. Or if all of that isn’t a simple thing to execute for whatever reason, how about a bottle of tequila and a copy of your housekey with a bow on it taped to the bottle so you can each take a shot and have that conversation. :D

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love that!!!!!

    • Em says...

      These are both such thoughtful (and hilarious) ideas! Thank you so much :) I’ll report back which one I go with, ha!

  63. amy says...

    great post! I am the first type, newly dating, and I am making him a spotify playlist, like a modern version of a cassette mixed tape.

    • alison says...

      I always try to customize the little playlist artwork by uploading something special instead of the default collage of album covers it generates – reminds me of making custom liner notes!

    • I am making a Spotify playlist too, but for my husband of 3.5 years! I’ve been making him playlists since we were in college and dating. I used to love making “secret message mix CDs” where the first letter of each song spelled out a secret message. The best one had a secret message of “Go ahead and kiss me”- to which he very gladly took my suggestion. Just an idea if you want to make your playlist even more special! :)

    • liz says...

      I still make mixed tapes as gifts but burn them onto cds! Sad this is getting harder and harder to give since now many cars and laptops don’t come with cd players anymore. :(

    • Erin says...

      @Zoe the secret message mix tape is such a great idea! Totally going to do that!