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Valentine's Day Gift Guide

My Valentine's Day gift guide is based on how far you are in your relationship. In the beginning, you get the more cliché gifts. As the relationship progresses, your gifts signify more commitment. Finally, the third level is reserved for those couples who are firmly entrenched in serious relationships.

Think of gifts like spices. If you're unsure of how much you need to put in whatever you're cooking, do it in small increments-you can always add more if it doesn't taste right. On the other hand, if you put too much in, there's no going back. So, don't go spending too much if you're not sure how much to spend. People appreciate any gift-and the big ones should be saved for when the time is right.

At the early stages of a relationship, it's better to be safe than sorry. You are just getting to know one another, and you really don't want to rock the boat. This is where most of the cliché' Valentine's Day gifts come in along with minor event dates:

  • Chocolates/Candy
  • Flowers
  • Teddy Bear
  • Taking someone out to dinner or making them dinner
  • Tickets to sporting events or shows

    ...and so on.

    As the relationship progresses, the gifts-of course-will get more serious. And more serious gifts can mean commitment.

    Once a guy starts buying jewelry for a woman it means he's at least starting to get serious. Perhaps this is because it is a piece of jewelry, the wedding ring, that symbolizes ultimate commitment.

    If someone gives a trip as a gift, it is pretty serious, especially if this trip requires you boarding a plane. Trips mean time and money investment, along with the agreement that you will be spending a lot of time together in an unfamiliar place. Going away with someone is a bigger statement than we think.

    If someone gives a high maintenance pet (not fish) like a puppy, it is pretty serious. It's saying: "we will raise this puppy together," and sometimes people just buy dogs as practice for eventually raising kids. I know couples that seem to have stayed together for the sake of dogs in the household.

    The third level of gifts is the most polarizing. You better be right about being in with your significant other if you're giving any of these kinds of gifts. I've always wondered when you cross that threshold of being able to give gifts that, in the beginning of a relationship, a woman might have gotten mad, but later on she accepts.

    Kitchen stuff is so useful. I love getting stuff for my kitchen, and I really enjoy cooking. My next girlfriend, hopefully, will buy me a new wok-I really need one. But when a guy gives a woman kitchen stuff sometimes she reads it the wrong way. She might think that a guy is trying to tell her that she will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen and that he does not intend on getting involved in the kitchen. Somewhere along the line, my dad was allowed to start giving kitchen stuff to my mom. She loves it now, but I wonder if she would have gotten mad at him in the beginning. In fact, my dad's not really allowed to fiddle around in the kitchen too long at all before my mom gets annoyed.

    Sexy Underwear says that a guy mightthink of you in sexual terms too often, or might not like any of the underwear you already own. I have never bought underwear for a girl because it seems like it could cause more problems than solutions. Furthermore, I don't even know how the sizes work, and it's never good to get the wrong size for her-that opens another can of worms. And let's face it: I'm not confident enough to buy a girl underwear.

    One time I almost bought a sex toy: a girl I was making out with and I talked about getting a vibrator together. I think I was too scared to do it, plus that little fling we were having crashed and burned. Sexy toys should be limited to people who are very familiar with one another. If a guy rolls in two weeks into the relationship with the OhMiBod, he will probably get in some trouble. Better to wait until you guys are comfortable and well into a committed relationship.

    What's the best and worst Valentine's gift you've given and/or received? Have you ever been offended by a guys poor choice for a gift? How do you feel about more "controversial" gifts like the ones outlined in tier three?

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