Guest post by Debbie Anderson.
Just so you know, I'm a woman and I've been around the Valentine's Day block a time or two. I've received the roses and the chocolates and the cards and the dinners out and the whole shebang. As a result, I've come away from the Valentine's Day rush knowing a thing or two about what I like to receive and from who.
In the spirit of helping a guy out, I'm here to give a few ideas on the types of gifts women really want to get for Valentine's Day. Plus, I'm going to help you avoid being “that guy” who rushes out at the last minute to buy roses and a Hallmark card. Don't do that. (Please.)
I've divided the gift giving into a few key sections according to how long you've been with the woman you're dating/married to now:
If you've been dating a month or less
There's a lot of expectation here, but let's face it: you haven't been together long. Unless she's the “one,” don't freak her out by going too crazy with the holiday. She doesn't need (and shouldn't expect if she's any kind of lady) jewelry or anything expensive. Your best bet (and I speak from experience) is to make her dinner at your place and gift her with a simple bouquet of flowers YOU selected. This level of effort and thought is huge, trust me, and it's better than the generic dozen roses.
Stuck on what to make for dinner? Keep it simple and semi-non-screwupable. Try marinated salmon with rice, roasted asparagus and a Greek salad. If she's a vegetarian, make a vegetable risotto. The trump card? Serve a wine you picked for the occasion with chocolate truffles for dessert. The fact that you paid attention to detail is a major turn-on.
If you've been dating six months or more
This is when you know her better. Choose a few things that are all about her. If she likes to read, get a book in a genre you know she loves. If she likes music, choose two concert tickets to a show you know she wants to see. If she's a girly girl, get her a simple, but beautiful accessory like a sweet bracelet. Or get her all three. You're not going to get away with just giving her a book or a simple accessory, but if your gift(s) show/s you know her (really know her), she will swoon, I guarantee it.
If she's the mother of your children
Dinner. Definitely dinner. Whether you make it or take her out. And also, a special something that honors the children you have together and that she, you know, actually gave birth to them while you paced the hospital. A “mother's” necklace or bracelet is a beautiful choice. Something like this:
If you've been together forever
A spa day. Definitely a spa day. Trust me, she has a favorite spa. If you don't know what it is, ask her pals and they'll tell you. A day pass at her favorite relaxation place is a wondrous gift. As for the personal touch, here's an idea: buy a journal, date the first page and write on that page all the reasons you're glad you're still together. Then tell her that you will write in that journal every year on Valentine's Day the reasons you still love her.
You'll thank me for that idea. (And so will she.)
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be a major stress. Just think like a woman and you'll be fine (probably).