The day is almost upon us. No, not Super Bowl Sunday… worse. The day every man dreads for 364 days out of every year—Valentine’s Day. Maybe you hate the holiday on principle, loathing any day so capitalistically contrived to take advantage of one person’s love for another. Maybe you’re single and ready to mingle, and Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder of the distinct lack of mingling going on in your love life. Or maybe you hate Valentine’s Day for the reason all men in relationships do—because it’s already February 10 and you still don’t know what to get. If you’re in the third category, you’re in luck, because The Bachelor is here to help with the best last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts for that special someone.
Let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room: roses. The temptation not to buy roses is strong. They’re marked up 300% compared to every other time of the year, but there’s just about no other option. Corporate America has us right under its thumb. Out of all the cliche Valentine’s gifts, this is one where you may just have to bite the bullet and write a blank check to your local flower shop.
That being said, I strongly urge you to avoid other over-done, classic, emotionless V-Day gifts like discount chocolate, half of which is nearly inedible, and generic stuffed animals that will spend the rest of their days in the back corner of your girlfriend’s walk-in closet.
If you’re looking for something practical, it’s hard to go wrong with cosmetics. Lotion, body scrubs and face masks will all be a hit with your lady, regardless of brand. Just make sure it smells good, and don’t buy the cheapest one they have.
On the more sentimental side, a thoughtful piece of jewelry can give your partner something to wear while thinking of you. No need to break the bank with a diamond necklace—a cute pair of earrings or a bracelet with her initial on it will do the trick.
Finally, if you’ve got a great photo of the two of you taken at your Fraternity’s formal, consider getting a nice frame for it or getting it printed on canvas. Walmart does quality same-day prints for a reasonable price.
I pity the person who opens up a gift box on February 14 to find that someone loves them enough to… write a bunch of “free back rub” coupons in Sharpie. If you want your significant other to know you put zero thought into their gift, get them a coupon book.
If you are feeling creative, though, consider other DIY options like baking cookies or another one of their favorite sweet treats. For an extra touch, get a cute box or tray and wrap it up with a ribbon.
If you’ve waited long enough that you can’t get a reservation at any restaurant, try cooking a meal yourself. Light a couple candles, dim the lights and serve your best Oysters and Red Wine. I also love this option, because it’s something the two of you could do together.
For the artistically inclined, a really romantic move is to write a song or paint a picture that reminds you of your loving commitment to one another. It doesn’t have to be great, as long as it comes from the heart.
Unless you’re a middle schooler on your first date, don’t take your sweetheart to a movie for Valentine’s Day, and especially not “Magic Mike’s Last Dance.”
Going out and doing something together is a great way to spend a romantic evening, however. The classic date night option, of course, is dinner for two at an upscale restaurant. If you can find somewhere with an open table, get fancied up and take your Valentine out.
If you need a little boost to get you through to spring break, treat yourself and your better half to a spa day or couples massage.
And for those readers with a horizontal driver’s license and a refined palate, consider a trip to a local vineyard or brewery and sip, relax and enjoy one another’s company.
There are other activities you can enjoy with your partner, but I’ll leave it at just those three.
The bottom line is: always get whatever your partner wants. If they tell you to treat them to a trip to see “80 for Brady” followed by a free back rub coupon and a dessert of crappy chocolates, that’s exactly what you should do. But if you really want to impress your Valentine, consider these tips. No one even has to know you didn’t start planning until February 10.