Whether you love Valentine’s Day and all its overpriced tasting menu glory or simply think of it as another hurdle to overcome until Cadbury Creme Eggs roll out at Duane Reade in March—guess what—come February 14th, your girlfriend is going to expect a neatly-wrapped gift. Even if she says it’s a Hallmark holiday… even if you’ve been together for five years… she’s still expecting something. Thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, your lady love is going to be inundated with images of sparkly diamonds and flower bouquets, and that bottle of two-buck Chuck and a card of a sleepy puppy just won’t cut it. Before we reveal the gifts that every girl is secretly hoping for (check back tomorrow), here are the five Valentine’s Day gifts that you should avoid at all costs. Unless of course, you’re trying to end your relationship and are too cowardly to be upfront about it. In that case, buy one of each. You’re welcome.
Spoiler alert: the style of dresses that men prefer and the style of dresses that actually look good on (most) women differs as much as Los Angeles and New York City. Sure, bandage numbers are hot, but guess what, they look good on approximately 0.02 percent of the population. And then there’s the whole matter of sizing.
“You bought me a size 2? Are you saying you want me to be a size 2?”
“Why in God’s name did you think I’d need an XXL?”
There are plenty of reasons to argue in relationships. Don’t let clothing be one of them. If you really, really want to buy her something for her closet, opt for shoes. Shoes are always safe! And if they don’t fit, trust us, she won’t cry.
It doesn’t matter if she lives and breathes yoga or made it her New Year’s resolution to run a full marathon, do not buy your girlfriend anything that has to do with working out. Even if your intentions are good, it will only make her think that you want her to lose weight. And nothing puts the kibosh on sexytime like body insecurity.
A NEW TELEVISION
“Well, honey I know how much you enjoy watching ‘The Bachelor’ so I bought you this 65-inch high-definition television.” Yeah… no. Even though it may make sense logically—especially if the two of you live together—to buy a big ticket item that you’ll both enjoy for years to come, Valentine’s Day is not a holiday rooted in logic. This is a day where we, as a nation, embrace notions of diaper-clad babies flying through the air shooting hearts with bows and arrows. Save the high-tech gadgets for Christmas.
Oh, so you like missionary position and generic gifts, do ya? Then BY ALL MEANS pick up a bouquet of red roses and a pre-written card and call it a day. Why not just add a sprinkling of baby’s breath?! Red roses are the kiss of death in any romantic relationship. Some may argue that they are classic. But let’s be honest: they are boring, cliché, and devoid of any originality. Red roses are what you buy for your mistress, not your future wife. If you really want to go with flowers, go with an assortment, or better yet, buy a potted orchid.
Maybe you’ve been together for ages? Maybe she dislikes or finds a way to accidentally misplace whatever charm bracelet or yin-yang necklace you’ve gotten her in the past? Don’t give her a gift card—or worse—cash. She is not driving your child’s school bus or delivering your takeout. Gift cards scream impersonal, and make you seem like an uncaring d-bag who can’t even be bothered to make a modicum of effort. Buy something tangible, even if it isn’t perfect.