Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Survey the District: A Valentine's Dilemma

Dear Date the District,

My boyfriend and I became official very recently (as in, a few days ago). Shortly after, he said how he was going to have to do something really really nice for me for Valentine's Day because I'm his girlfriend, at which point I said that we should just do something fun together. He then
said he still had to get me something, at which point I said maybe something very very little.

That is cute of him BUT I obviously have to reciprocate to some degree but don't even know where to start...

Is there anyone out there who actually enjoys Valentine’s Day?

All the single ladies spend the night eating their feelings, and all the couples feel so much pressure to make the night “really special.”

It’s sweet that your boyfriend wants to do something nice for you. But it sounds like you’re not ready to exchange gifts (and if you’ve only been official for a few days, we don’t blame you).

It’s hard to pick out a present for a boyfriend, and it’s even harder when you’re still trying to get to know each other.

Why not suggest going out instead? Say something like, “Look, I know we were talking about Valentine’s Day last week, and I think it’d be fun if we went out to dinner, but I don’t want anything.”

If he wants to get you flowers, it’s a nice gesture that definitely doesn’t require reciprocation. Every guy knows to get a girl roses for Valentine’s Day, but they don’t expect to receive anything in return.

If you’re really uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a gift without giving one, make him some baked goods ahead of time and wrap them in a nice box. Tell him to pick you up at your place on Valentine’s Day. If he shows up with roses, give him the cookies. If he’s empty-handed, save them for your roommate.

If he pulls out a gift after dinner, wait to open it and see what it is. If it’s big enough that you feel like you have to give him something in return, say, “I was going to wait to tell you this, but I found you the perfect gift online, and it’s not here yet.” Guys can be pretty oblivious when it comes to stuff like this, and even if he does see through it, he probably won’t remember and/or care.

If you do end up having to rush home and splurge on overnight delivery, don’t worry about making sure the price tag matches what he gave you.

Exchanging gifts with an S.O. comes with a certain amount of expectations, one of which is that the guy will probably end up making the bigger dent in his wallet.

Try to find something that fits his personality, but keep it pretty neutral/impersonal. Think Brookstone, Borders, etc. If you’re really stuck, pick up a copy of GQ—they always have great gift and gadget guides, though their suggestions are rarely budget-friendly.

But try not to worry too much. Guys know that Valentine’s Day is about girls, not guys. And as much as you might love a box of expensive chocolates, he probably can’t tell the difference between Pierre Hermé and Hershey.


  1. I think it's proper for the guy to give the girl at least SOMETHING for Valentine's Day. It's tradition. But if he's paying for dinner, with times being tough, I wouldn't blame him for not splurging on a gift. However, spending time baking him cookies only to not give them to him in the end will end up as nothing but a disappointment. My advice, ladies? Don't buy anything, and thank him for dinner.

  2. What better way to say thank you than a blow job? Am I right?

  3. me and my *official* bf are going to eat our feelings with another couple and a few friends - it's chinese new year! this is the way to get around this stupid holiday.

  4. Cupid; This bastard creation of a barbarous fancy was no doubt inflicted upon mythology for the sins of its deities. Of all unbeautiful and inappropriate conceptions this is the most reasonless and offensive. The notion of symbolizing sexual love by a semisexless babe, and comparing the pains of passion to the wounds of an arrow -- of introducing this pudgy homunculus into art grossly to materialize the subtle spirit and suggestion of the work -- this is eminently worthy of the age that, giving it birth, laid it on the doorstep of prosperity.
    -Ambrose Bierce