Don't know what to get your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Wondering if you need to buy something if you've only been out on two or three dates? The wrong gift or skipping the holiday altogether can wreck a new relationship before it's even started. Here are some expert tips to avoid a gift-giving blunder.
It's a holiday that's all heart, but Valentine’s Day can be tricky even for the most love-struck couple when a gift misses the mark.
“If somebody's reading that person well, then they'll really have a good sense of what to do,” said dating and relationship coach Toni Coleman. “And if they're not, and the relationship is really new, we tell folks it's better to err on the side of doing a little bit less, than doing too much.”
Coleman says if your relationship is brand new, still mark the day with something small, but don't go overboard. Save the jewelry for when things are serious.
“Just a little acknowledgement that I'm thinking of you today,” she said. “If the person does too much and makes too big a deal of it, it could perhaps send the wrong message.”
In those earliest stages she recommends a card, an e-card, a single rose, or a bottle of wine. Three-to-six months in and starting to get exclusive, a nice dinner, flowers or a shared experience like a day trip. Something meaningful, without breaking the bank.
For married and long-term couples, it’s actually more important to step out of the day-to-day to do something special, preferably without the kids.
“Valentine's Day is the opportunity to kind of put some special thought into us as a couple,” Coleman said. “Not us as mom and dad, but us as a couple.”
A good general rule for any stage of a relationship: on Valentine’s Day, give, and never forget.