Valentine's Day gift ideas for every level of commitment

Some perfectly appropriate ways to say I (might) love you/don't say I never get you anything.

Some perfectly appropriate ways to say I (might) love you/don't say I never get you anything

(Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to Statistics Canada there are about 15.7 million people living together as couples in our country, 1.9 million people in non-cohabitational coupledom and about 11.8 million singles. That makes finding "the perfect Valentine's Day gift" a bit of a tough gig. The holiday itself was created first by the marketing team for Christianity and upheld by every other marketing team of the past two millennia making bank off it to this very day. Warms the heart.

Still, if that heart has any sort of feelings for anyone, it's tough to ignore a day designated for expressing romantic love. Whether it's out of a sense of obligation to a partner, a nagging desire to finally make an "I like you" hint, or a need to celebrate an all-encompassing passion, many of us are going to need to get a gift ASAP.

And so, here are some ideas for every degree of commitment and varying levels of willingness to express one's feelings...

We just matched on Bumble, messaging is going well

Mazel tov. Cherish this flirty, low pressure time. But recognize that you're laying the groundwork for what might end up becoming a long term relationship, and if you would like to receive Valentine's Day gifts during that relationship, you must establish right now that you are a Vday celebrator. Send a flirty meme or GIF. Something smart and funny that also says "one day we could be in love".

We like the selection from @drakeoncake on insta.

Of course, if it's anti-Valentines you're looking for, you need our digital Vday card collab with the artist Hatecopy.

I have loved you for so long and you don't even know and I need to give you a sign

Oh, boy. Been there. We're not ones to stand in the way of epic love declarations but we would caution you to temper expectations and consider the loaded nature of the day. We suggest sharing something that encourages your beloved to consider you romantically without fully putting him or her on the spot. Text a cool romantic song in the morning with an "HVD".

Choose wisely though. "When a Man Loves a Woman" is not the right tone. "What is Love" might be a little too tongue-in-cheek. But something like "Down" by Marian Hill might work. If they are down, it's a good flirty opener to the day. If they aren't, they'll be like, "Haha cool song" and you'll be like "Lol, have a good one". Then get on Bumble and move on.

And if that just won't cut it this year - after all, the recent total lunar eclipse and partial solar eclipse coming up on February 15th are shaking things up - go classic with a real live Valentine's Day card. Maybe even make it a cutout from a package like back in the day. And may Cupid's arrow be with you.

15 Vintage Valentines, Amazon.ca, $10.99

"The Office Jim and Pam Valentine's Day Card", "Frank Ocean Card" and "I Hate Everyone But You Card", Marg Warg on Etsy, $6.52 - $7.17

We're in the throes of new love but I don't want to seem too eager

Understood. This is a strategic Valentine's Day. You want to make your partner feel special but you don't want to completely throw off the power balance in a fledgling relationship. Show them how effortless your good taste is with this Simpson's throwback lapel pin. If they don't get the reference, maybe end it?

I Choo Choo Choose You pin, by Patti Lapel, $10

We have recently started saying "I love you" and are in the magic hour of our relationship

It's not about what things cost right now, it's about indulging in the sappiness of your love. So, do just that with books of Canadian poetry by Rupi Kaur, Atticus and Leonard Cohen. But do stay inside to read them, dears, not everyone needs to see how disgustingly happy you are.

Or ponder your place in space, time and the universe together with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astropyhsics for People in a Hurry, and a cheesy but sweet (like you right now) moon and stars projector.

Astrophysics For People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson, Amazon.ca

Star Moon & Cosmos Projector night light, Amazon.ca, $24.99

We have been dating for just over a year and the gifts are getting bigger and bigger, ugh

This is a crucial point in your partnership. If you continue to one-up each other with lavish gifts, you'll soon be buying new phones and renting skyboxes for St. Patrick's Day. Why not steer the course towards moderation with a meaningful experience in which you can both enjoy each other's company? Instead of buying expensive tickets to a sports game, plan dinner and drinks at a sports bar while the game is on and buy each other team shirts that you can wear all season like adorable nerds.

Or, buy something that costs a bit more but has really good cost-per-use value, like a like a Nintendo Switch gaming console which is so great for hiding out from the winter weather and playing together on the big screen — or using on-the-go (like when you have to go spend the weekend at someone's parents'). Pro tip: say you bought it "for us" and not "for you". You'll get just as much gratitude and if, heavens forbid, you break up, well... you bought it.

(Seth Rogen and Josh Hutcherson at Comic-Con International 2017, Getty Images)

Nintendo Switch Console, Best Buy, $399.99

We've been together for over a decade now, when is Valentine's Day even?

Not because it's Valentine's Day but more because you may need this pause from the everyday as a couple (and as individuals) - drop everything and spend a day in bed. Alone. No phones! Mark the invitation to your partner with a quality gift that reflects the longevity of your commitment to each other and lets him or her know that you are serious about the the bed thing. We suggest something like this iconic Canadian blanket for you to crawl under this year and many more to come. And pizza, and champagne, and movies, but most of all… time.

Hudson's Bay Company Iconic Point Blanket Multistripe, $450.00 (Queen size)

I'll just buy/him her a thingamajig like I always do

You've already done it all together. Also, you both love wine. So, stop wasting your money on department store gifts that won't get worn or will stay in the box because the setup is too complicated and BUY MORE WINE. Like, a year's worth of wine from one of the cooler wine-of-the-month clubs. It's not cliché. Wine is great. Also, you'll drink the wine together and then maybe… you know. 

The Charlie's Burger's Wine Program, $117 per month.


Jamey Ordolis is a senior producer at CBC Life and a digital lifestyle contributor for CBC Radio. Follow her on Instagram @jameyordolis.


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