What to get my boyfriend for V-Day?
February 10, 2010 4:41 PM   Subscribe

What to get my boyfriend for V-Day?

I'm a guy. Valentine's Day is just a few days away, and I'm still at a loss as to what (if anything!) I should get my boyfriend, whom I have been dating for just over a year, and have a fairly serious relationship with. This thread is useful, but I'd like to ask for more specific advice, if I could.

Here are the specifics. We are both in our mid-20s, and fairly similar in our demeanors: calm, somewhat introverted, logical, with occasional strong feelings or emotions (especially for each other) that neither of us are always great at expressing articulately. We don't have binary gender roles in our relationship, exactly, but I would say that I am more the "guy," whatever that means - I make more of the decisions, am more dominant, etc. At the same time, he is quite masculine, and doesn't seem to much care for things like flowers, chocolate, etc. We did not celebrate Valentine's Day last year because it was very soon after we started dating - both of us just sort of let it go, and neither of us was bothered by that. We haven't really discussed Valentine's Day this year either, except my mentioning it briefly in passing, with my boyfriend responding that it struck him as curious that it was the one day of the year where couples are expected to be "extra" in love with each other.

I'd like to do *something* for him this year. The problem is just I'm not sure what that something might be. As noted above, although my boyfriend is not necessarily the most butch guy I've ever met, he is also not really the kind to really appreciate chocolate, flowers, and similar typical V-Day fare. I'd very much like the idea of giving him something that he would have for a while, since it's our first official V-Day together. Ordinarily, some piece of jewelry, a bracelet, a necklace, etc. would be the perfect thing - but he doesn't wear anything of the sort, and I can't think of a suitable alternative. Similarly, again because it's our first V-Day together, I am a little reluctant just to give him some regular gift that I might give him for his birthday, for Christmas, etc. - I'd like to be a little more romantic than that.

So...to sum it up, I guess: I'd love to try to find something that's simultaneously romantic, permanent, and not the usual Valentine's Day stereotypical gift. I've been wracking my brain for a while and have come up with nothing, so any and all suggestions would be truly welcome!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you think of anything reminiscent of your earliest dating period? Maybe go back to the first restaurant you both went to, rent the movie that you saw, or buy a silly little gift that's somehow tangentially related? ("I bought you this miniature stuffed gorilla because I remember you talked about gorillas over dinner.")
posted by ErikaB at 4:50 PM on February 10, 2010

Have you considered a nice watch, maybe engraved with something personal?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:57 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Depending on what he likes, and how much you want to spend, how about a leather jacket or work bag, or a very nice hardcover book by a favourite author of his?
posted by sueinnyc at 4:59 PM on February 10, 2010

You can get very nice leather journals for relatively few dollars (especially compared to what you would spend on a watch). I'm keeping a journal marked with entries for each date of the year and briefly logging significant events like "2009: met cousin for the first time since I was 4!" That would make it fairly permanent while not being something he would wear.
posted by tantivy at 5:05 PM on February 10, 2010

Maybe an aftershave that you find particularly alluring - from an established brand that isn't likely to fold soon. (YSL, Chanel, Davidoff etc.)

Of course the actual bottle you buy on Saturday won't be permanent, but if he also likes the fragrance then perhaps you can include a bottle in every set of gifts for Christmas/birthday/valentine. Over time even a whiff of that fragrance will become synonymous to him for you.
posted by selton at 5:06 PM on February 10, 2010

I hit post too soon there; you could also get a money clip engraved, as suggested in another recent question. Permanent and useful, and can be similar in tone to giving a watch or a bracelet.
posted by tantivy at 5:08 PM on February 10, 2010

belt/wallet/money clip/cufflinks
saucy boxers/briefs - something pricier than he'd buy for himself, but still useful
argyle wool socks from sockdreams (a little late, but you could get him a card with a picture of the socks, or tuck away this suggestion for december)
frame a snapshot that really shows off your love
hardcover book with a handwritten note in the front cover
posted by nadawi at 5:12 PM on February 10, 2010

One of my bestand most romantic gifts ever for my husband was to take him to a local (wonderful) hotel that has a spa that offers massages -- I had already bought him one of those, and when he emerged, very happy and relaxed, I took him to a dinner reservation at the hotel restaurant.
posted by bearwife at 5:13 PM on February 10, 2010

You don't mention whether he's really into this in your post, but what about great music? Is there anything that he (or you and he) have always wanted to get more into/learn more about/go see? Something that is meaningful in whatever way to him and/or your relationship? Depending on the money situation, this could also have the advantage of being relatively inexpensive and highly meaningful at the same time.
posted by lucky25 at 5:32 PM on February 10, 2010

You didn't say in your post, but are you living together, or do you feel comfortable giving him keys to your place? If you are, you could get an engraved keychain for him, with a short meaningful phrase, or maybe just both of your initials. If he doesn't already have keys, that's a pretty big romantic type of gesture, but if he already lives with you, you'd want to couple it with a nice occasion/experience gift.
posted by Mizu at 6:48 PM on February 10, 2010

Awesome food gifts are always appropriate. Zingerman's! Ta-da! There's something for the foofiest fellow to the manliest of men. Bacon of the Month Club, anyone?

You could put a wonderful picnic basket together, or something promising a wonderful dinner.

Also, I like to give bottles of wine for wedding presents (usually in conjunction with other stuff). If he drinks wine, it's a neat choice, because you can either drink it now or let it mellow and open it on a special occasion: your anniversary, a holiday, celebrating your commitment/marriage, or just a rainy day.

Tickets, or some other experience you can share together, would also be great.
posted by Madamina at 7:38 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

My GF and I celebrated last weekend because I am out of town this weekend. She had an awesome gift for me:

She set up a scavenger hunt throughout her house with funny clues written on little kid valentines cards. At each location was a different item that was to be used that evening for a special dinner. I picked up marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, hot dogs, hot dog buns, and a gift. We were supposed to have a mini-BBQ outside over the fire pit, but due to the rains in Los Angeles, we ended up cooking the food normally and making the S'Mores over the fireplace. We sat on the floor, drank wine and had an awesome time.

The gift was a set of cool shaving things from "The Art of Shaving" (including my first Badger Bristle Brush!). The gift was great . . . but the method of giving it to me, along with dinner, was awesome!
posted by BadgerKyle at 7:54 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ordinarily, some piece of jewelry, a bracelet, a necklace, etc. would be the perfect thing - but he doesn't wear anything of the sort, and I can't think of a suitable alternative

Does he ever wear ties? Even if not on a daily basis, it's always good to have a spiffy tie that doesn't suck! If arty design stuff is not his style, you could just get a fancy silk tie. But I highly recommend the Cyberoptix shop, which allows you to color-customize (I went monotone for a less flashy guy) and ships fairly quickly (I think I waited 4 days.)

Here is her etsy shop, which showcases the older, less expensive designs ($30-$40).

In lieu of that, a fun scavanger hunt of consumables (like BadgerKyle's idea, which sounds awesome) would be really fun and less about the "hallmark says to love you extra hard today here's a gift" aspect.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 10:00 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

it was the one day of the year where couples are expected to be "extra" in love with each other

Take him out to a nice restaurant on Feb 13 saying that in your relationship each day feels like Valentine's Day.
posted by eau79 at 11:00 PM on February 10, 2010

I think you should get your boyfriend a watch. engrave it though.
posted by parmanparman at 11:23 PM on February 10, 2010

First Valentine's Day? Definitely underwear.
posted by FreezBoy at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2010


How about something fun and different, like his and his Nintendo DS's so you can play head to head on Mario Kart at the coffee shop, exchange saucy Pict-o-chats on the bus, etc.? Or maybe a Chumby?

My other gift idea technique with my wife is to pay attention to the little things, the intimate niceties that make her day but almost go unnoticed. A year's supply of the gum she chews, or the tea she drinks, or a slightly nicer and more comfy variety of her typical socks. Or sometimes I notice an annoyance, like how my wife is always frustrated trying to find scissors or pens when she needs them, then I will buy a bunch and stash them around the house with little bows on them -- "For You Only."
posted by cross_impact at 10:56 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

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