pair of cupped hands in red mittens holding heart-shaped snowball against a white and blue background
remember, it’s the thought that counts.

Valentine’s Day is coming!

OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO GET YOUR BOYFRIEND? I’m, like, having an empathetic panic attack for you right now.

If you and your significant other have been together for a rather brief amount of time, having to decide what to give him for Valentine’s Day can be difficult. You don’t want to give him something that seems too serious or sentimental (unless he is a guy who like sentimental things, in which case, good for you, you’ve got a whole ‘nother set of options), but you don’t want to make it look like you blew off the holiday without putting any thought into your gift.

Here are a few suggestions to help you kick off your Valentine’s Day shopping:

If you’re at a point in the relationship where Valentine’s Day is going to be celebrated, you should know your boyfriend’s drink of choice. If you don’t know the particular brand, consult one of his friends. He should be happy if you give him a bottle of his favorite beverage. Maybe throw in a couple rocks glasses, or these wonderful Sipping Stones that will keep a drink cold for hours without watering it down. Because watered-down drinks are not good.

Shaving and/or grooming supplies
If your guy is always rocking the clean-shaven look, you may want to get him a nice shaving set, complete with a brush and shaving soap. This will enable him to shave old-fashioned style, like Don Draper. (I favor the Napa Soap gift set, but only because that is the only one I have ever owned.) A subscription to Harry’s Razors would also be equal parts nice and useful.

A video games
If your guy is a gamer, he will forever worship you if you purchase for him a title that he has been coveting. Bonus points for pre-ordering a game that comes out months from now. He’ll be touched that you remembered his excitable anticipation of this game, especially because if you don’t like gaming yourself, you’re reinforcing the (healthy) idea that it’s okay for the two of you to have different interests. Kick it up a notch by telling him you do not want to see him on the weekend after the game comes out — that he can have his space to not put pants on and conquer demons and/or online competitors.

I can tell you that one of the most daunting things for men in a newly-minted relationship (at least, for this specific man) is trying to figure out a way they can fart and poop without completely disgusting the significant other. At times, the gastrointestinal distress and discipline can be damn near crippling. If you hook him up with some Poo-Pourri, a magical product you spray into the toilet before dropping a deuce, his fears will be somewhat alleviated (and so will yours). He can go into your restroom, or his bathroom, spray that stuff, and worry no more about smells. You can keep it at both yours and his place, too, so that both of you can keep your bathroom activities mysterious. This is also a rather humorous way to breach the inevitable gastrointestinal conversation. If you’re going to be together for the long haul, you’re going to have to start passing gas in front of each other, lest one or both of you explode.

A hand-written list of things that do not and will not bother you
Early in a relationship, it is customary to tread lightly at almost all times. After a brief period of intimacy and time spent in each other’s company, you should be able to discern some of the things that make your significant other uncomfortable. By providing him with a list of things that do not bother you, you will make him feel more comfortable around you.

Flannel shirts
There shouldn’t be a guy in the world who does not appreciate the flannel shirt. They’re comfortable, warm during the winter months, and, for whatever reason, seem slightly manly. This is probably attributable mostly to Al Borland and the Brawny paper towels guy.

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Heart Box
This is a thing that exists. A package of beef jerky that comes inside a heart-shaped box that is bordered by Sasquatch hair. It’s a vaguely humorous and protein-packed alternative to chocolate.  

Event tickets
Many guys tend to enjoy sports. If your boyfriend does, get him some tickets to a basketball or hockey game. If he’s not so into sports, get him tickets to a show or concert he’s been meaning to see. If you don’t want to go watch hockey or The Strokes, make sure you tell him so, because he might feel obligated to take you with him. Which makes it important to ensure that you’re giving him a gift to an event he would like to attend, not one that you’re going to like more than him.

One final note: don’t let yourself stress out about this. Guys are easy. We appreciate anything you give us, whether it’s pragmatic, romantic, or both.

Written by: Scott Muska

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