It’s that time of year again, fellas. No, we’re not talking about the Super Bowl. Valentine’s Day is creeping up, and chances are you’re still trying to figure out what to buy for your girlfriend. She hasn’t outright said what she wants, and unfortunately, you’re no mind reader. That’s why College Magazine asked college girls what gifts would make their V-day sweeter than a box of chocolates (unless it’s filled with those mystery-filling chocolates, no one likes those).
Good luck finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your girlfriend.
1. Box of Chocolates
I would suggest going with the classics, in the end. You remember Wanda from Fairly Odd Parents? She pretty much represents women everywhere as hardly anyone can resist good ol’ fashion chocolate. Except the real intimacy comes in here; you need to know exactly the kind of chocolate your girlfriend would want. Handpick the chocolates, and make sure she will love each bite.
2. Charm Candle
Yes, these exist. Two words to describe them? Treasure trove. The gift that keeps on giving. No, seriously. The wonderful thing about these fragrant candles happens when you actually light it. Everyone loves the soothing flame of a candle, so a gift in and of itself. As the candle melts away, it reveals little charms, gems and treasures that you pick out of the melted wax with a wand. Believe me; anyone would love one.
3. A Visit to Her Favorite Place
Does your girlfriend love a particular café? Diner? A movie theater? Dedicate a whole day to visiting her favorite places. Show her you pay attention when she talks about how much loves sitting by the fountain in that courtyard, or that she really loves the décor in that coffee shop. She will appreciate how much you know her even more than the visits.
4. Movie Night
Chick flick? Action flick? Doesn’t matter. If she loves it, if she rewatches it every day, then you should fit that into your schedule somewhere. Spend the night with a movie you know she always enjoys. Even if you hate it; in fact, especially if you hate it. Willing to sit through a movie that she knows you don’t like just because you know she likes it? I can’t think of anything more romantic.
5. A Day at Disneyland
On the off chance you carry a lot of savings or a relative works in the park and can get you free tickets, take her to Disneyland. No girl doesn’t love the Magic Kingdom. Imagine getting to walk through those colorful buildings with an ice-cream cone or a sandwich in hand. Taking pictures with the Disney princesses. Watching the fireworks at the palace at the end of the day. Seriously, if you can, take her to Disneyland.
6. Framed Collage
Okay, let’s say Disneyland feels too out of reach right now. Fine! You can always put something together yourself. Namely, a collage of you and your girlfriend in your favorite moments. Print some photos off your phone, start cutting and glue things together on a piece of project paper, then find the perfect frame for it. Nothing will mean so much to her as seeing the effort you put in to capture your best moments together.
7. Stuffed Animal
I don’t care what anyone says: everyone needs a stuffed animal. That means your girlfriend, too. What animal does she love most? What movie character? What pastry? These days, you can get stuffed animals for just about anything. Give her something to cuddle in your place when life pulls you away for too long. Or maybe something to just remind her of you. Did you know they make Doctor Who teddy bears now? Food for thought.
8. Engraved Bracelet
Ah. The trope that exists in every Hallmark movie. Yet, I bring it up here because I think it actually works. Seriously, what seems more emotional and thoughtful than an engraved bracelet? Write something meaningful on it; maybe her favorite line of poetry, her favorite movie line or even your nickname for her. Like I said, an oldie, but a goodie.
9. Painted Portrait
There exists plenty of artists all over Instagram that you can commission a portrait from. Go through Etsy, go through various websites, find an art style that you think looks nice and ask if they can paint you a portrait. Imagine her reaction when she opens up a professional painting of herself. No photos, no one wants a giant picture of nothing but themselves on their wall. But a fanciful portrait with beautifully done watercolors or acrylic? Yes, please.
10. Custom Blanket
This one really would win any girl’s heart. I don’t mean you should knit a blanket yourself, not if you don’t know how to knit at all. I mean you could always print out photos of you both on fabric and have a professional sew them onto a thin blanket. Maybe even buy separate thin blankets with your girlfriend’s favorite artists (maybe A Starry Night by Van Gogh or something), align them and tie them together by the tassels. Really, any show that you made this with her in mind would mean a ton to her.
11. Her Favorite Flowers
From You Flowers One Dozen Roses with Vase: $39.99
As obvious as this may be, girls love receiving flowers. There’s something old-fashioned and chivalrous about it. “I would actually love to receive flowers, tulips in particular. A boy has never given me flowers and that would really mean a lot to me,” said Kayla Marcus, junior at the University of Florida.
Heart Initial Necklace: $12.99
If you’ve already spent a few Valentine’s Days together, step it up and get her jewelry. It doesn’t have to be diamond earrings (unless you can afford it), but something meaningful enough. An engraved necklace or bracelet is a thoughtful gift she would love to show off.
13. A Visit From You
If you guys live in separate cities, nothing will make her happier than seeing you on this romantic holiday. “The best gift I could get would be to actually spend the day with my boyfriend. I wouldn’t complain if he came with chocolates, flowers, and that necklace I’ve been hinting at, though,” said Alexandra Perez, senior at Florida International University.
If you can’t make it, this gift will surely keep you in her heart
Vienrose Leather Photo Album: $23.99
14. Her Favorite Article of Clothing
Nike Women’s Flex Trainer 9 Sneaker: $60
When it comes to fashion, girls have a tendency to hoard one particular clothing or accessory in bulk. It could be shoes, scarves or bracelets. Whatever it may be, use your best judgment (a.k.a. ask one of her closest friends) and buy it for her. “For Valentine’s Day I would actually like a cute pair of sneakers, something comfy but cute,” said Katia Niebla, junior at Miami-Dade College.
15. Cook Her a Meal
Food is a way into anyone’s heart. Sure, you may be no Gordon Ramsay but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a recipe online and cook her a delicious meal. And so what if you burn the chicken or your pasta sauce sucks? It’s the thought that counts. Trust us, she’ll be grateful.
If she’s the cook, get her some new gear.
Umite Chef Kitchen Cooking Utensils Set: $28.04
16. Something you Can Make
More often than not, girls will choose this type of gift over something expensive. Make her a mix CD of her favorite songs, draw her a picture or write her a poem. Use your talents to make something meaningful for her. “What I want for Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be anything horribly expensive like jewelry etc. Just as long as the gift itself is thoughtful, that’s all that matters,” said Erin Willbanks, freshman at New World School of the Arts.
Nothing says thoughtful quite like this.
Letters to My Love: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever: $10.46
17. A Thoughtful Card
Ribbli 3D Pop Up Card: $11.99
This sounds simple, but it would mean a lot to your girlfriend. Find a card that suits your relationship. Lighten up the mood with a funny card or pour your heart out in a sentimental one. She’ll love the fact that you took the time to put your feelings into words.
18. A Not-so-Typical Date
Taking her to the same restaurant will get monotonous after a while. Be a little adventurous and surprise her with a date she’ll never see coming. “I would want a spontaneous date, not like the typical dinner and a movie. It would be nice to go to the drive-in or have some authentic ramen and then spend the rest of the night at the beach just hanging out,” said Maria Di Giammarco, sophomore at Miami-Dade College.
Need some inspiration? This might do the trick!
Couples Game with 120 Date and Question Cards: $29.90
19. Her Favorite Scent
Vera Wang Princess Eau de Toilette Spray for Women: $24.99
Ever wonder why your girlfriend always smells so good? It’s because she knows what scent she like and she knows you can’t get enough of it. Buy her candles or perfume with scents you know she’ll love. It’s gift you both will enjoy.
20. A Whole Lot of Sweets
Pillsbury Moist Premium Cake Mix: $11.99
It’s Valentine’s Day and girls want their chocolate. Instead of grabbing for that box of chocolates, bake her some homemade brownies. If baking isn’t your forte, buy her a bunch of her favorite candies and throw them together in a goodie-bag. If you’re lucky, she might share her candy (emphasizes on the might).
Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of pressure. Put thought into your presents and plans.
Written by Crystal Becerril, senior, English and journalism, Boston University
You know her favorite movie. You notice that she bites her lip slightly when she’s around new people. You remember what she was wearing the first time she glanced your way.
Let’s be honest.
If you know these things already, you probably don’t need advice in romance. With movies and song lyrics creating a delusion that every man is a suave, sensitive yet tough guy, it’s hard not to understand why it is intimidating to meet the expectations of an utterly romantic Valentine’s Day.
“Be practical and realistic,” said relationship expert Dr. Michelle Callahan in a CBS interview. Since couples might have differing opinions about what to expect on Valentine’s Day, Dr. Michelle said to talk about it ahead of time so that you can meet a compromise and optimize your chances at a successful, romantic day.
The overdone caricature of the knight in shining armor should be left for the Middle Ages and the middle-aged, but don’t leave the romance behind.
“Girls love flowers, but sometimes it’s not enough for the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day,” said Paul Davenport, a student at Emerson College. “Don’t give up on [Valentine’s Day] before it even comes,” he suggested. The attempt is extremely important, as assuming Valentine’s Day to be less-than-meaningful, may not be favorable in the long run.
Fear not; there are plenty of ways to make Valentine’s Day a day she remembers without going over the top or attempting a phony gesture that could push her away.
“My roommate’s ex-boyfriend gave her a children’s book called What You Are to Me. It was the last Valentine’s Day before they broke up and that pretty much pushed the relationship over the edge,” said Ally Betker, a student at Boston University. “It wasn’t a personal present, it didn’t reflect anything that had to do with her or the relationship and it was just super cheesy; like, seriously, a picture book? Gag.”
Just as romantic clichés should be avoided, so should presents designed for children. Girls don’t actually expect the perfect guy; they just want something that says you care.
“I think the ultimate romantic gesture is not trying to be romantic, but rather being thoughtful,” said Meghan Kavanaugh, a student at Boston University. That isn’t to say that a night out to dinner or even a box of chocolates is an unconditional no-no, but the focus, she said, should remain on the idea behind the gift or date.
“One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories was just walking along the Long Wharf with my boyfriend at the time,” she recalled. “It was a meaningful place for us so we just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.”
Kavanaugh’s date proved a basic rule: Simplicity is key. Overthinking a gift can often send the wrong message or shoot too far past the line between a phony fairytale and a genuinely romantic day.
10 More Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Girlfriend Actually Wants
Written by Kaylah Vo
Hmm… smell that? The warm, cozy smell of love in the air or maybe overpriced chocolate. Either way, the shortest month packed with hearts, bears and flowers welcomes you with anxiety around finding the most romantic, jaw dropping gift for your girlfriend. College Magazine, the best wing man around, prepared this list so you can enjoy a smooth sailing night with your significant other.
Read on to find the gift that will sweep your girlfriend off her feet.
21. Never Wilting Flowers
LEGO Iconic Rose: $42.97
A dozen roses and a box of chocolates, what more can a girl want? How about flowers that will never wilt away? Flowers that will always remind your significant other of Valentines 2022. Artificial flowers became popular with LEGO’s botanical collection. This year, start your date with building these gorgeous LEGO flowers. You can buy the roses to add to the original bouquet for some romantic flare. If LEGOs frustrate you, then try LovePop’s handcrafted paper flowers. Whether paper or plastic, surprise your girlfriend with these while reminding her of your eternal love.
Homesick Scented Candle, Love Letters: $34.00
Scents play such an important role in our lives. They take us back to specific moments with our loved ones. Pick a sweet smell to light throughout your date. When the night ends, you guys will associate that scent with your date night. To add a more personal touch, you can create your own candle. Yankee Candle offers an option that allows customers to design their own label with a personal message.
“I think the greatest and easiest gift to get me is candles. I love filling my room with a sweet scent and being reminded of the person that gave me it. Before leaving for Italy, my friend gave me a candle that reminds me of Ohio. I brought it with me to help with homesickness and it has been great,” The Ohio State University junior Maddie Coppel said.
Buying your own candle will let you plan a bigger date. On the other hand, creating your own makes for a perfect date night. Choose the best option for your budget. No matter what, your girlfriend will love you for it.
23. Silk Pillowcase
Bedsure Satin Pillowcase for Hair and Skin: $14.99
Silk pillowcases became the rage a couple years ago because of their ability to prevent frizzy hair while keeping your skin hydrated. Who wouldn’t love it? Give this gift to your partner for a luxurious sleeping experience that will keep her cool and dry. Silk pillowcases vary in price, but you will find one suitable for your budget. To add more to the spa-like experience, create a spa kit filled with face masks along with hair and bath products. Turn one simple gift into a night full of relaxation with your partner.
24. Embroidered Sweatshirt with Anniversary Date
Embroidered Anniversary Roman Date Hoodies: $46.00
Want a gift that will represent your relationship? Well, gift this cute sweatshirt for your girlfriend to keep her warm. Everyone loves comfort while sitting in a lecture or walking to class. You can also get matching ones to lounge around together. That way she won’t steal anymore of your hoodies. Pair the sweatshirt with a comfy night in to add to the experience. Plan a movie night, cooking night, whatever activity you enjoy with your significant other. I can’t think of a cuter idea than being comfortable and lounging with your partner.
If embroidered isn’t your style, try this!
SweatyRocks Casual Heart Print Hoodie: $28.99
25. Matching Pjs
Floerns Women’s Two Piece Pajama Set: $28.99
Here comes another cozy gift idea perfect for a spa night or one full of board games. Who doesn’t love receiving pjs? Bonus points if they’re matching! Matching sets can make anyone feel put together while doing chores or homework. They also make for the best way to end the day.
“Over the summer I bought my boyfriend and I matching swimsuits for vacation. I loved matching with him, and they looked even cuter in pictures. We stay in a lot playing board games and watching movies, so matching every night would be even cuter” Kent State University senior Janna Berger said.
You can buy these sets anywhere from Target to Amazon to companies like MeUndies who specialize in matching sets for couples. If your girlfriend prioritizes comfort over everything, get her matching pjs to make her feel extra cozy.
26. Ember Smart Coffee Mug
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2: $124
Picture this, your girlfriend, an avid coffee and tea drinker, sits hours on end reading for her classes, watching lectures and doing homework. She picks up her mug to take a sip of her warm drink to find out its cold after sitting out for only 30 minutes. How do you fix this? Perhaps a smart mug? A pricey mug, but so worth it for the perfect temperature-controlled beverage. Your girlfriend will never suffer at the hands of a cold coffee on a freezing night ever again.
27. Book of the Month Subscription
Everyone knows a bookworm in their life. Bookworms love receiving books, especially ones on their “To Be Read” list. However, they also buy books constantly. How do you buy the perfect book without giving them a replica? Book of the Month solves this problem. You can choose from a variety of their plans to gift to your reader. Every month they can hop onto the website and choose a book. Book of the Month introduces readers to new releases every month along with giving them books on their wish list. Give this gift with a book sleeve and a bookmark for the perfect gift for your favorite reader.
Looking to just gift her a ton of books all at once? Check this out!
A Song of Ice and Fire Mass Market Paperback Collection: $28.62
28. Custom Portrait
Custom Couple Portrait: starting at $13.28
Room décor never makes a bad gift. Gift a custom portrait of your partner’s pet or one of the two of you. This art piece will remind her of the things that make her happy. It will add a personal touch to her dorm, room or apartment. No one can say no to more décor.
“I received a custom portrait for Christmas one year of my brothers and me in the Dragon Ball world. I think the gift makes for the perfect addition to my apartment and reminds me of my brothers” Kent State University senior Lucas Madison said.
The best part of this gift? Your purchase will help an artist. This gift also provides many options with prices and art styles. Pick one that suits your girlfriend’s aesthetic for some brownie points.
Keeping it simple never hurt anyone either.
4×6 Wood Pattern Photo Frames, Set of Four: $17.99
29. Symbolic Species Adoptions
African Black-footed Penguin Adoption Kit: $60.00
If your girlfriend loves animals, this gift will warm her heart. World Wildlife Fund offers a large selection of adoptions that will save animals facing the threat of extinction. These adoption kits help the animals and their habitats. Their website organizes animals by popularity and threat level which can help you narrow down what animal to adopt. Give the gift that gives back.
“I love all animals and have always wanted to work in habitat conservation. Sadly, it is a hard job to get into, but I would be so happy to receive an adoption kit knowing I am helping in a small way” The Ohio State University alumnae Kelly Elwell said.
Some animals include cheetahs, green turtles, artic foxes and more. Find the animal occupying the sweet spot in your girlfriend’s heart and rest assured, this gift will be the most memorable.
These cute desk toppers make for the best study buddies.
Animal Shaped Succulents: $21.99
30. Pet Valentines Day Gift Box
Whaline Valentine’s Day Dog Toy Kit: $18.99
Who does your girlfriend love more than you? Her pet of course. Valentine’s Day doesn’t just revolve around us humans and the heart-shaped chocolate boxes. The holidays make all of us want to spoil our loved ones, including our furry friends. Anyone with a pet knows that they take center in our everyday lives.
“My girlfriend tells me every day about how much she loves her cat more than life. Honestly, I don’t blame her. I also love her cat just as much. She spoils her cat with toys and treats every Christmas and birthday. I can’t wait to surprise her cat with more toys and treats too. I think she’ll love having her cat be included this Valentines” Kent State University junior Jack Madison said.
This year don’t leave the pets out. Show your girlfriend you thought of them too with new toys and treats. A happy pet means a happy girlfriend. Just know she’ll want to document her best friend doing the cutest things with those gifts.
*Article updated by February 4, 2015 by Crystal Becerril to include “‘You Had Me at Hello.’ I Don’t Think So.”
*Article updated on February 10, 2022 by Kaylah Vo to include “10 More Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Girlfriend Actually Wants”
*Article updated January 25, 2023 by Noor Zayter to include 10 more gifts your girlfriend actually wants