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. Her favorite flowers
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.
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.
3. 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.
4. Her favorite article of clothing
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. A thoughtful card
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.
8. 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.
9. Her favorite scent
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.
10. A whole lot of sweets
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.
*Article updated by February 4, 2015 by Crystal Becerril to include “‘You Had Me at Hello.’ I Don’t Think So.”