If men think that Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of expectations and pressure, they should just try putting themselves in their women’s shoes. Girls get stressed out deciding on what to give their guys on V-Day as well. As Rachel puts it, “I think women have a harder time, because it’s so difficult to be creative when buying presents for men.”
However, Gary thinks differently: “Guys are easy to please. We don’t need really mushy stuff or grand productions for Valentine’s Day — or any special occasion for that matter. That’s just how we are. We like things to be simple and low-key.”
For women who are having a tough time brainstorming for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for their guy, some couples have offered suggestions on presents that have tickled guys’ fancy. Check them out below.
A woman can add a creative twist to the old adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” by cooking her man’s favorite meal and serving it to him wearing sexy lingerie. And she should be prepared for the eventuality that her guy will want to burn off the calories after — no guy will be able to resist such temptation.
If their guy is a music buff, a good gift idea is to give him the latest iPod or MP3 player available in the market. But women can add a nice, personal touch by programming their guy’s favorite tunes into the device. Another alternative is to get him a gadget with his name engraved on it for that extra kick.
Books are always safe gifts that men sincerely like — but a woman can go the extra mile by giving him an autographed copy. If that feat is impossible, she can insert a tinge of romance into the gift with a heartfelt note (written on a Post-It, just to be safe, as some guys are anal about keeping their novels in mint condition). It’s a gesture that men will appreciate. “It’s mushy, but not too mushy,” says Jay.
Jim is a diehard basketball fanatic; Amanda knows nil about the sport. But for Valentine’s Day, Amanda made the ultimate sacrifice: She bought two season tickets to watch Jim’s favorite basketball team in action — and watched an entire game with him without complaining even once! In fact, Amanda tried to support her guy’s interest by asking questions about the sport. “It’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ to Jim, for all the times he’s gone shopping with me,” she explains. “He’s so patient and understanding; I’ve never heard him gripe about my taking a long time to decide on what to buy.”
Elle came up with this gift idea for her husband, Keith: personalized coupons. With the help of her graphic designer friend, Elle came up with a booklet of coupons or certificates that entitled Keith to a myriad of “services” — ranging from “No Nagging For A Day” and “One (1) Home-Cooked Meal” to “One (1) Hour-Long Massage with Extra Benefits” and “No Hogging The Remote Control For A Day.” One would think that Keith would find it cheesy, but surprisingly, that was one of his most favorite Valentine’s Day gifts ever. “Knowing that she was willing to sacrifice and do things for me that she normally wouldn’t do really touched me,” he says. “It was really thoughtful of her.”
Another DIY gift that clicks with most men is a photo collage, or a personalized, framed couple photo. Gals can embellish it with pics of their cherished memories as a couple, and make it even more colorful and personal with handwritten notes using different colored pens.
What man can say no to a free steak dinner? A woman can turn things around and make Valentine’s Day all about her guy, instead of all about her, by taking him out to his favorite steak restaurant. To make the treat even more special, she can promise to join him for a round — or two — of “exercise” later to burn off the calories.
By nature, men like practical gifts. If a girl really cannot think of anything else to give her guy, she can take the pragmatic approach and give him something he needs — a new smartphone, hardware tools, and the like. As Gary said, men are simple creatures who value gifts that are useful and serve a purpose. In this case, there’s no need for pizzazz to win his heart on V-day.
If men have flowers delivered to their girls on Valentine’s Day, women can do the same — but with pizza. They can surprise him with a delivery of fresh-off-the-oven pizza in his office. And one can bet that her guy will be the envy of his male colleagues for being on the receiving end of such a tasty treat.
Valentine’s Day stresses out guys because girls expect them to come up with the whole shebang. The ultimate Valentine’s Day gift for a guy, then, is to let him know that it really is no biggie. “I will never forget that look of sheer relief on Dan’s face when I told him that I just wanted to spend Valentine’s Day curled up at home, watching TV and pigging out on pizza and beer,” relates Sara with a grin.
In fact, most guys prefer celebrating Valentine’s Day in a low-key way. Women should take heed of what John has to say: “I really don’t understand the fuss surrounding Valentine’s Day. For me, the more hyped it is, the less significant it becomes. Valentine’s Day should be about how much you love each other, not about how much money you spend on gifts or how elaborate the celebration is.”
The bottom line: Spending quality time together on Valentine’s Day is the best gift any guy can ask for.