How to Choose Valentine's Day Gifts for Men
He Wants to Know You Are Thinking of Him
Last week, I was out to lunch with a bunch of my guy friends, and while driving back to the office I asked them, “What gift should I get my guy for Valentine’s Day?” The car broke out in laughter as each of them thought of the obvious answer. But I was serious and I needed help. "Isn’t Valentine’s Day for women?” one of them asked. We all sat and contemplated it for a moment, and somehow it didn’t seem fair.
After all, one of the legends of St. Valentine claims that the Emperor Claudius II put Valentine to death for secreting marrying lovers. It appears that Claudius thought men with wives and families did not make ideal soldiers, thus he outlawed marriage for young men. Perhaps, Valentine was a hopeless romantic and . . . it got him killed.
But in reality, isn’t love and the celebration of love for both men and women alike?
Dr. Nancy Kalish, in a Psychology Today article, had this to say: “On occasions where romance is expected (such as Valentine's Day, birthdays, or anniversaries), we should all remember to separate emotions from behaviors. Men may not make scrapbooks or mementos of their love experiences, but they are every bit as loving, loyal, and yes, romantic, as women—and sometimes more so!"
It’s pretty simple. Every guy wants to know he’s thought of fondly.
He Wants to Receive Something He Likes
The men in my car that day tossed ideas back and forth. They decided on one thing. “A card is not a gift.” And I clarified one thing—I did not want it to be just any gift, I wanted him to like it.
One man suggested that since my partner treated most of the time when we went out to eat, that I treat him to dinner. After all, isn’t that one way to a man’s heart? Another suggested buying a nice bottle of wine and sharing it together. I laughed, “So you’re suggesting I buy him wine so he can get me drunk?” Laughter aside, we discussed typical gifts that women receive like chocolate, flowers, and music. Nothing was striking a chord, and this was a car full of men! Shouldn't men know what men like?
A Great Gift Should Be Personal
When it comes to gift giving, it is very personal. A true gift should be given to a person according to that person’s likes and tastes. This takes some thought. I wanted to tailor-make this gift to my guy’s personality.
I narrowed down a list:
- A DVD set he had been wanting
- His favorite cologne
- A piece of jewelry
- A massage—not from me, from a pro
All of these ideas held challenges for me. I am ashamed to say I did not know his ring size or what cologne he wore that he considered his favorite. The DVD set was nice, but seemed somewhat impersonal. I guess I needed to know my guy better and . . . time was running out.
He Wants You to Keep It Light-Hearted
In the end, I tossed all my guy friends' ideas aside along with my list and bought him something romantic and funny—a pair of personalized boxers. I think he will get a laugh out of them. After all, romance rule #3 from a Match article by Steve Friedman on “What Men Consider Romantic” is: “…a humorous twist.” Friedman says, “Men generally don’t go for sappy love notes, but if they’ve got a sense of humor or something else going for them, recognizing that can be very effective.”
Men use humor to defuse situations that might be a little too touchy-feely. I’ll save the smooshie stuff for the card, which we have already learned is not a gift in itself, and give him a gift that makes him smile and probably laugh.
So, whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day—do something for him, make it personal, and keep it light-hearted. After all, we don’t want to let St. Valentine down. The man, yes, a man, gave his life all in the name of love.
Is Valentine's Day Mostly for Women?
- Friedman, Steve. " Ladies, prepare to sweep him off his feet | Happen Magazine." Match.com® | The Leading Online Dating Site for Singles & Personals. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <http://www.match.com/magazine/article/5875/What-Men-Consider-Romantic/>.
- Kalish, Nancy. "Sticky Bonds." www.psychologytoday.com. N.p., 1 June 2009. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sticky-bonds/200906/are-men-romantic>.
- "The Legend of St Valentine." www.history.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <www.history.com/topics/valentines-day>.