It’s hard enough to know what to gift your husband or wife or long-term partner for Valentine’s Day, but where do you even start when you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for someone you just started dating? “You need an acknowledgment that shows that you’re important to me,” advises Susan Winter, a New York City relationship expert, “but you don’t want to be over the top because you’re not really sure what’s going on.” Sarah May B., host of the relationship and advice podcasts Love Is Like a Plant and Help Me Be Me, agrees that you need to strike a delicate balance with this first Valentine’s Day gift, especially within the first six months of courtship. But she adds that as much as you might want to just ignore this romantic holiday, “You definitely can’t do nothing at all.”
The ideal Valentine’s Day gift for someone you just started seeing, then, is something that doesn’t put undue pressure on your new relationship or send the wrong message, like fancy jewelry or lingerie might. But you also don’t want this gift to come across as generic and dull. So to help you find a present that’ll impress your new beau without scaring them away, we asked four relationship experts for their advice and came up with 13 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for someone you just started dating.
Experiential Gift Ideas
All of our experts expressed the importance of planning something to do on Valentine’s Day itself (or that weekend, if your schedules are crazy during the week or you want to do something a little more ambitious), especially this early on in a relationship. “I think experiences are a really good way to see each other in a different light and create a memory,” says Krafchick of Date/able who adds, “It’s about creating a bond, and in that first six months, you’re still getting to know each other. So by experiencing new things together, that unfolds different layers of who the other person is.”
“Doing something with your mate will be remembered far more than an individual gift, especially in the month to six months,” adds Winter. Plus, spending this special time together doing something a little bit different can also serve as a test for your burgeoning relationship, to see if this is someone who you really like and can work with as a team. One classic option is a cooking class, which you can take the weekend before Valentine’s Day itself. That way, Winter says, “You can have a meal and make a meal and then replicate it on Valentine’s Day at home for each other.”