Best Valentine’s Day Gifts if you’ve been dating less than a year

Last Updated February 2019

The day of love is fast approaching, and while some couples have been planning epic surprises for months, Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday to navigate if you haven’t been dating for very long.

Trying to find the perfect gift that is appropriate for the age of the relationship is essential. Making too much of an impression could be viewed as coming on too strong, while not putting in enough effort could make the person you’re dating feel you aren’t committed.

If you’ve been dating for less than a year, let this gift guide help you figure out the best gifts at the right price.

Dating Less Than 3 Months

Celebrating Valentine’s Day together can be hard when your relationship is this new. To better understand your partner’s expectations, it’s important to talk about how they usually celebrate this day and to find out how much of an emphasis they place on this holiday.

The usual chocolates or flowers will work here, as will a date night in, to take some of the pressure off. A small gift will show them you care, without coming on too strong.

  • $25 or Less

    • For her - Keep it simple, with something sweet, like this adorable heart shaped pillow.

    • For him - Candy is perfect for this stage. Impress him with a chocolate bacon candy bar like this one.

  • $25 - $50

    • Not recommended. You can spend between $25 - $50 on dinner or a movie, but don’t buy a gift within this range at this stage of the relationship.

  • $50 - $100

    • Not recommended. Spending this much could be seen as coming on too strong.
       

Dating 3 - 6 Months

At the point in the relationship, you likely know a solid amount about the other person. You should be able to put a little more thought into your partner’s gift. Whether it’s a gift based on an inside joke, their favorite dessert, or simply knowing that they expect the traditional V-day gifts, use your judgment to find a gift that is meaningful.

  • $25 or Less

    • For her - Flowers and chocolates are perfect here. You don’t need a massive bouquet or assortment, just something simple like this or this.

    • For him - This beard grooming kit is perfect and just meaningful enough to show him you care, without going overboard.

  • $25 - $50

  • $50 - $100

    • Not recommended - spending this much, this soon could be viewed as coming on too strong. You can, however, spend this much on an experience together (like dinner or an event).
       

Dating 6 - 9 Months

Once you’ve been dating for over six months, you should know what your partner likes and doesn’t. Are they a practical person? Do they love splurging on clothes, lattes, or meals out? It’ll be best to base your gift on their personality, rather than sticking to traditional Valentine’s Day rules.

Feel free to shop for sentimental at this point in the relationship, by searching for a cute picture frame to house one of your favorite memories together as a couple. Letting them know you’ve paid attention to the time you’ve spent together and are looking forward to the future is important at this stage.

  • $25 or Less

    • For her - Shop for low-stakes jewelry that’s memorable but not too much, like this cute bracelet.

    • For him - Since you’re looking forward to new experiences and celebrating old ones, sentimental gifts like this ticket stub diary are perfect.

  • $25 - $50

    • For her - Roses are great, but they’ll fade pretty quickly. Opt for something to keep the spirit of Valentine’s Day alive, like this pretty rose-scented candle.

    • For him - Celebrate some of the things he loves most, like coffee and bourbon with this whiskey-infused gourmet coffee.

  • $50 - $100

    • For her - Something elegant, but not too sentimental is great for this stage of your relationship. It shows her you’re invested and happy to spend your hard-earned cash spoiling her.

    • For him - Gift him with something he’ll not only love, but love you for thinking of, like this NES Classic gaming system that will bring him back to his childhood.
       

Dating 9 - 12 Months

If it’s your first Valentine’s Day, but you’re coming up on a year of being together, the stakes are slightly higher. You’ll want to impress your partner and search for a gift that not only shows how much you care, but also shows you’re planning to spend the near-future with them.

Gifts don’t necessarily need to cost more at this stage, but they should mean more. A piece of jewelry, an experience (think concert or sports tickets), or Groupon for a shared class together shows you’re invested in them and the health of the relationship.

  • $25 or Less

    • For her - This minimalist necklace is simple, but intriguing and comes in two different colors that she’ll absolutely love.

    • For him - Celebrate your love for him with a personalized greeting card that also functions as a 6-pack for his favorite beer.

  • $25 - $50

    • For her - Gear your gift more towards her interests. This Fujifilm camera is perfect for someone who loves documenting memories, while this cappuccino maker is ideal for latte lovers.

    • For him - Think into this one a little bit. For instance, is he always losing his keys or wallet? A Tile is the perfect gift - it’s practical and thoughtful.

  • $50 - $100

    • For her - Show her how you really feel with a gift that will have her smiling and thinking of you every time she glances at it. This Anne Klein bracelet and watch set will have her smiling ear to ear this Valentine’s Day.

    • For him - By now, you should know him really well, so choose a gift that matches his interest and how you feel about him, like these memorable Star Wars cufflinks.

Written by:
  • Courtney
    Courtney
    Writer