You’re in a brand new relationship. Congratulations! The only thing that could have made this exciting time in your life even better is if your love had blossomed in March. Why? Because you face what everyone dreads: deciding what kind of Valentine’s Day gift to get a guy you just started dating that won’t scare him to death.
And it’s not just about him. You also want to be careful not to lead your new man on and make him think you’re fishing for a proposal, when you really just want to have dinner next Friday night and a few good laughs.
Not to worry. These eight Valentine’s Day gifts are totally safe for you to give a man you met last month, last week, or last night.
1. Speak Wines
It would come off as awkward to bring just a bottle of wine to your new boyfriend — seems more like a gift you’d get your aunt for Christmas. But Speak Wines are more special than your ordinary cabernet because they combine a quality bottle of Argentinian wine with adorable, and totally new-romance appropriate, messages on their labels. A bottle that reads “Just because xoxo” is sweet, but not creepy.
2. Retro candy
A box of Valentine’s Day chocolate is a corny cliché, but a retro candy box will remind him of his childhood and put a smile on his face. No one would ever accuse candy of being too serious, but the fact that you’ve gone that extra step shows that you put some thought into your gift — perfect for a new relationship.
If you find yourself dating a music fan right before the holiday, consider yourself lucky: They are notoriously simple to shop for and, unless you go and temporarily lose your mind and decide to buy your guy something crazy like a guitar (don’t), there are a bazillion gift options that won’t make you both uncomfortable. A good pair of quality headphones is almost always a winner.
4. Event tickets
Tickets to an upcoming event, such as a concert, game or play, are perfect because they make it clear to your new partner that you’re interested in spending more time together in the future, but they also keep things light and fun. There is one caveat here: Make sure the event is going to take place in the near future. You don’t want to make the assumption that you’ll still be an item next February.
5. His and her books
If you both enjoy literature, a great gift option is to purchase two of the same books you’ve both been curious about and make a pact to read them together. Split a bottle of wine on a cold night and host an intimate one-on-one book club party.
6. Naughty frog mug
There’s a good chance you’re still in that we-only-get-out-of-bed-to-pour-more-Champagne phase. Why not skip to the chase and let your new guy know you’re happy to ravish his body this V-day… after your cup of coffee. (Etsy, $17)
7. Video game
Here’s what your guy hears when you buy him a video game: I like you just the way you are. I’m not trying to change you. I think it’s so cool that you don’t know how to do your own laundry. Just kidding! But, seriously, if you’re looking for a gift that shouts, “let’s have fun and see where this goes!” you can’t do better.
8. Superhero pillows
If your new guy is a comics freak and is already spending nights at your place, one option to make him feel welcome is to buy two of these cool-looking superhero pillows and leave one at your house. If you’re so not there yet, no worries — he’ll love one anyway. (Etsy, $22)