On Valentine’s Day, it’s very easy to get lazy when it comes to gift giving. It really is. Girls, show this to your boyfriend and keep out because we don’t want to you to spoil the surprise!
How do you do this? Very simple. You do the exact same thing everybody else is doing. Because that’s exactly what your girlfriend or wife wants from you.
You give the obligatory roses, the nice stuffed teddy bear, along with a well-written card. You may even add a little extra generous touch with a big box of expensive imported Belgian chocolates.
The problem with this standard Valentine’s Day gift is that it is so generic that it is almost thoughtless. Sure, your girlfriend might appreciate it the first time you give her this package, but if you make a habit of it and give the same collection of gifts year after year, she’ll know what’s up.
She will figure it out. She will see that you’re just going through the motions. It is just an empty annual routine to you. Sure, the brand names may change and the price tag may keep going higher and higher, but eventually, she’ll realize that it’s still the same basic gift.
Make no mistake, relationships are all about shared experiences. A real relationship is based on intimacy.
I’m not just talking about sex. I’m not just talking about the physical aspects of intimacy. As important as those are, the real essence of intimacy is the willingness to know your partner.
This might seem pretty basic, but it’s actually quite risky. You don’t know what you’ll find out. More importantly, you don’t know what you’ll find out about yourself.
This is why a lot of people draw neat, convenient lines around their relationships. They will make themselves available to their partner up to a certain extent. After that, it’s a no-go zone.
This really is too bad because when we do this, we draw artificial lines around our personalities that really wall off people who truly are trying to love us completely.
Complete love means acceptance. But that’s only going to happen if you let people know you. And that’s why intimacy is so crucial.
If you are looking for great ideas on what to give your girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, focus on the concept of intimacy. These gifts must highlight how much you really know each other.
The worst thing that you can do is to give a gift that communicates to your girl that you’re just going through the motions. You are just going along to get along and giving her the exact same type of gifts that all guys give to their girls.
Your relationship is special. Treat it as such. Focus on intimate gifts. Here are some gift ideas that really go a long way in celebrating your mutual desire to truly know each other.
Gifts About Your In-Jokes
Do you remember the first few months you were dating? Do you remember the look that you gave each other that instantly made each of you chuckle or laugh out loud? I mean, who doesn’t love a funny cow?
You probably have a lot of in-jokes already if you’ve been going out for some time. These in-jokes highlight your unique personalities. They also make clear your areas of agreement as well as your shared values.
These in-jokes are worth celebrating with the right gifts. The best part to all of this is that these in-jokes don’t require much. The definitely don’t come with a hefty price tag.
For example, if your in-joke is you saying to her amusement, “I didn’t know that,” she would instantly laugh because you used to be a Mr. Know-it-all. So, when she throws it back to your face, both of you have a good laugh because it’s a point of honesty as well as humility for yourself.
You can have that saying put on a mug and pair it with a nice card telling her that she gives so much meaning to your life because she makes you say, again and again, “I didn’t know that.”
Now, to other people, this wouldn’t make any sense because that’s not their moment. It’s not their shared experience.
This is why in-jokes are so powerful because it’s just you and her. It’s your unique shared experience and nobody else’s.
Nobody can take that away from you. Even if your relationship were to fall apart and you were to find other people, those relationships would have their own in-jokes.
The in-jokes that you’re celebrating between you and her are yours uniquely. They are distinct to your specific relationship. That’s how special they are.
That’s why gifts that celebrate in-jokes pack quite an emotional and intellectual punch. They really resonate.
Gifts that Hint About Her Awkward Memories
You have to understand that the best way somebody knows you love her is your full and total acceptance.
This is easier said than done. There are a lot of things about people that set us off, make us ill at ease, or even piss us off. This goes with the territory.
On the other hand, if you make it a point to tell her that “I accept you even if you have these awkward memories,” she can’t help but feel loved. She can’t help but feel respected and fully accepted.
You’re not there to poke fun at her. You’re definitely not there to judge her. Instead, you embrace her with wide open arms. It’s unconditional.
Let’s not mince any words. The world can be a hostile place full of condemnation, judgment and ridicule. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.
But when your gift highlights the fact that you accept her, awkward memories and everything, you highlight the special bond of your relationship. You celebrate your intimate knowledge of her, and most importantly, the acceptance that that knowledge brings.
Maybe she had an awkward memory of being made to recite a poem in class when she was in sixth grade and her underwear was showing. Maybe she had this teddy bear that she hung onto for dear life even though she was in her twenties and the teddy bear looked all raggedy. Whatever awkward memory she may have, you have to be subtle in highlighting that memory.
I know that seems like a contradiction in terms. How can you subtly highlight something?
Well, you’ll figure it out because you know that there’s a fine line between letting her know that you know what her awkward memories are and you fully accept them because you fully accept and love her, and mocking.
There’s a big difference between acceptance and mocking. So, you have to find that line in the gift that you give.
If you’re able to pull this off, this is probably one of the most powerful gifts you can ever give anybody. This is a celebration of love, which goes beyond shallow “I love you” and cute teddy bear moments. We’re talking about real acceptance. Very rare.
Gifts that Hint About Your Shared Awkward Moments
Make no mistake, your girlfriend’s awkward memories are very special to her. They are also special points of vulnerability.
Now, what if both of you had a shared awkward memory? This is a time when you look at each other with that knowing look and say, “You saw me at a vulnerable point in my life.”
And what makes this interesting is that both of you went through that awkward memory together.
I remember my awkward memory with my girlfriend that became my wife. We were at an art exhibit and the guy who was showing us around was so pretentious it was obvious that he was just trying to sell paintings at a huge markup.
My wife knew that I knew the real price of these paintings because we can source it directly from the artist who happened to be her third cousin.
At two distinct points in the presentation, I gave her a look, and she bounced that look back at me. And it was quite awkward when the curator caught us. He kind of stumbled into that shared look.
So, both me and my wife were red-faced and it was quite awkward. But to this day, we can’t help but talk about it.
Zero in on your shared awkward memories because these memories celebrate your intimacy together. It celebrates those special times that only happened because you and her were in the same space and at the same time.
This can take many different forms. You can buy shirts that indicate the action of the awkward memory, you can buy quotations, or, if the shared awkward memory involved a specific time, let’s say 8:30 PM, you can buy a set of special shirts that both of you wear. This is a gift you give each other.
Whatever the case may be, when you give gifts indicating or hinting about your shared awkward memories, you let her know that you truly “get her.”
Awkward memories can be touch and go situations. They can be very awkward to the point that it makes her uncomfortable, so you have to know where to draw the line.
Tokens of Your Shared Dreams
Relationships that work, ultimately, are based on shared values. Now, nobody’s going to come up to your face and say that, but when you study your friends’ and coworkers’ relationships, the successful ones are ultimately based on shared values.
They may talk differently, the couple may come from totally different backgrounds, but they can see eye to eye as to where they want their relationship to go.
A key part of these shared values are shared dreams. Is traveling a big part of your personal bucket list? Is cooking a wide range of cuisines high up on your personal agenda? These and other personal dreams, when shared, occupy a special place in people’s hearts.
Oftentimes, you will find out what your shared dreams are when you snuggle and cradle each other and think out loud about the future. That’s how you know if you are headed in the same direction.
Let her know that she shares your dreams by giving her tokens that hint of those. For example, if travel is really big on both your personal agendas, give her a keychain or a mug or something basic that highlights a very exotic locale that you know she would appreciate.
This lets her know that you share the same values. This also reiterates the importance of your relationship.
Because successful relationships are not about what you can get from the other person or what she can get from you. It’s definitely not about how good she makes you look or the kind of status you bring her. Instead, it’s about shared realities and shared dreams.
When you give tokens of your shared values, this goes a long way in not only reinforcing your relationship, but reminding her why she picked you instead of any other guy out there.
Keep the tips above in mind if you are stumped about what to get your girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.
Please understand that there are two types of gifts. There are shallow gifts and there are deep gifts. Celebrate your relationship and highlight the intimacy that you have achieved together by giving her gifts that demonstrate how deep you understand her and how much you value your relationship.