Let's face it: Valentine's Day is often a pain in the ass. It's corny, commercial and brings with it the stress of deciding what to buy for your significant other.
Despite the many valid grounds for cynicism, though, it's a day that's all about love, and we're not going to hate on that. If you're going to get your girl a gift this year – and we strongly suggest you do – you're going to want to make sure you don't get something she's going to hate.
To help you out, we asked a range of our female staff here at Highsnobiety to reveal the gifts they don't particularly want to receive this year, as well as suggestions for better alternatives. Read on for their infinite wisdom and idiosyncratic gift preferences:
"Rule #1 of spending V-Day with me: never buy me flowers. Perhaps I'm missing that minuscule piece of genetic material that makes me fully feminine, but I find flowers as a gift repulsive. I've never grasped the "romantic" concept behind handing someone an expensive heap of already-dead foliage. I might smile to your face just to be polite but I'm mentally smacking you for wasting valuable cash money that could have been better spent stuffing me with a greasy burger and whiskey.
Also, no lingerie. You're going to take it off anyway and lace is pretty f*cking itchy."
"Aside from generally thinking Valentine's Day is a bullshit holiday and having a low-key aversion to anything that will clutter my surroundings, there's nothing I'd hate to receive for Valentine's Day. I mean, short of a "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" hat or a copy of Neil Strauss' The Game, any kind of thoughtful present would be gratefully received.
Unlike Naina, I love flowers and think they're pretty much the ideal gift, so you're going to need to check in with your girl on that one. Personally I don't mind the classics like flowers, chocolates or a dinner together – no points for cutting-edge originality, sure, but I'd be happy with it. As a general rule, though, the more personal and tailored the gift is, the better."
"Being in a long-term monogamous relationship myself, I'd say the worst thing my boyfriend could get me is nothing. I don't really care if it's a gesture in the form of a nice dinner or fun night of "sexy activities" at home, but if no effort goes into V-Day and I find him lounging on the couch when I get home, I will most certainly be pissed.
I get that Valentine's Day is a predominantly hetero, hallmark holiday, but us women put up with so much shit from our men and take such good care of them that the least they can do is make us feel special on this one allocated love day each year.
As for suggestions, maybe early on you can start with the "cheesy classics": chocolate-covered strawberries, flowers, artisanal chocolates or a heartfelt love letter or V-Day card. Then there's the mid-range stuff for after a few months of dating, like a nice dinner out or a homemade dinner with an indulgent bottle of champagne. Finally, the big guns in serious relationships are gifts like jewelry, leather accessories like wallets and handbags, or maybe a date trip to Agent Provocateur to pick out a sexy outfit of her choice."
"Nothing cheesy that most men's publications would suggest to buy women, read: sexy lingerie, heart-shaped chocolate or soft toys. Besides being incredibly unimaginative and cliché (you may as well be gifting me a sign which says "Insert token Valentine's Day gift here, because I only want to look like I'm trying without actually putting in any effort"), most guys' taste in womenswear is basic and only with their interests in mind.
A gift that reflects her interests and shows you've been paying attention – music or artwork she's into, for example – is going to go down (no pun intended) a lot better than generic Valentine's fare."
"I wouldn't like the ''standard'' stuff like underwear, candlelight dinner, chocolates, etc. A day trip somewhere instead would be nice."
Cheryl, better known as Jake Indiana
"I hate Valentine's Day. It's stupid and was invented by greeting card companies to sell greeting cards which, though they are a vehicle for good intentions, are also stupid. And when it comes to gifts, there is a lot riding on your partner or slam piece to provide you with a gift that is useful, thoughtful, romantic and sexy all at once.
I don't know what one of these gifts could be, but I sure as heckfire know what it's not: STD's. We're all going to be feeling a little loose on Val's Day, as it means that we either have sex with someone and read a lot into it or not have sex with someone, feel bad about it then do it with a rando out of spite.
PLEASE guys, if you're going to provide this service, do not do so without getting tested. Do it now. When your lady is worrying herself sick over making the day one about declarations of love and cuteness, do not dare be "that guy" who does something so callous. The absolute last thing in the world we want is finding out that the cough we have been carrying all week has actually been the beginning stages of gonorrhea in our throat."
"I'm not super picky about Valentine's Day. For me, the gifts that matter are the ones that show that you know me and pay attention to the things I like. That said, the first type of gift I do not want to receive is anything generic, even if it's expensive. Don't just buy me flowers, buy me a marijuana bouquet or something.
The second kind of gift I don't want to receive is anything alive that requires my care and attention. I already have a cat and by the way he carries on, he already doesn't feel like he gets enough attention. I don't need another spoiled animal guilting me for having to go to work every day so it has a place to live and food to eat."
Now check out Bella Hadid's seductive Valentine's Day shoot for LOVE magazine here.