Taylor Corley, Campus Carrier arts and living editor
Valentine’s Day: a holiday filled with love, chocolate, dates, cards and of course, immense anxiety. Couples spend days overthinking the perfect gift for their significant other. They plan and replan the perfect date, and the pressure to impress is on.
It’s not that this is the only day of the year where one can show their appreciation for their significant other, but it is the only day on which that appreciation is measured by a gift’s sentiment, thoughtfulness and wow-factor.
There are millions of articles with suggestions for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Most say that the only gift that matters is quality time — valuable time spent with the person you love. Others list creative recipes, cute DIY projects and unique date ideas. But no one talks about what not to do on Feb. 14.
To make this Valentine’s Day just a little bit easier, I have compiled a list of important things to remember when choosing the perfect gift for your partner based on what other students and faculty would not want to receive in hopes of making your idea list a little bit shorter.
For starters, although the holiday calls for gifts that are memorable and special, be careful not to overshadow the importance of other events by combining them with Valentine’s Day. In other words, contrary to popular opinion, it is not acceptable to propose on Valentine’s Day.
“If anyone put the slightest amount of effort into a Valentine’s Day gift for me, I would be so flattered,” sophomore Isabelle Rousseau said. “Unless you propose on Valentine’s Day because that’s gross.”
When thinking about a gift, it’s important to take into account how comfortable your partner is with public attention. Gifts that are required to be given somewhere other than from the comfort of a home could be a risky move.
“I would not want my boyfriend to make a public spectacle,” sophomore Elliana Splichal said. “I mean, I wouldn’t complain about a teddy bear being left outside my door, but if you walk into D-Hall and plan on putting on a show, I might break up with you.”
Creativity is an irreplaceable element when it comes to giving gifts. Try to stray away from the classics like roses or teddy bears. Although these are a great accent or a cute idea for a couple who has just started dating, they are not gifts a partner should rely on if they want to make a lasting impression.
“I don’t want roses,” junior Emily Reid said. “They’re basic and overused and don’t really seem thoughtful because they’re used so often.”
Chocolates are another gift that require some additional effort.
“I don’t want a box of chocolates,” freshman Case Winkler said. “It’s so basic and overused. It also always makes me think of Forrest Gump.”
Originality goes hand-in-hand with creativity. If you’ve received a gift in the past, whether you hated it and need to get rid of it or if you loved it and want someone else to share in the joy you felt when receiving it, never re-gift a present on Valentine’s Day.
“I wouldn’t want something that’s regifted,” Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator Michael Zirkel said. “I would probably give it back in a petty way.”
Make sure your gift requires thought. Even if you don’t have the time to hand make a Valentine’s Day card, there are plenty to choose from at the store but you should probably include a handwritten message inside to go along with the words that are preprinted. At the very least, sign your name.
“I don’t want a card that doesn’t have anything in it,” sophomore Anthony Studstill said. “Be thoughtful and tell me how you appreciate me.”
Valentine’s Day permits the sale of almost any food you can think of in the shape of a heart. While this could be a tempting treat for both you and your significant other to enjoy, the food item you pick as a gift should be chosen deliberately, something your partner enjoys, otherwise it could come off as cheesy.
“I wouldn’t want a heart-shaped block of cheese,” wedding and special events coordinator Jessica Hayhurt said.
It should be noted that single people enjoy the festivities of this holiday as well. Not having a significant other to take out on a date does not give you the right to disturb other people’s Valentine’s Day dinner. This is a holiday, not a singles convention (although maybe there should be one).
“I would prefer if the manager of the restaurant did not sit down and eat with me when I take myself out to dinner,” senior Reanna Huskey said. “I also don’t want a late night ‘U up?’ text at two in the morning.”
Although Valentine’s Day could be considered a glorified date night, take the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary.
“If we’re talking about during the day, I wouldn’t want to stay in,” sophomore Caleb Enright said. “If we’re talking about at night, I just don’t want to watch a Rom-Com.”
Even after reading suggestions of what other people may or may not like for Valentine’s Day, taking ideas from the internet or TV shows may not work in your favor.
“I wouldn’t want someone to do the naked man bit from ‘How I Met Your Mother,’” sophomore Sydney Kate said. “If someone came into my apartment and stripped I would burn the place down.”
Overall, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it is always best to pick a gift that comes from your heart because at the end of the day, no one knows your significant other better than you.