What Do Women Want For Valentine's Day, Really? 8 Gift Ideas That Are Actually Useful

If we were to believe everything that we saw on television, we'd assume that every woman in a stable relationship will be receiving a big diamond this year, since women obviously salivate over the gem and expect it from their partner in lieu of an old-fashioned "I love you." And, ladies and gentlemen, this is why I hate diamonds — they're pretty and sparkly, sure, but they're also expensive and extremely cliche. What women really want for Valentine's Day doesn't come in a small, overpriced box — it comes from the heart. 

No matter what your feelings are about the day itself, there's a good chance that you want to do something to celebrate, whether it be a dinner out or a bottle of wine in. Even if we think it's a holiday created by greeting card companies, we still feel a little left out if we completely forget the holiday all together. Especially if we're in an office with other women who can't help but flaunt their flowers and gifts. 

There is definitely a way to do Valentine's Day right.  That means giving a gift that truly shows your love for another person, or even celebrating the holiday with a night where the cell phones and tablets aren't in play. Showing someone how much you care about them doesn't need to have a price tag, and it's probably all your girlfriend really expects out of the day. 

1. A night without electronics.

We're all attached to our phones these days. And it's not really spending quality time together if one of you is on Facebook while the other is on Reddit. Plan a night of true connection, and shelf your phones and tablets in a box away from view. It might be tough, but spending one-on-one time with each other is worth the break. 

This gift is great, since it's a chance to connect. If the two of you have been busy with your own things recently, you might forget to carve out time for each other. Without your electronics, she'll know she has your full attention.

2. A fun experience.

An experience is a lot more fun than a tangible gift. If the two of you have been talking about taking a road trip, but find the plan getting pushed back based on other priorities, now is the time to make it happen. Even if it's a small weekend getaway, it'll be nice to take a break from your routine and do something different.

An experience can even be a class. If she's been curious about air aerobics, or arts and crafts, it'll be fun to give these hobbies a test drive. And even if they're not really your thing, you should tag along too — everything is more meaningful with a loved one present.

3. A heartfelt card.

The pen is mightier than the sword, and if you can't find the perfect card, you can fill up a card with your true sentiments. The best part about cards is that they can last forever. If you let your heart do the talking, you've turned a $3.99 purchase into a treasured keepsake. 

If you're not the type of person to open up, the card will be even more meaningful. Make her feel loved, and don't be afraid if it comes off a little mushy.

4. Everyday jewelry

Again, diamonds are nice, but they're not everything. If you've figured out your lady's personal style, a beautiful gift that's a bit more practical will mean a lot. Diamonds are usually saved for dressier occasions. You can easily find something that she can wear everyday to work.

One of my ultimate favorite gifts of all time was a Giles & Brother railroad spike bracelet, with a personalized engraving. Every time I look at it, I think of my husband — and it's not a flashy accessory, so I can wear it with absolutely anything.

5. Supplies for her favorite hobby

If she's into art and painting, a giftcard to a craft store might be perfect. It may seem impersonal, but she'll get a lot of use out of it. Even better, she'll know that you support her hobbies. It's an encouraging present for her to keep going, and surround herself with projects that make her happy.

6. Relaxation

Whether it's a day trip to the spa, or just some nice bubble bath, women deserve a little pampering. This gift is special since it'll remind her that she deserves a little time for herself. Since it's so tough to take breaks from everyday responsibilities, something that'll help lower her stress is the ultimate gift.

Also? I don't know anyone who wouldn't want a back rub. It's relaxing, and a great way to be physically close. 

7. A Mix CD

It's becoming tougher and tougher to burn a mix CD. (That sounds ridiculous, but computer CD drives are becoming a thing of the past.) If you're both into music, it's always a sweet gesture to make a mix of songs that remind you of her, or songs that you really think she'd enjoy. Your mix might improve her work commute, or be a way for the two of you to discover more things that you have in common. 

8. A framed photo

We plaster images on Instagram, but rarely remember to print them out. You might not even remember the last time you bought a photo album. If you two have taken a lot of amazing shots together, consider buying some frames and using them as home decor. Nothing brightens a day quite like reflecting on amazing memories. 

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast,I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

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