Around this time of year, writers are quick to make Valentine's Day 2017 gift for guys they know guys will "actually" like. But with my experience in following these recommendations is that my Valentines are gracious for the gift, but never use it. So this year, instead of cruising through the men's section on various retail sites for random beer-related gadgets and scarves that didn't sell for Christmas, I reached out to my guy friends and asked them what they actually want.
To my surprise, the first response was "nothing". The initial consensus was that they only participate in Valentine's Day to make their partners happy and that they don't look forward to any one kind of gift. But when I pressed further and explained that it gives some people pleasure to buy their partners gifts, they suddenly had wish lists.
I asked them what would make them feel warm and fuzzy inside, what would be useful, what would be a happy surprise, what would make them feel not cliche or sappy for participating in Valentine's day at all, what would be too much, what would be not enough, and some of the things they mentioned totally threw me off. Straight from the horse's mouth, here's what guys ~actually~ want for Valentine's Day:
While they don't mind that their shampoo bottle has been empty for months and they've been making it last by adding water to the bottle, they're happy to receive soaps and washes that are a step up from the usual stuff they grab from the grocery store. Swing for this Ursa Major soap that will wake him up and scrub him down at the same time.
A steak dinner is a great gift, but that steak, plus the wine, and the dozen other things you order when you're tipsy really add up. Instead, send your guy an Omaha Steak in the mail and he can cook it whenever he wants. No hidden fees, all the meat his heart desires.
"Girly Face Stuff"
They didn't know what specifically appealed to them, but alluded to the idea that nice serums and lotions that might be anti-aging or aesthetically enhancing were enticing. If they have a beard, you'll want to treat them with this super lux Swedish hair oil that will leave their beard soft and smelling heavenly.
If you're a great baker, power to you, but if you're just so-so and have a crazy work day on Valentine's Day, just think ahead and order something tasty. Taartwork Pies will send your boo a customized pie or cake with a clever message so you can both enjoy something that feels personal and home-cooked but without the stress.
"Fancy Fashion Stuff"
They couldn't exactly put their finger on it, but they wanted to be surprised with adult and gentlemanly fashion items. Cufflinks, pocket squares, you know. Things they'd never get for themselves but secretly kind of want.
"Something Fun To Do"
Most guys I talked to were more concerned with having some smooth plans to participate in then what they could actually walk away with. Set up a couple's experience and you can both enjoy the luxury of having your day all laid out.
"A Massage .... By A Professional"
No offense to your massage skills, but turns out men want a serious massage from a licensed professional. They want the whole experience of going into a dark room, zoning out on the table and letting a professional do what's best.
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Get him a nice bottle of wine or scotch or bourbon so he has something he can be excited to offer when he hosts, but also look really swanky in his bar cart until the guests finally arrive.
Despite the fact that men's haircuts are a fraction of the price of women's haircuts, they find them to be annoying expenses. Get your guy a gift certificate at a nice hair salon for him to get a cut and a nice shave. He might not use it for a while, but it will make him feel like a king when he does. Everyone likes to be pampered every now and then.
Hammocks are hard to set up and usually stay in boxes for years before they find a resting place. But camping hammocks are easy to install, mobile, and totally random. Get your man a portable hammock and give the two of you an excuse to get outside. He'll be like, "Huh? Wait, this is amazing."
"Tickets To Something Dope"
Get tickets to a sporting event or a concert for Valentine's Day if you need a date idea, or gift the tickets to ensure another date at a later time. Start looking for tickets early so you can get the best deals.
"Old School Stuff"
Apparently this means things that most modern men don't use on the reg, like combs, handkerchiefs and other things a gentleman might keep on his person.
Getting your man a comfy pair of pants is really just a gift for yourself, because you know you're going to steal them. These all day, every day sweat pants look like regular pants. #Winning.