Being in a new relationship can feel like a whole lot of pressure — especially if you started dating right before effing Valentine's Day. Gift-giving can be super stressful (even if you've been together for ages!), so it's totally OK if you're feeling a little panicked about what to get a new partner for Valentine's Day. For those of you who've spent the last week frantically scrolling through Amazon, the good news is that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be as high-pressure as you might assume. Getting the perfect gift might seem impossible, but a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. For new couples, the best V-Day gift-buying strategy is to keep your significant other's interests in mind, while not going over the top.
"If you’ve been dating for a short time, like three months or less, then spending too much can be a bit creepy," relationship coach Cathryn Mora tells Bustle. "I’d suggest cooking a nice candlelit meal at home. You could suggest playing a ‘get to know you’ game or share your favorite music. This is a good opportunity to spend quality time together and get to know each other better in a non-distracting setting. You also won’t spend too much, which can be deemed a bit inappropriate too early on by some people."
When you're trying to impress someone new, it might be tempting to drop stacks on a step tracker for your gym-obsessed boo, or plan a super intimate dinner out on the town. But if you've only been seeing each other for a short while, one of the best gifts is spending more time together — however the two of you like to do so. For all the new-ish couples, here are seven V-day gift ideas that will bring the two of you closer than ever.
1A Ready-To-Make Meal Kit
What's better than food? Literally nothing. Even if you and your new boo aren't exactly up to Gordon Ramsay's standards, that doesn't mean you can't team up to become Masterchefs together. Try out a meal delivery subscription service, like Home Chef, and the two of you can spend V-day cozied up in the kitchen, searing your own steaks like a boss.
2A Couples' Cooking Class
Or if, like me, you're in desperate need of help with the whole cooking thing, sign yourself and your date up for a cooking class in your city. It will be a fun evening full of delicious food, plus you'll pick up some tips to bring home later. These can run on the pricey side, but I'd say the money is more than worth it, because at least you'll have professionals watching over you so no one winds up lighting a dish towel on fire. Plus, most places will have Valentine's-themed classes, so you can make ~romantic~ foods together!
3A Book Store Gift Card
OK, bear with me here. Obviously gift cards are pretty much a universal no-no (they're so impersonal!), but there's actually a way to put a romantic spin on this. If your new SO is a big ol' bookworm, what could be sweeter than handing them a gift card to their favorite bookshop — along with a note saying that you want to go pick out a book that you can both read together. It's like a mini book club, and will give you two something to bond over for weeks to come.
4Tickets To A Local Concert
Assuming you've both discussed your musical tastes, it's always a good idea to check your local venues for cheap-ish concerts that you can treat your SO to. It might not be financially feasible to get them floor seats to the next Lady Gaga concert, but checking out a lesser known local band is a good way to experience something new and fun together. Who knows? You may discover an artist you're both super into!
5A Box Of ~Mystery~ Chocolates
If you want to give your bae something sweet, skip the drugstore chocolates and go for something a little more sophisticated. Mystery Chocolates is a wacky subscription service that sends you three delicious, mystery-flavored chocolate bars each month. The two of you can try them out together and try to guess what's inside — and maybe lick the excess off each other, too. The sweetest part? For each box, Mystery Chocolate donates two meals to charity.
6A Paint-And-Sip Class
For the artsy fartsy couples out there, a paint-and-sip class is the perfect excuse to get creative while you get tipsy. Sure, you may not be as good as Van Gogh, but the memories you create will be priceless — even if the paintings themselves are not.
7A Fitness Class Membership
Fair warning: this is not a great gift idea if the two of you don't already share fitness as a hobby. But if you and your new partner consider yourselves 'swolemates', gifting them with a pass to their favorite kind of workout (whether that's SoulCycle or Pure Barre) is the perfect way to show you care. And since it's a holiday, why not treat yourself to the same course, so the two of you can get your sweat on together — and then move that workout sesh to the bedroom later on.
Alternatively, you can throw in the towel (literally), and just order a custom cookie bouquet that's guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth. Who needs fitness when you can munch out on delicious treats?
No matter what you decide to treat your Valentine to, the most important thing is that you made an effort — that's the sweetest gift of all.