Trying to find the right Valentine's Day gift is always tricky, but it's even harder if you're
shopping for someone you just started dating. You don't want to be over-the-top, but you also don't want to seem thoughtless — especially if they end up getting you something nice. The solution? A gift that shows a little effort, but is still chill enough that it won't make anyone uncomfortable.
"If you’ve been
dating for a short time, like three months or less, then spending too much can be a bit creepy," Cathryn Mora, a relationship coach, tells Bustle. That's why you'll want to walk past anything shiny or expensive — like jewelry or technology — and instead aim for simple, cute, and affordable.
Spending time together is also a low pressure, yet totally fulfilling,
way to spend V-Day. Mora suggests staying in and cooking a nice meal together, or spending the evening playing a " getting to know you" game or listening to music. (Hint: A personalized Spotify playlist could be perfect.)
So if you
just started dating before Valentine's Day, but would still like to celebrate, never fear. There are plenty of easy, reasonable gifts to be given, including all the ideas listed below. We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Favorite Book
If you live for books, treat your new partner to a great novel like "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, which follows the story of identical twin sisters who end up leading separate lives, in the most fascinating way.
Swapping books is super low-key
and a great way to get to know each other better — making this gift a total win-win. 2 Tickets (For A Future Event)
When you're still in the early stages of dating, event tickets are basically akin to saying, "I like you and want to continue hanging out."
Give your partner this gift card, then talk about which band, comedian, or show you'd like to see, once that's possible.
3 Cozy Beanie
A warm beanie in an interesting color makes for a stylish gift, as well as one that's practical, especially if you've been going on lots of
socially distanced walks — even though it's 20 degrees. 4 Sparkling Wine
Nothing says new love quite like getting a bit tipsy together, which is why you can't go wrong with this fruity wine from the
McBride Sisters. Pour a glass (or three) and spend Valentine's Day giggling on the couch. 5 Homemade Dinner
Remember, Mora says staying home and cooking is pretty much a fail-safe for brand new couples. So if you're feeling shy, keep things easy by ordering an at-home meal kit, and making a nice dinner.
If that still feels like too much, take your date out for a slice at your favorite pizza place, then surprise them with a bunch of flowers.
6 AirPods Case
If your new partner is always losing their AirPods, this is a thoughtful but practical gift — as well as one that won't break the bank.
It'll also be extra impressive if they happen to be really into video games.
7 Low-Key Picnic
For another foody option, pack a picnic. You can be fancy and bring this backpack to a romantic overlook, or simply stop by a deli and grab a few sandwiches before heading to the park. It all depends on the mood.
8 Hand-Poured Candle
Candles are the ultimate "I don't know you very well" gift, and yet they're still special — especially if you get a hand-poured one from
This candle, made with 100% soy wax, has top notes of honeysuckle, middle notes of jasmine, and a base of musk.
9 Pair Of Fries Socks
Like candles, socks are the perfect gift for someone you care about, but don't know on a deep and intimate level — yet.
This particular pair from McDonald's says "I love getting fries with you" and "you're adorably quirky," but in a non-committal way.
10 Delicious Treats
If you aren't sure what your date likes, and are afraid to "get the wrong gift," know that you can't go wrong with a sweet snack, like these cookies and pretzels from
Cheryl's Cookies. 11 Nifty Popcorn Maker
This popcorn popper makes for a cool, unique gift, especially if your partner is a big movie buff. And at only $13, you won't feel like you're going overboard.
12 Pretty Nail Polish
How's this for a chill Valentine's Day date idea? Give the person you're dating a new nail polish (you can also get these in a set of three, for $10) and then pain each other's nails. The only pressure you'll feel is which color to choose.
13 New Sex Toy
Tread carefully with this one, as it could be seen as presumptuous. But if you've been having a ton of fun hooking up, you might want to go ahead and give your SO a sex toy.
Bender is a pretty cool option. It's a multi-speed, flexible internal vibrator that's ideal for G-spot stimulation. Heck, you could open the box right away, and use it Valentine's Day night. 14 Collector's Notebook
If you two bonded over your love for all things Harry Potter, then you truly can't go wrong with this limited edition notebook.
15 Coffee Card & A Date
For the ultimate in low-key gifts, go with a gift card to a nearby coffeeshop.
Make sure you get the one with Valentine's Day hearts on it, to stay on theme. And give it along with the suggestion that you go grab a cup together.
16 Hot Sauce Mug
If your new partner refuses to eat food unless it's literally burning their mouth, then you may have found the perfect gift in this Sriracha hot sauce mug.
17 Healing Hand Cream
With all the hand-washing you've been doing lately, your date will no doubt appreciate a thick hand cream. This one from Burt's Bees is paraben-free and cruelty-free, and comes in a natural, nutty almond scent.
18 Massage Oil
Since this is Valentine's Day we're talking about, you might want to go for a sexy gift, and give your SO a bottle of sensual massage oil.
This one, in particular, smells like lavender — which could make for a particularly sensuous evening.
19 Heart-Shaped Plant
This adorable plant will be perfect for anyone whose apartment is already a veritable greenhouse.
20 Chocolate Controller
For another gamer gift, go for this chocolate in the shape of a controller. It says "Valentine's Day," because of the chocolate, and also screams "I get you."
21 Chocolate Jewels
If you want something a little (OK, a lot) fancier, give a six-piece chocolate box from
Phillip Ashley Chocolates, which look like literal jewels.
It'll feel special, thanks to the unique flavors and beautiful design. But because it's chocolate, it won't feel like "too much" on Valentine's Day, making it the perfect present for someone you're still getting to know.
Source: Cathryn Mora, relationship coach