Once upon a time, I had the perfect boyfriend. He was sweet, he adored me as I did him. I remember my face being sore when I laid down at night after he had gone home because I had smiled so much that day. He opened the car door, and every other door for me. Just being together made us happy. For once, I looked forward to Valentine’s Day or any other occasion. Giving him gifts to remember was something that just came naturally. When it’s your first Valentine’s Day with someone, or any other “first” occasion, it’s easy to give gifts to remember because the very fact that it’s the first occasion of that type makes it memorable. So how do you give gifts to remember when it’s one of many Valentine’s Days or other occasions that you spend together?
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How to Come Up with Thoughtful Valentine’s Day ideas and Gifts to Remember
The first thing I do when I’m looking for Valentine’s day gift ideas for him is I think about his love language. A person’s love language will tell you what kind of gift will mean the most to them. Love languages are based on a book by Gary Chapman and he says that there’s 5 of them.
The 5 love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
When you first start dating a person or start a relationship with them, most of the time you do these things without thinking about it too much. When a relationship is new, you will go out of your way to express what he/she means to you. The feeling is new and makes you feel giddy inside. It seems to take less effort to express your affections both with gifts to remember and in general because you are always thinking about the other person.
Identifying Your Love Language Can Be Key to Keeping the Spark In Your Relationship
One or two of the love languages above will mean the most to you. Which ones are they? For example, I have two, and I put them at the top of the list because they are the first two that came to mind. Most of the time, the two people in a relationship will have different love languages. Quality time is one that my husband and I both share. Gifts are nice, but if he were to give me a pearl necklace, or diamond earrings and spend the rest of the day playing on his PC or off running errands, I’d be mad because gifts are not my main love language.
I do like physical touch, but if I’m upset, then I need some words of affirmation first to calm me down. Words of affirmation, by the way, are nice things that you say to other people. If I am needing an act of service and not having something done is bothering me, then that will mean something to me at the time. For example, if the belt falls off the lawn mower, as it did when I was writing the post about transforming perfectionism, and he comes home and puts it back on, then that will tell me “I love you.” Normally, however, if he comes home and starts mowing the yard, I think “why does he not want to spend time with me?” ☹
Identifying Your Spouse’s Love Language to Give Gifts To Remember
If you are looking for ways to show your husband you love him that will mean the most to him, identify his main love language(s). Often, we show affection the way that we want to receive it. Which is great…. IF your love languages are the same. When you are looking for gifts to remember, it’s important to keep this in mind. Think about your spouse, what means the most to them? What makes them the happiest? Think back to when the relationship was new, what things did you do that made their day the most?
Gifts to remember do not always have to be a physical object. You could give the gift of your time or the gift of doing something for them. You could also write them a love letter.
Gifts to Remember Start With Planning Ahead
Do you remember back when you started dating how your thoughts were on the other person all the time? They were all you seemed to think about? I remember being in college two hours away from my perfect boyfriend, and I had a picture of us on the dashboard of my car. I liked seeing it when I was driving down the road because it made me happy to think of him. When there was a special occasion that came up, I had been thinking about it months ahead of time! No way would I have remembered on February 13th, “Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow! It snuck up on me. Better go run by the grocery store and buy a cheap box of chocolates and a card! Hmm.. to late to mail the card. I guess it will have to be late.”
That’s not a very thoughtful Valentine’s Day idea. To me, it says “I was too busy doing other things, and you were more like a last minute thought.” How often does that happen when you are married, though? When you are searching for how to love your husband, or special things to do for your husband, it takes a bit of planning to find that gift that he will remember. Especially if your Valentine’s Day gift for your husband is an event, such as special time away together, you will need time to plan and make arrangements.
Meaningful Valentine’s Day Ideas Are Different for Everyone
There is no one-size fits all perfect Valentine’s Day gift idea. There are traditional gifts, like chocolate, flowers, and cards, but just because something is traditional does not mean that it’s the right fit for your relationship. You love your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse because they are unique. They are not like anyone else in the world. Think about their style. Some people are ok with a huge bouquet of flowers delivered to their work in front of everyone and carrying big balloons down the street that say “I love you!” Others would cringe at the thought. Some people prefer to go out and eat, others prefer to prepare dinner at home and skip the crowds. Both are totally ok.
For the Perfect Valentine’s Day and Gifts to Remember, Tell him your Preferences
I have been guilty of having this pre-conceived notion of the perfect Valentines Day, complete with gifts to remember, and everything just my way. I have expected my husband to deliver on all fronts, even though I didn’t tell him what I wanted. Then, I pouted when not everything I had in my head was not completely perfect. Don’t do that to your husband! Men are amazing, but even the best of them are not mind readers. Tell him what you want. Men don’t get hints well.
For example, on Christmas a few years back, we were walking in the mall, and I kept on going into stores looking for leggings. I had no intention of buying any leggings, I was just trying to un-subtly HINT to him that I would like a pair for Christmas. I talked to him about what I had been thinking about, including colors and what outfits I might wear them with, and so on. We left the mall thinking that my mission had been accomplished and surely there was no way he could have missed my hint.
On Christmas morning, I did unwrap a pair of leggings. He commented “It was really hard this year because you didn’t drop any hints. But when I was in the mall, something told me that you would like a pair of leggings. It was like ESP or something! I just know what you like and have good ideas like that from time to time.” *FACEPALM* He got the message, but completely missed the hint that I thought was loud and clear.
Unique, Non-Traditional Gift for Valentine’s Day
Last year when Valentine’s Day was approaching, I initiated a conversation about it. I told him flat out, “Please don’t get me chocolate this year! I’m trying to back off on chocolate and sugar, and I know I will devour the whole thing if you get me a big box of it.” He accepted this, but then asked “What should I get you? You haven’t dropped any hints!” I thought I had been hinting for a Keurig for SIX MONTHS! When we went shopping, I admired them in the store. I asked about the one that he had at work and commented on how nice and easy it would be to have just a single cup of coffee. Pretty much everywhere we saw one, I tried to let him know I liked it.
I told him that I had been dropping hints for six months, and he said, “You have?”
“Yes!” I responded. “Think back to what I have been admiring in the store every time we pass. Think of what has been BREWING up in our conversations lately.”
He thought for a minute, and then said “Oh! I know, you want a big cooking pot, like a cauldron!” I knew by the twinkle in his eye and the smile on his face, he was teasing then but had gotten my message.
Sure enough, Valentine’s Day morning, I woke up to find a Keurig sitting on the countertop with a carousel beside it loaded with several different kinds of coffee and hot chocolate. Beside it was a single rose in a vase and a card. It was perfect. My husband is very smart, but even the smartest of men, need to be told flat out what is on your mind. They are not mind-readers. Tell him your preferences. Had I not told him what I wanted, I would have had a box of chocolates and no coffee machine.
Valentine’s Day With the Family
This is a personal preference, but while I enjoy spending time with my husband on Valentine’s Day, I also like to include the kids as well. To me, Valentine’s Day has become not just a day to express my love towards my husband, but also other special people in my life. We usually get the kids a little $1 box of chocolates and a card, sometimes a balloon as well. This just lets them know that they are special too. While I do usually go on a date with my husband, we try to do something with the kids as well. I usually cook a nice dinner at home for us all to eat together and then my husband and I go out a few days later, while they get some quality time with their grandparents. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
Gifts to Remember for Others
One year, I decided to include my brother on Valentine’s day. I remember how lonely I felt when I was single, so purchased some $1 coffee mugs from Dollar Tree and I wrote special qualities on them with colored sharpies for both my husband and my brother. The kids, I think may have also made one for their teachers. Then, we baked them according to directions to set the marker.* Valentine’s morning, I got up early and ran through McDonald’s and picked up a sausage biscuit and delivered it to him, along with the cup, a goofy card, and one packet of hot chocolate in the mug. He later told me that was his favorite Valentine’s Day to date. To quote him, “It made a really good impression on me. Small things at the start of the day can make the whole day great.”
Don’t forget the other people in your life. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for little acts of kindness.
(*Note* you can find this activity on other blogs by googling or searching Pinterest, but I have since lost the link to the exact one that we did and it also made the house smell so bad that I vowed never to do this particular activity again. Also, despite following the baking step, the marker still rubbed off if the mugs were not hand-washed.)
Valentine’s Day If You are Single
I will confess something… when I was single Valentine’s Day was my LEAST favorite day of the year. Mom and Dad were looking all googly-eyed at each other (and still do after 39.5 years of marriage. How great is that?!) My friends were all consumed with their boyfriends and here I was… alone. -_- I wanted to hide under a rock and stay home. I might have been feeling a teensy bit sorry for myself.
Since then, I have thought how great an opportunity I had let slip by. While I was feeling sorry for myself, there were plenty of other people in my life that I loved. I should have used it to spread little acts of kindness all over the place! When you do that, you get a huge benefit and happiness boost from it as well. If you are single on Valentine’s Day, you might try that, or doing something special for yourself. When you love yourself, it shines out and makes you more loveable to other people as well.
Suggestions for Unique Gifts to Remember and Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Ideas
Sometimes, even with all the guidelines above, it can be hard to come up with ideas for gifts to remember. These gift ideas below are for Valentine’s Day, but some can be used for any occasion. Remember to discuss your gifting philosophy with your significant other. It can be awkward if one person gets a gift and the other does not, or if you are expecting a gift, and don’t get one. I am going to sort the ideas by love languages.
Gifts to Remember if Your Love Language is Words of Affirmation:
These suggestions are both easy and hard. Easy, because most of them are inexpensive. Hard because they require a lot of thought and expressing deep feelings.
Sticky Notes – with reasons why you love them stuck all over the place
The Pearl Perspective -I will admit to being a bit biased on this recommendation because this one is my book, but that also means that I know the content better than anyone else. The response from people has been tremendous. It’s uplifting, encouraging, and offers some practical advice on how to be happier with your life by changing your perspective. Perfect if your Valentine is needing some encouragement and likes to read.
Gifts To Remember if Your Love Language is Quality Time
Night in a Hotel or Cabin
Dinner and a Movie
Dinner at home and home movie night
Laser tag – You can go somewhere to play, or Amazon also has laser tag sets. This might be something fun for the kids to join in with too.
Making signs together
In short: any experience together
Gifts to Remember if Your Love Language is Acts of Service
Clean the house
Cook Special Dinner
Help with chores
Pack Lunch for the next day
Take care of something that they normally handle
Do something that they have been wanting to be done for a long time, but are not able to do themselves.
Think of the Little Things
Gifts to Remember if Your Love Language is Physical Touch
A soft or smooth new dress or nice outfit (for you)
Hugs and kisses (and more for married couples)
Gifts to Remember if Your Love Language is Gifts
Any collectible that he/she likes
Something for a hobby
Something that fills a need: For example, new tennis shoes if hers are falling apart.
Remember the Little Things For A Memorable Valentine’s Day and for Gifts To Remember
I think the main thing to take into account is to remember the little things both for a memorable Valentine’s Day and for gifts to remember. Plan ahead and think about your significant other’s love language. Pay attention to the little things that bother them. For example, if his skin is dry from the winter, you might get him something manly to put on dry skin. If his favorite coffee mug is cracked, you might get him a new one. If his pocket has a hole in it, you might sew it up or replace the pants. You get the idea. Gifts to remember do not mean that you have to spend a lot of money, even though you can. Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference. I think I spent less than $5 on the gifts that my brother remembers.
From what I have been able to gather, the biggest thing for most people is time. I did an informal question on my personal FB page and my Contentment Questing Facebook Page about what people’s perfect Valentine’s Day would look like. All of the responses had one thing in common: TIME. I thought that was very sweet because with all the commercialism, and how busy our lives have become, it seems that time is the one currency that people value the most.
Remember your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Include your Valentine as well as your family and friends. Love is priceless, and if you look closely, you will see that you are surrounded with more than you realize. You never know what an impact your acts of kindness will have on other people. Treasure your loved ones. Hold them close, and tell them that you care.
Oh, in case you are wondering what happened to my perfect boyfriend that I had in college, here’s a picture:
Yes, that perfect boyfriend and my amazing husband are the same person. “Happily Ever After” is not just a fairy tale fantasy. If you are still waiting for yours, let me assure you, it’s worth the wait.
How are You Spending Valentine’s Day? Leave me a comment below!