Valentine day gift ideas for dating
We only came to this decision realizing we’d fallen victim to the old consumer trap of trying to engineer material goods to serve as stand-ins for human emotions.We get a little dopamine jolt when we unwrap a gift–that’s only natural.As kids, my siblings and I always made our own Valentines to hand out to our friends and classmates.My mom had this wonderful box of construction paper, paper lace doilies, and glitter that she brought out every year and I’d spend hours drawing, cutting, and pasting little hearts.Same goes for chocolates and cards–buy them Last year I polled my wise mom and sister for their best Valentine’s Day celebration tips and they landed on the theme of “actions rather than presents.” I outlined their recommendations here: A Frugal Valentine’s Day: Do Instead Of Buy.
And into this fray enters Valentine’s Day, the ultimate consumer binge on useless clutter designed to be generically, thoughtlessly romantic. Buying stuff also allows us to paper over potentially serious rifts in a relationship, as in “Here, I bought you this thing instead of talking to you about our disagreement over ____.” Reflecting on the times when Mr. When things weren’t going well for us, we turned to the trite cliché of spending money in an effort to make it all better.FW and I decided to stop exchanging gifts altogether (for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, etc).This had the dual benefit of saving money every holiday and also prompted us to get more creative–and as a result, more genuine–in our acknowledgment of these occasions.The intersection of money and romantic relationships represents one of the most volatile combinations. Our culture promotes an ersatz paradigm of demonstrating emotion through material goods. Frugalwoods and I fell victim to the tropes of February 14th. Flowers arrive in their office on the prescribed date.Furthermore, disagreements over money are a leading cause of divorce in the United States. And Valentine’s Day hits this notion at its very heart: we’re supposed to express how much we love our significant other through buying them… Beyond the expense of hewing to the expectation of store-bought gifts, it’s also impersonal.
FW and I relied on the simplistic solution of gift giving, I’ve realized those were also the rockiest times in our relationship history. As I’m sure you can surmise, these gifts did nothing to help our relationship or solve our problems.