Stumped about what to get your boyfriend or hubby? Our gift guide has got you covered.
By Molly Triffin
Valentine's Day is a loaded holiday when it comes to picking out the right gift for your man. What you buy reflects how you see him and the relationship, so you want to get something thoughtful, creative, and appropriate for the amount of time you've been together. We know guys are notoriously tough to shop for, so our guide is full of great outside-the-box ideas for every stage of coupledom.
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Less Than 3 Months If you've just started dating, keep your gift casual. At this point, anything expensive or too personal will send a scary I-like-you-a-little-too-much message. Plan to spend around $20-$25 on something simple but sweet, like a DVD of a movie he really liked - such as Inception - or a book by one of his favorite authors (a Michael Crichton novel is always a safe bet). For a different route, bake him a batch of chocolate chip cookies (step away from the heart-shaped cookie cutter) - they're a guaranteed guy-pleaser and he'll love that you made them yourself.
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3-6 Months This is a tricky in-between phase: You're an official couple, but are still getting to know each other. Impress him by finding something creative that's totally him. For example, if he's always taking pictures, get him a gorillapod. Of if he's into craft beer, pick up a Brooklyn Brew Shop Kit. You'll probably shell out slightly more (around $25-$50), but don't go overboard with a fancy present. The point is to show that you put real thought into it.
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7-11 Months Okay, things are starting to get serious (even if he's yet to admit it). A fun gift for this stage in the relationship is an experience you can have together, so you'll build more shared memories. Try tickets to a concert (Kid Rock and Bon Jovi are touring in February) or an NBA or NHL game. You can also plan a surprise date. Make it an all-day thing: Tell him you'll pick him up on Saturday afternoon and that he should bundle up. Then go ice-skating, get spiked hot chocolates after, and finish up with dinner at a cozy restaurant.
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1-2 Years You've crossed over into the long-term commitment zone, so this is a great time to commemorate your relationship or show off how well you know him. Frame a cute picture of the two of you (have it printed out nicely, in black and white), or find something that will remind him of a fun time you had together. For instance, if you took a trip to Cape Cod, get him an antique map of the town you stayed in. Looking for a more straightforward gift? You can spend a bit more now that you're pretty serious ($100-$200, depending on your budget) on a big-ticket item. Here's a really cool idea: ballpark cuff links made from the stadium seats from his favorite team.
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More Than 3 Years After years of birthdays and holidays together, it gets tougher and tougher to come up with surprising gifts. A lot of women just grab stuff he needs, like socks or new button-downs, which is nice and all...but boring. Instead, get him a present where he'll learn something new. If he's adventurous, book him an exciting experience, like a flying lesson or hang gliding. (Excitations.com offers a ton of amazing gift ideas.) If he's a whiz in the kitchen, sign him up for classes at a local cooking school where he'll find out how to sear the perfect steak or tell the difference between a rioja and a tempranillo. Or, book a weekend getaway at a romantic hotel in a nearby town where you can spend lots and lots of time in bed.
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