Cliché gifts for your valentine: common pitfalls The extra special opportunity to show your loved one you care, is almost here!

Showing your partner that you care on a daily basis is an important factor in building and maintaining a happy relationship every daysof the year. This has little to do with material gifts. Like other commercialized celebrations (such as Mother's Day and Christmas), gift giving has become a big deal on St. Valentine's Day. Learn more about how to avoid common pitfalls!

Your partner might love the usual Valentine's day gifts. But, let's look at some of the pitfalls of the cliché Valentine's day gifts, as well as the three key factors to consider when picking the perfect gift for him or her.


Chocolate is a very popular gift for Valentine's Day. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Great gift, right?  Well, not necessarily – if you know he or she is on a diet or is concerned about their figure, a huge box of chocolates is simply not the best gift. 

Also, it is not a very personal gift and is the easy option for someone who does not know what to get his or her loved one or did not plan ahead and needs something fast at the last minute.

Should you opt for the chocolates, make sure there is a beautiful handwritten note with it with a special love message and or consider going for high quality, artisanal chocolates rather than the usual mass produced ones.


Lingerie is another popular gift. First of all, gentlemen, before you get her nice lingerie, ask yourself whether she would really like this as a gift, or is it more a gift for yourself? If you are absolutely convinced that this is a gift that will please her, make sure that you know her sizes before you go out and buy her something you think she will like.


St. Valentine's Day is one of the days of the year when most perfumes and fragrances are sold. Perfumes and colognes are either a hit or a miss and they are very likely to be a miss because perfume tastes are very personal. 

It is not the brand or the price of the perfume that determines whether your partner will like it. If you would like to offer her or him perfume or cologne, choose something you know he or she loves, or go shopping together and discover something you both like.

Personalised card

Valentine's is the time when most cards are sold. A thoughtfully selected, appropriate card to your loved one can be very much appreciated. If you find yourself spending 50 minutes in the card store but still have not found that special card for him or her, make your own. But whatever card you give, make sure it contains a special, nice handwritten message.

A romantic dinner

Many couples go out on Valentine's Day. Whilst going out for dinner together can be very romantic, on Valentine's Day restaurants can be crowded and overbooked, and in addition Valentine's menus are usually higher priced than normal menus. So if you want a quiet, intimate, romantic dinner, be selective about where you go on Valentine's Day. Also, if you frequently eat out with your partner, going out for dinner on Valentine's Day is just not that special and another "gift" or a more original way to spend the evening together may be nicer.

2021 edit Of course, going out to dinner is not possible right now, but that does not mean you cannot still go out for a picnic, weather allowing. Hike somewhere together and watch the sunset on a near by mountain, bring a bottle of prosecco or whatever you like and make the moment a bit more special. It may be more special to cook something for your partner, or to cook something together.


Almost every woman I know loves receiving flowers. For Valentine's day, of course, red roses are the most popular. The red rose was believed to be the favored flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, and has come to represent romantic love, and so giving red roses on Valentine's Day became the thing to do.

If you want nice fresh flowers, make sure you order them on time. Don't leave it to the last minute.  But although all women love flowers, it is hardly an original gift. Should you want to get flowers, my advice would be to personalize your gift – for example giving as many flowers for each year we have been together, or giving them in an original way, and of course that nice hand written note with "I love you because ….." (fill in the blanks).


You might think that with jewelry you can't go wrong. You think, chocolate is nice, but once it's eaten, it's gone. Flowers are beautiful and romantic when they're fresh, but they only last a few days, then they wilt and die. Cards are cute, but they usually end up in the trash some days after the occasion. So, let's go for the lasting gift of jewelry. Whilst I agree that most people will love a gift of jewelry, make sure it is an appropriate gift, thoughtful and personalized. As with fragrances and lingerie, buying jewelry can be a bit intimidating as jewelry speaks directly to someone's personal tastes. Also, to be aware, some pieces of jewelry are full of symbolism and possible land mines if you're not careful; unless you're already married or you plan to propose on Valentine's Day, the gift of a ring is just too loaded with significance.

Let your loved one feel appreciated and loved

The idea of Valentine's is that you show your loved one that you care about him or her. So, if you are planning to offer a gift, your gift should aim to make them feel appreciated and loved.

3 key elements for the best St. Valentine's Day gift

1. Thoughtful

Plan a bit ahead; it is challenging to come up with something thoughtful if you have to do it last minute. Put some thought into what your loved one would really like. Do not give her or him a gift that you like, but give something that your loved one will appreciate. Think, "If I were him or her, what would I really like?"

2. Romantic

The best Valentine's Day gifts have a touch of romance to them, so the gift should not be practical.

The gift can be something romantic such as a simple heart shaped pendant, beautiful roses with a hand-written dedication, or you can create a romantic setting when you present your gift. Candle light, moonlight, soft background music, a bottle of champagne, and some special one-on-one time (without the distractions of kids or phones) are all conducive to a romantic atmosphere.

3. Special and original

A great Valentine's Day gift should be special and original.

For example, if you and your partner eat out 3 times a week, going out for dinner on Valentine's Day is not that special. If your partner has a massage or a manicure every week, giving your loved one a voucher for a massage or manicure is not very original.

On the other hand, if he or she would consider it a treat and special, going out for dinner or offering a voucher for a manicure could be an excellent Valentine's gift idea.

A great Valentine's Day gift does not have to be a present and it does not have to be expensive. For example, taking a nice hot bath in a bathroom filled with candles, nice bath foam and a bottle of bubbly could be a perfectly special treat for St. Valentine's; so can a hand-in-hand stroll in the moonlight with a thermos of a nice warm drink to keep you warm.

So this Valentine's, offer your loved one something that is thoughtful, romantic and special.

Single on Valentine's Day? 

Remember that if you are currently not in a relationship, you can always celebrate love, for your family, your friends and your community, but especially for yourself...

Author: Trea Tijmens - Success Match

SuccessMatch was founded in 2005 by Trea Tijmens, an international matchmaker and dating expert. Together with her small team, Trea is committed to providing a tailored and personalised dating and matchmaking service to professionals in Switzerland. They have offices in Geneva and Zurich and offer various levels of service.

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