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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Every Relationship Stage

Feb 1, 2016

by Molly Simms

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Finding the just-right gift for your significant other can be tricky: Something too elaborate or expensive in the early stages of courtship might set off “way too into you” alarm bells, but those who are in the long-term, know-what-you-eat-for-lunch-every-day stage of coupledom will be expected to up the ante with something more substantial and thoughtful than last-minute roses and a hearty hug. Whether you’re three or three hundred dates into your relationship, we’ve got Valentine’s Day gift ideas that’ll make that special someone smile (and not go hunting for a return slip).

Gifts for When You’re Not Really a “Thing” Yet

For that period when you’re still learning each other’s siblings’ names, try one of these consumable, ephemeral, or otherwise short-lived gifts that need not outlast the relationship: bath products with a scent that lingers for just the right amount of time, cards that are sweet without being saccharine, low-commitment perfume samples, and lollipops that are just as quirky as he is. Show your “like” with a valentine in the form of a heart-shaped cookie, or a set of cocktail bitters that are potent but not too passionate.

Littlelow “Weird” card, $4.50; buy it here.

Guilty Confections Valentine’s Day sugar cookies, $24 for 12; buy it here.

Vice and Velvet “Blushing Phoenix” bathing whip, $9; buy it here.

Hillary Bird “I Like Your Face” card, $5; buy it here.

Skin Food by AB “Gimme a Beet” organic tinted lip balm, $8; buy it here.

Leccare Lollipops lavender and marshmallow lollipops, $15 for 12; buy it here.

Sunchowder’s Emporia jalapeño, apricot and wildflower honey jam, $10; buy it here.

Beehive Bitters Co. citrus bitters, $27 for a set of three; buy it here.

LVNEA natural perfume oil sampler, $15 for three; buy it here.

Gifts for Your 6-Monthiversary

You’re in the heady blush of young love, so channel the days of schoolyard crushes with gifts that celebrate the fact that you’re — gasp! — officially going steady. Send an upgraded love note, give her a one-of-a-kind journal she can doodle your initials in, swap custom temporary tattoos of each other’s names just to try them on for size, get pinned with a gorgeous handmade brooch, and gift a phone case that’ll make your constant back-and-forth texting even more compelling.

Ello There “You’re a Keeper” card, $5; buy it here.

10 ante meridiem notebook, $13; buy it here.

pepperink personalized temporary name tattoo, $10; buy it here.

Pepsi Carola chalcopyrite phone case, $20; buy it here.

SHKIRA iPad Mini leather case, $70; buy it here.

Noteworthy Paper Press Mini Love Notes, $12 for a set of six; buy it here.

Nicole Stefanie Design “Love Birds” vinyl sticker, $3; buy it here.

An Astrid Endeavor embroidered brooch, $35; buy it here.

Gifts for Building a Home Together

Already cohabiting? Feather your love nest with beautiful pieces that aren’t Billy bookcases or a shower caddy. A beeswax candle disguised as a decanter adds some warmth and romance sans booze, and grown-up bedding is indulgent but necessary. Ceramic pet portraits will honor your firstborn (fur) babies. And why not hang a print commemorating the exact coordinates of the spot you first met, or a banner that shows just how psyched you are about each other?

Sad Shop “You Keep My Feet Warm” card, $5; buy it here.

Gus and Rami ceramic pet portrait, $196; buy it here.

Host and Toast Studio personalized whiskey bottle and glass carrier set, $54; buy it here.

Linen Tales in Bed stone-washed linen duvet cover, $129 and up; buy it here. 

Pixel + Paper custom coordinates printable art, $25; buy it here.

Secret Holiday Co “YES” banner, $90; buy it here.

Have & Hold Design “All the Feels” card, $4; buy it here.

Cleanse With Benefits candle, $13; buy it here.

Gifts for Your Long-Term Love

Your love has stood the test of time, so celebrate your life partner (and “In Case of Emergency” contact) with items that let you spoil each other daily. A gold ID bracelet can be engraved with your name, so it’s almost like you’re holding her hand. She’ll never take off these understated-yet-elegant rings, and a shaving set shows him how much you care about staying close. Snazzy shoes will look just as dapper at the office as they will on date night, and these espresso cups make mornings together even sweeter. Handmade lingerie is always a good idea, and this heirloom-quality rocking chair is meant to last for a long while, just like your relationship.

Kapelika heart hair barrette, $38; buy it here.

Miri Hardy Pottery personalized shaving set, $92; buy it here. 

Angela Friedman silk tap pants, $120; buy it here.

Emily McDowell Studio “There’s Nobody Else” card, $4.50; buy it here.

Hoard Jewelry 18k personalized gold bar bracelet, $355 and up; buy it here.

Norman & Bella leather shoes, $179; buy it here.

Blue Ridge Notions white pearl and gold-filled ring, $48; buy it here.

meilen collaborative stoneware espresso cups with 18k gold hearts, $46 for two; buy it here.

Ohhio merino wool blanket, $400; buy it here.

Barnett Chairs rocking chair, $1,900; buy it here.

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