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Worst Valentine's gifts you can give her

By Joshua Nichols, Staff writer
Published On: Jan 31 2012 06:02:08 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2014 09:14:21 AM CST
man giving woman present gift

iStock/sjlocke

So with Valentine's Day nearly here, you've got it all figured out, right guys?

You've chosen the perfect gift that's you're sure is going to seal your spot in the boyfriend/husband Hall of Fame forever. Sure, there might be a couple Valentine's Day hiccups in your past, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that stuff, yeah?

But wait. What if you haven't learned?

How can you be sure your present will be met with adulation rather than an abhorrence that will send you straight to the couch for the night?

Before you give the woman of your dreams something along the lines of athletic socks or tickets to your favorite team's upcoming big game, stop, think it through and make sure your gift isn't one of the following worst Valentine's Day gifts ever ...

black lingerie on red silk sheets

No. 5: Lingerie

Really, getting most any article of clothing for your significant other's Valentine's gift is a decision fraught with peril.

God help you if you choose the wrong size -- in either direction -- or choose something so hideous that even Snooki would have second thoughts about wearing it.

You might think you're making a grand romantic gesture, but, face it, it's more or less a gift for yourself. A good, thoughtful gift is supposed to be for her enjoyment, as much as if not more than yours, so no, that silky swatch of fabric from Frederick's of Hollywood that requires instructions for putting on just ain't going to cut it -- not this, or any, year.

If your Valentine is into lingerie, you're better off buying a gift certificate so she can go and spoil herself on your dime and get exactly what she wants. That way you'll both be happy.

Video game controller

No. 4: Anything that's really for yourself

Granted, that new Xbox game is beyond cool. With tons of action and eye-popping graphics, you can already see yourself slaying zombies and demons in your living room.

But unless your wife or girlfriend is a serious gamer, you better get out of electronics and hightail it to the jewelry counter.

That also goes for those new power tools, that sweet grill and that awesome framed "Cool Hand Luke" movie poster that you've had your eye on.

Any of those would prove a great Valentine's Day gift if your significant other is a female version of Bob Vila -- hopefully without the beard -- can't get enough of barbecuing or would have left you in a heartbeat for Paul Newman.

But if not, don't be that guy. Pretending that a gift you've gotten for yourself is really a romantic gesture doesn't sit well on any holiday, but it's a particularly bad Valentine's Day move.

woman using vacuum cleaner on rug

No. 3: 'Helpful' gifts

Your Valentine might really need those jumper cables or that new vacuum cleaner, but don't expect them to jump excitedly in your arms when they open it up come Valentine's Day.

There are occasions that are perfect for helpful, useful, everyday gifts. Valentine's Day is not one of those occasions.

Yeah, it's a holiday we wouldn't be celebrating today if it weren't for the promotional efforts of jewelers, candy makers, greeting card companies and florists that stop just short of blackmail. But it's still a romantic holiday.

You want to pick out a gift that says "I love you" and "You're the most special person in the whole world to me," not, "Hey, the couch needs vacuuming under."

Put a little thought into your gift and it won't matter how much time or money spent on it, just that you were thinking of ways to show your love instead of your practical side.

upset woman holding scale

No. 2: Shape up gifts

You're on your own if you are dim enough to buy the woman in your life a treadmill or any other piece of exercise equipment.

The same applies to scales, self-help books, workout DVDs, gym memberships and any other gift designed to help her "better" herself.

If there are quicker ways to derail a romantic Valentine's Day effort than planting the seeds of doubt in your better half's mind, well, we're not sure what they could be.

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to make the love of your life feel like she's beyond perfect in your mind. You want to aim for romance, unconditional love and devotion.

But the message you're sending with a fitness, diet or other self-help gift is "If you weren't such a [insert your choice of insult here], you'd be getting flowers and chocolate. Sorry, better luck next year."

Better luck to you too.

woman yelling at man during argument fight

No. 1: Absolutely nothing

If your Valentine is watching her weight, candy can be an iffy proposition. Some women just aren't into jewelry and others find flowers that will soon wilt and die either depressing or a waste of money.

But even if your wife or girlfriend falls into one of those categories, you're still better off getting her one of those gifts than showing up empty-handed.

If you haven't gotten it by now, the key to a romantic Valentine's Day is expressing your love. In the end, it doesn't matter what shape that expression takes, as long as it's heartfelt.

If you can't be bothered to remember Valentine's Day with just a homemade card, a corny burned mix CD or even a simple home-cooked meal, you're telling your Valentine she wasn't worth the effort. She might just feel inclined to return the favor, but with a more direct approach.

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