So you’ve got a new sweetheart and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.
Giving her something too casual could send the wrong message, but an ultra-sappy or serious gift this early in the relationship could send her running for the hills.
And how much should you spend??
Spending too little will look like you don’t care—or worse yet, you’re cheap—and spending too much could make an incidental statement of premature commitment that makes her uncomfortable.
Fear not! Our collection of Valentine’s Day gifts for your new girlfriend will help you make her smile, laugh, maybe swoon a little—and all can be found for under $100.
The live-in-the-moment excitement of taking a Polaroid picture is priceless.
And as Stevie Nicks has shown us, Polaroids take the art of the selfie to a whole new level.
A modern take on this retro classic makes a sweet, but not sappy, gift.
Try the Polaroid Snap from AskMen’s Valentine’s gift guide, or check out the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera on heavy.com’s list of top 10 gifts for your new girlfriend. Both come in funky colors and the Instax has a macro lens adapter for those extreme close-ups.
You want to make a sentimental statement, but your new lady friend tends to be a bit more…Spock than Kirk, shall we say.
Or maybe you’ve picked out a lovely bouquet of flowers but you’d like to supplement them with something even more memorable.
Combine form and function with a handmade stoneware smartphone stand that doubles as a vase for her bedside table from Uncommon Goods’ gifts for girlfriends guide.
Her phone’s charging cord fits into the groove on the bottom of the stand, and you can use the vase as a reason to sneak more flowers into her life that’ll remind her of you!
You’ve got just enough time with her under your belt (ahem) to have a few inside jokes, know her favorite musician, and to have figured out which of her 3 cats is really her favorite.
And if not, do some non-creepy detective work and ask her best friend.
Whether it’s custom M&Ms printed with the lyrics to Purple Rain or a cross-stitch of her fur baby from one of the many artists on Etsy, a personalized gift is bound to be an unforgettable one.
AskMen’s Valentine’s Gift Ideas For Her suggests matching custom underwear from MeUndies—soft, limited edition underwear in funky colors and patterns, like martinis or cartoon Star Wars.
If traditional flowers feel too serious, give a nod to the notion with cleverly crafted tea packets that “bloom” into beautiful florals when steeped.
This Blooming Tea sampler from Uncommon Goods includes three varieties of tea grown and hand-sewn into buds by artisans in China.
Pair it with a glass teapot or a simple mason jar she can use to enjoy the view while the tea steeps.
In the way of self-care, but without the risk of choosing her beauty products (let’s face it, do you really understand the difference between hydrating and moisturizing?), Uncommon Goods’ gifts for girlfriends guide offers the hand-screen printed Midnight Garden Kimono.
It’s cotton, so it maintains a casual vibe, but the kimono cut and lush garden print bring just enough luxury to put her in a post-sauna serenity state that’ll make her swoon.
Even when it’s just multivitamins from Amazon, it’s a delight to open a package received in the mail!
Give her the real deal to squeal over—a few months of a subscription beauty box like Birchbox or Play by Sephora.
Many start at only $10/month, and you’ll find boxes catered to women of color, vegans, the natural and organic crowd and more at this list of the best beauty subscription boxes of 2018.
If your girlfriend is more Frida Kahlo than Esteé Lauder, try some of My Subscription Addiction’s best art and craft subscription boxes, such as Sketchbox for 2D media supplies or Indigo Artbox that includes project ideas and a bit of art history in each box.
(By the way, we 100% do NOT suggest sending an adorable puppy in a box—or gifting an animal as a surprise, ever!)
When in doubt, go with the tried and true—flowers.
Just remember, a bouquet of red roses may be iconic, but it could go over like a lead balloon a new relationship. It’s too early for such declarations of love!
Try some lighter options such as tulips, daisies, or even a different color rose.
Have you been drawn to your girlfriend since you first saw her? Purple roses represent love at first sight. Add some light violet lilacs—a signifier of the first pangs of love!