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Bad Valentine's Day Gifts

By now dozens of companies have been knocking at your door, and invading your inbox, reminding you that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The pressure to find the perfect gift is on! Here are Modern Manners Guy's 3 tips for how to avoid a gift-giving pitfall.

By
Richie Frieman
February 9, 2014
Episode #283

Page 1 of 2

By now dozens of companies have been knocking at your door, and invading your inbox, reminding you that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I can’t tell you how stressful this is. The pressure is on to pull off something super romantic on February 14.

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As I’ve said many times before, I consider myself a romantic at heart. I try every day to remind my wife how much she means to me. Yet, on Valentine’s Day the anxiety to show your loved one how much they mean to you, tends to come down to exactly that...how much?

And therein lies the issue with pulling off a wonderfully romantic Valentine’s Day that would make Nicholas Sparks, “This guy is a keeper!”

As you prepare to wrack your brain – and wallet – for ideas that will make your loved one shout with joy, let me give you one piece of advice: Slow your roll.

Finding the perfect romantic gift is not that easy, but getting a dud is. So with that, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for how to avoid the bad Valentine’s Day gift:

Tip #1: You Spent How Much?

Cost is a big issue when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts. People tend to go overboard because of the “deals” and “steals” and “limited time only” opportunities being offered this time of year. Didn’t we just get done with Christmas and Hanukkah?

My friend Kenny spent $1,000 – which he did not have – on his girlfriend’s Valentine’s Day gift (jewelry and flowers). He thought he was going to score big points for his over-the-top gesture and that would leave him off the hook for presents for the rest of the year. He was wrong. Come her birthday, only two months later, the girlfriend was expecting an even bigger gift than what he gave her on February 14th. Then, on their one year anniversary, a month after that, an even bigger gift…and he wasn't even close to Christmas! Kenny was feeling the pressure of upholding his high roller status, but could not financially afford to.

We go big on one gift, thinking that’s enough for the year, only to find out the other person thinks it’s just the start.

This happens all the time. We go big on one gift, thinking that’s enough for the year, only to find out the other person thinks it’s just the start. You tend to forget the year is long and there are many holidays and events along the way.

However, let’s say Valentine’s Day is “your thing,” and you want to go big that day. If so, I suggest making sure your partner is aware that you may not be financially capable to do the same thing for the next few months.  But if your partner tells you, “What? You mean, this is it?” I suggest two things: one, dump them. And secondly…well, just stick to number one.

Gift giving comes from the heart, not the wallet.  If you decide to go all out for Valentine’s Day, go right ahead, however, be sure to have a conversation about the future so you aren't caught off guard two months from then, saying, “What, you wanted something other than this picture frame?...Well, remember the diamond necklace I bought you in February, just two months ago…”

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