So, ya had to go and do it, didn’t you? You had to start dating someone new, like, yesterday. And now Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you’re stuck in a pretty awkward situation. How to proceed? What to do? Do you get your new significant other a gift or a card? Do you spend Valentine’s Day hiding under the covers, pretending to have come down with a case of the Black Plague? Or do you handle the whole thing like an adult and actually talk about it with your new guy or girl? If you answered “HELL NO” to the last option, then your best bet is to come prepared with something in hand on February 14th, because claiming to have the Black Plague isn’t going to fly. Sorry about your luck.
Now that we’ve settled that, let’s get down to the hard stuff: what are you going to buy/make/do for your new squeeze? Here are 12 ideas:
1. Pick up a bottle of wine or a six-pack of some fancy, artisanal beer. Or a bottle of gin, whatever. Throw a bow on it if you’re feeling fancy.
2. Buy a pack or two of conversation heart candy. They’re cheesy and fun and perfect for Valentine’s Day, of course.
3. Flowers. Everyone likes flowers. Pick up a bouquet of something low-key, like daisies or… Whatever, as long as it isn’t roses. Save the roses for when you’re in love.
4. If you don’t think flowers will fly, try a plant. Look for one of those small, weird, cute little ones, like the potted cacti they sell at Ikea or at those hole-in-the-wall convenience stores.
5. Plan a fun day-date activity. You could go bowling, to an art class, or to laser tag.
6. Bake or cook something. Easy.
7. Think about your inside jokes and shared interests and go from there. Maybe the two of you bonded over your shared love of Harry Potter books. Why not pick him or her up something small but cute, like a set of Unforgivable Curses pencils or a “Mischief managed” wine glass?
8. A board game. You two can play together.
9. Tickets to a movie, concert, or sporting event that you can attend together. I’m not suggesting that you buy, like, court-side tickets to a Raptors game or something crazy expensive like that. But nosebleed seats to a show and a promise to pick up the beer tab? That would be perfect.
10. A good book. What was the last great book you read? Give a copy to your date, and the two of you can talk about the book when he or she finishes reading it.
11. Buy him or her a sassy coffee mug. Everyone likes sassy coffee mugs.
12. And when all else fails, there’s always chocolate.