Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Is there any holiday more emotionally stressful than Valentine’s Day? If you’re single, you automatically feel pressure to 1) Go out and hate on Valentine’s Day at some sort of single-people-gathering 2) Find a blah date 3) Sit on the couch and eat Russell Stover heart-shaped chocolate. (Okay, that last one isn’t exactly hard, but still.)

For those couples out there, I don’t even have to tell you how expensive and aggravating going out with your significant other on Valentine’s Day is. Even staying in on the big day puts a ton of pressure on what could be a normal, romantic night. And that’s not even to mention all of the stress that buying a gift will have on your soul in the weeks before the big day. Just a month and a half after Christmas, you’re now obligated to get your other a thoughtful gift. Do you do flowers, candy, a gigantic stuffed bear? A card? Cartier? I’m getting hives just thinking about it.

But what if you are in-between singlehood and couplesville on Valentine’s Day? If you and your not-exactly-significant-other are keeping things cazsh, Valentine’s Day is bound to throw you for an even bigger loop. Do you do dinner? Do you not do dinner? Do you go out and grab drinks and risk walking into a “I Hate Valentine’s Day” singles bash? Valentine’s Day planning — apparently you really can’t avoid it.

In terms of gifts for your non-SO, where is the line? Personally, I am all for skipping the gift-giving — do you really need the extra stress? At the same time, there is always a chance that your non-boyfriend will beat you to the punch and give you some Valentine’s Day present, making you feel kind of like a jerk if you turn up empty handed. If you DO insist on getting your hookup buddy a gift, there are some guidelines you should follow. While I can’t give you the perfect gift idea for the person you’re casually sleeping with, I can provide you a list of things that are definitely no-nos. Here’s what you shouldn’t get your non-boyfriend this Valentine’s Day.


I will never understand why getting yourself new lingerie is a gift for the person you are dating. Unless you want THEM to wear it, this is just like buying yourself a present and then having them thank you for it. If you’re not seriously dating this person, buying yourself lingerie for post-dinner sexytime is more than slightly awkward. Like, are you planning on using this lingerie exclusively for hookups with this guy, or is there some sort of unwritten rule where your gift is free to use amongst any potential partners? Seems like a conversation I’d avoid having.

A Teddy Bear 

Yes, he’s cuddly and adorable and probably on sale, but nothing says “I may be reading too much into this non-relationship” like a gift that you give a name to.

A Framed Photo Of The Two Of You

Maybe you took the cutest selfie imaginable, but this is not the day to encase it in a glass frame and hand it over to him. If you find yourself staring at the picture longingly, then maybe it’s time to have a talk about where the relationship is headed. If not, dear God, please keep it to yourself before you find yourself with an actual boyfriend by the end of the night.

Tickets To Something Months Down The Road 

Whether it is a concert, wine tasting, or basketball game, getting tickets for your non-boyfriend means one thing: commitment. Hey, I get it — just because you go to a concert with a guy doesn’t mean that you’re planning the wedding. But so much can happen post Valentine’s Day that this is one gift that is more trouble than it is worth, especially if you don’t know the person you are seeing all that well. No matter how casual the event is that you’re inviting him to — or how many friends you’re also buying tickets for — you’re still making him commit to a date well in the future. What if you decide you’re bored with this dude post Valentine’s Day? You’ll be forced to sell his ticket to your backup friend, and no one wants to have to deal with them

A Round Of Shots 

This is not a Valentine’s Day gift, who are you kidding?