As the annual celebration of all things love-related, Valentine’s Day can put a lot of pressure on partners hoping to prove their devotion. That a gift must be bought is a given, but what exactly is appropriate? The answer, unfortunately, is not always clear.

Valentine's Ducks

Definite no-nos

Some of the more unlikely gifts on sale rely on a heavy sense of irony to work. Even then, their worth is a little dubious. Exmaples include the hole punch that makes heart-shaped holes, the toaster that marks bread with ‘I love you’, the heart-shaped cheese or casserole dish, and loo roll with lipstick kisses printed on it.

Traditional gift ideas

The average florist makes more than a third of their yearly revenue in the run-up to February 14th. Chocolate peddlers also do well out of the occasion – according to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, February 14th is the largest single-sales day for boxed chocolate. While some suggest that sexy lingerie is a suitable Valentine’s Day present, the reality is that giving someone risqué underwear can be easily misconstrued.

Some people prefer a present that is a little more personal. Seeking out a gift that reflects your partner’s tastes shows that you understand and value their personality. While the process of choosing can seem daunting, remember that there is no ideal gift. Use your knowledge of your partner’s preferences in art, literature and fashion to find something that suits.

The ease with which a suitable gift can be found may depend on when and where the couple originally met. For example, those who found love via eHarmony Australia can make use of the information found on the profile. Couples who met through mutual friends can run ideas past them first.

Wallowing in luxury

Of all the seasonal celebrations, Valentine’s Day is the most sensual. Gifts that stimulate the senses (in a good way) are therefore ideal. Massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and are all good options. Smaller gifts can include scented oil and soap, perfume, moisturisers and balms. Choose a manufacturer that uses sumptuous packaging, such as L’Occitane.

Dating destinations

For those new to dating Melbourne, New York or London provide a plethora of potential romantic destinations. Outside major urban areas, the romantically inclined need to work a little harder to find something special.

While every girl (and boy) likes to be taken out for dinner, booking a table at a restaurant can be difficult, especially if it’s been left till the last minute. A great alternative is a picnic. Choose a scenic spot and fill a hamper with delectable goodies.

If a picnic is impractical, offer to prepare a special dinner. Research dishes and create a suitable menu, preferably with a few aphrodisiacs. Supposedly love-inducing food stuffs include asparagus, banana, caviar, chocolate, figs, radish, oysters, truffles, ginseng and champagne.

For those who prefer to be a little more active, ice skating is a great way to spend relatively intimate time together. Other options could include a walk in the countryside (with or without a pub lunch) or even a ride on a tandem.