We’re all for equal opportunities, so on Feb. 14, if you expect to receive a bouquet of roses from the man in your life, you better have a gift for him, to remind him that you enjoy his company and how much you appreciate him.
What if you’ve only gone on two or three dates? Don’t let celebrating the holiday add unnecessary pressure to your relationship. You don’t need to be extravagant. Keep it light-hearted, but thoughtful. Be real. Be you. If he doesn’t appreciate that, then move on, sister.
Matchmaker Buffie Bell Lilly, owner of Charleston Wine Pairings, shares her expert advice about what to give the man in your life at every stage of a relationship.
If you’re in a new relationship:
If you’ve been out two or three times, and the momentum is there and he’s making an effort, you can give him a card with a gift card to his favorite coffee shop tucked inside, Buffie says.
Keep it lighthearted. “Let him know you wanted to give him something, without going overboard.” Men want to feel appreciated, too, she says.
If you’ve been seeing him for at least two or three months:
Give him something that relates to his hobby. But be creative. If he plays golf, don’t give him golf balls. Instead, pay for him to have a private swing lesson. Surprise him. Grab a blanket and his favorite beer, pick him up, and take him to the beach access near the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse to watch the sunset.
Buffie recommends giving experiences that the two of you can do together. Try something you’ve never done before. It’s so much better than going out to a stuffy dinner. She suggests date night at Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Course, tickets to Theatre 99 for an improv comedy show or going on a tour of a local brewery.
Caution ahead: Tickets to a concert or a sporting event make great gifts, but if you haven’t been dating for very long and the event is too far in the future, it can create too much pressure. Trust us. We learned this one from experience.
If you’re in a long-term relationship and you want to make a statement:
Buffie once hired the Charleston Barbershop Chorus to serenade her husband. “He was kind of mortified,” she laughs. “But he also thought it was cute.”
She’s also had singer-songwriter Ryan Lill local artist compose and record a song for a loved one. “It’s priceless,” she says.
If you have children, call a babysitter and arrange for a more extravagant experience for a date night. The two of you deserve some adult time as a couple. Buffie recommends a cooking class at In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner or Wine Blending by Kessler at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
“Men are pretty simple but they want to know you’ve thought about them,” Buffie says.