The 10 Stages Of Relationships & What You Should Get Your Valentine Based On Your Stage

Valentine’s Day is coming up – and you know what that means!  It’s time to be forced by society to define your relationship because you need to get a gift for your significant other.  The hardest part of Valentine’s Day gift giving is figuring out if you and your bae are exchanging gifts and the second hardest part is figuring out how much money/effort/whatever you should spend on this person. I’m here to help with both! Some people will say that the amount of money or effort that you’re putting into a gift depends on how long you’ve been together – but as someone who has had both super speedy 4 month long super serious relationships and super long-term multi-year long hook ups – I can tell you this is not true. You should base the gift off of feelings and seriousness!  The following are some gift ideas for both males and females in whichever relationship stage you fall into!

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If you’re tight on cash but still want to let your loved one know how much you love them make them something meaningful! You can still show your love without splurging. Make them a picture book with all of your favourite memories on it, or wear a sexy costume/lingerie and make their fantasies come true..

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STAGE 1: friends who sometimes hook up drunk (one-ish night stand).

We’ve all been there – this person is your back up booty call, you know they’re there for when you’re really in the mood and drunk and desperate but that’s pretty much it. You should NOT under any circumstances get this person a gift for valentine’s day. They will think you are crazy and obsessive.

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STAGE 2: friends who hook up drunk & sober (booty call).

If you guys are making plans when you’re sober and not just texting at 2am asking where each other is, it probably means that you at least like each other enough to tolerate. For you guys valentine’s day is something that totally depends on plans. If you guys have plans to hang out on valentine’s day you should definitely do something fun with it. Bring over a card with a bottle of wine, chocolate covered strawberries, candies, a teddy bear or roses, or you could even use the change to introduce something new into your sex life and get them this book on sex positions from Urban Outfitters.  You don’t have to do anything big, it’s the thought that counts and can make your night less awkward and more special and fun!

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If you guys won’t be spending the night together you should send them a flirty valentine’s day snapchat and make sure you include your Bitmoji, but you still probably don’t need to get them anything.

Position Of The Day Playbook - Urban Outfitters

STAGE 3: friends who sometimes hook up drunk & sober & also are affectionate in public.

You guys aren’t serious yet so you don’t want to scare each other off, but if you guys hang out in public and act affectionately towards each other in front of friends and family (Idk when this would happen if you weren’t dating but who knows) it means that you guys do like each other enough to see a future together!  This means you’re hopefully seeing each other on Valentine’s day, and you should definitely do something to commemorate. Since you guys are newer to the whole going out in public together thing it would be a great idea to plan a cute date as a gift. Go to a fancy restaurant you wouldn’t usually go to, cook a special dinner, or even just go out and see the newest valentine’s day rom com to come out. On top of your night out, please refer to stage 2 for ideas of gifts because it would probably be nice to get them something special and everyone likes flowers and candy!

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STAGE 4:  won’t admit that you’re dating but you’re basically dating, and you are exclusive.

You guys should probably be going out and doing a fun date night activity.  You don’t actually need to go out, but your valentines’ plans should for sure be set in stone. Now is when a real gift is probably necessary. Make sure to listen closely to your partner and hopefully you’re smart enough to figure out something they care about enough that would matter to them. If they’re super into a book you could try to find a first edition copy, if they love a sports team you could look for a signed jersey, if they have a beard and love their beard you could get them a shaving kit, if they are obsessed with aromatherapy you could get them a bundle of amazing, organic essential oils from Natural Habits, and/or this cute diffuser from Nordstrom.  Those are just a few ideas, be creative because it will really show if you put thought into your gift.

Harry’s Winston Shave Set

STAGE 5: officially dating and exclusive.

It’s probably your first valentine’s day together and it could really mean something!  A sentimental gift is a super easy way to go above and beyond for your partner while not overspending. You could get them a fill in the blanks what I love about you book or make your own! You could make them some I owe you’s and write down some of their favourite things, or you could even plan something super extra like a scavenger hunt.  Gift wise – now that you’re dating you may have to step up on the gift. A super easy but romantic gift is a fragrance or fragrance set, who doesn’t love smelling good and who doesn’t love having a partner who smells good? Spoil your girl with Byredo “Gypsy Water” and she will think you have the best taste ever. A nice cologne also makes a great gift for a guy, plus it’s a win win for you: you choose a scent you like and he wears it. What’s sexier than a guy that smells amazing?

Byredo - Gypsy Water.

STAGE 6: officially dating and exclusive and you’ve said I love you.

You guys are becoming obsessed with each other and it’s really showing! If you guys are in stage 6 you could discuss getting a gift together.  I think his & her apple watches are super great because they keep you connected (no longer any excuses for not replying to a text), but they also give you guys something to do! Hit your move goal together ;) or also it could inspire you to be more active with each other.  You could end up spending more time together going walks in the park or sweating it out at SoulCycle.

Apple Watch For HIM


STAGE 7: officially dating and exclusive and you’ve sent picture of wedding rings and discussed baby names.

You guys are totally in the honeymoon stage and love being all over each other! You probably would make me sick to watch – but congrats on finding love, I’m happy for you. Now’s the chance to get them something meaningful that will mean a lot to them! Jewellery is always a good call, but you could also get your partner something splurge worthy that they would never get for themselves like this super cool Y-3 gym back or Gucci has wallets with big sports teams logos like the Yankees on them which would be super cool if you’re dating a yankees fan! I’ve linked below some cute jewels as well, because everyone loves a good accessory.

Y-3 Bungee Gym Bag

STAGE 8: engaged.

I’ve never been engaged but I have a feeling it’s a time where you are quite stripped for cash.  SO – instead of getting your fiancée a gift, you guys should take a night off from wedding planning and just spend time together. A couple’s massage would probably be a great gift to help destress from all the wedding planning. As a gift you could also consider giving in to your fiancée on something that they want for the wedding that you might not agree with.  Give and take keeps a relationship going!

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STAGE 9: married.

Now that you guys are married, I think it’s time to get each other something that you could both use! Something for you to share will be nice because it means spending time together! You could get a nice bottle of wine, a fancy cooking utensil, or lingerie (for you to give to him to give back to you because who doesn’t like getting a gift for themselves). Anything from Victoria secret or la perla will do. Also, if your significant other loves to cook, they will LOVE this indoor grill. Bonus: It’s on sale!


Philips Avance Collection Smoke-Less Indoor Grill


STAGE 10: married with kids.

If you have kids, I think the best thing you and your partner could do is plan a valentine’s day weekend getaway!  It doesn’t have to be far, but two nights at a nice hotel even in your own city will feel super special for you and your bae! If you do want to head out of town New York City (or Paris but that may be a little too far for some) would be a great place for the perfect weekend getaway!  You can skip all the touristy things and have a romantic and relaxing weekend, book a trip to the spa, go for a fancy dinner, have a night to yourselves in the hotel, explore the pool/hot tub. These are just a few things you could be doing with your partner on a Valentine’s day weekend getaway!

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Hope this helps you figure out what to do for your significant other this valentine’s day! A heartfelt card is always a meaningful touch and should definitely accompany any gift being given!


By Emmy Goodman