Posted on: 28 January 2016Share
Valentine's Day is one of those days that goes really well for some people but is really awkward for others. You can cut down on the awkwardness and up the romance (or just friendliness) by following a few simple gift-giving tips.
1. Be Unique, But Not Over-the-Top
Don't give a gift that is obviously a last minute purchase. Don't be too predictable. Flowers and chocolates are nice, but they need to send the message that they were picked especially for the recipient. Customize the box in some way - with the person's name or an inside joke. Show your thoughtfulness by choosing only their favorite candy flavors, as well. You can often get customized chocolate boxes from companies like Abdallah Candies And Gifts.
When picking out a creative Valentine's Day gift, be careful not to go over-the-top. Sentimental poems and expensive gifts increase the awkwardness factor, especially if you aren't in a very committed relationship. You don't want to go all out and not get anything in return - that's awkward for both of you.
2. Don't Leave the Recipient Guessing
Whether you're the sentimental type, the joking type, or somewhere in between the two, make sure that your gift clearly reflects your intentions. When it comes to gift-giving, a casually romantic gesture is much less awkward than an intimate one. One idea is to create a custom gift that has a photo of you and the recipient together. Writing your names in the chocolate is "sweet" but not awkward. These types of gifts clearly state that you value where your relationship is right now, without being so romantic that it would create an awkward situation if the recipient has an audience when opening the gift. If you want to give a more intimate gift, save it for a time when the two of you are alone.
If Valentine's Day is a big practical joke to you, you can do something fun and playful for many of your friends – as long as they know the gift isn't meant to imply an exclusive, heartfelt message. Raising the expectations of the recipient can become extremely awkward, since you'll eventually have to explain that you don't feel anything but platonic friendship for the person.
To avoid this awkward situation, it's okay to be cheesy. Consider writing a joke instead of a note, such as: What did one oar say to the other oar? What's up with all the ROW-mance today, anyway? If you can pass off a thoughtful gift as a practical joke, your friends will feel surprised and thrilled, but not awkward or infatuated.
3. Let the Recipient Follow-Up
Calling or texting the recipient of a gift to see if they got it can create an awkwardness that could easily be avoided. Refrain from asking the recipient if they got it and what they thought of it. Never ask if they got you something in return. If you ask what they think, it's like fishing for compliments and the recipient could feel pressured into flattering you. When you ask about a return gift, the recipient may feel like you only gave a gift because you wanted something.
It's best to leave the follow-through up to the gift's recipient. Whatever is going on at the receiving end of your gift, be patient. You'll likely get a thank you of some sort before the day is through.
4. Be Gracious
Accept the gratitude of your friend, in whatever way it's expressed. Don't shrug it off like it was no big deal, but don't congratulate yourself on a gift well given, either. Use a simple statement like, "It reminded me of you," or simply, "You're welcome," in response. A casual response always helps dispell potential discomfort.
Valentine's Day should be a day of pleasant surprises. However, it's easy for expressions of friendship and love to become awkward on this day. To avoid that, make sure you are thoughtful, send clear messages, and are patient and gracious about your friend's response.