A Broke Dude’s Guide to Spoiling Your Partner on Valentine’s Day

Expensive presents are cool, but so is thoughtfulness… right? … Anyone?


Ah, Valentine’s Day — that holiday dedicated to love, appreciation and panicking while trying to find your partner a gift that symbolized the entirety of your relationships so they still love you come February 15th. Seriously, though, I have, like, no money and need to come up with something exquisite to give my girlfriend, so I asked celebrity matchmaker Alessandra Conti to please, please, please help me come up with some cheap, but awesome gift ideas. If you need help, too, here are her thoughts.

A Champagne Toast Under the Stars
“Plan a romantic star-gazing evening,” Conti suggests. “Get a bottle of André, Google scenic locations in your city, bring two glasses and a blanket, and have a little stargazing or city light viewing date under the stars.” Also, bring snacks. Just sayin’.

A Thoughtful Playlist
“Create your partner a Spotify playlist,” says Conti. “As a little ode to the 80s and 90s mix-tape era, there’s nothing more romantic than a curated playlist. You can even write a hand-written note about why you chose each song for them.” Maybe spring for the ad-free version, though?

A Love Song (If You Can Play Anything)
“Write your partner a song,” Conti recommends. “If you’re like 90 percent of the population, you can play a few chords on either the guitar or piano, so sit down and create your partner a song that’s just for them. Even if you can’t carry a tune to save your life, the fact that you took the time to create something is more valuable than just about any material gift.” Remember, flowers only last a few days, but excruciating shared embarrassment can last a lifetime!

A (Literally) Sweet Picnic
“Create a little picnic basket of his or her favorite desserts,” says Conti. “For a twist on the classic picnic date, make it a Valentine’s dessert picnic date. Find a park nearby, and bring a little picnic basket filled with his or her favorite snacks. He or she will love the attention to detail and the fact that you went out of your way to plan a special moment.” And the sweets, most importantly.

A Bedroom Wine Tasting, With You as the Sommelier
“Do an at-home wine tasting,” Conti says. “Buy four different bottles of inexpensive wine, and do a bit of research about each bottle so you can be a sommelier for the day. Be sure to explain the different flavors that they should be tasting, and tell him or her a bit about where each wine is from. You can even do a more generous pour than they’d normally get at a vineyard.” That way, they might get drunk enough to forget that all they got for Valentine’s Day was you mansplaining cheap wine in the kitchen.

A Teddy Bear and Flowers
“As cheesy as it sounds, you can never go wrong with a teddy bear and flowers,” Conti says. “They’re a classic for a reason, and you can find them for a grand total of $20 at just about any drugstore.” Still, uhhhh… maybe try the other options first.