1. Give as Good as You Get
It can be bought, it can be made. Regardless, a gift at Valentine's Day is like tipping -- whatever the circumstance, it's really never unwelcome. Even someone who makes a pretext of being offended by a tip will usually still take the money. Same goes for Valentine's Day. You're in a much better position if the worst you face is, ''We said we weren't going to get gifts for each other,'' rather than being ambushed by some tender token.
The easy go-to gifts are candy and flowers. You won't win, however, being predictable. There will be points earned, yes, just not many. And where your relationship is concerned, Valentine's Day is as make-or-break as an anniversary, so put some thought into it.
Does the object of your desire seem to care more for a pet than for you? No problem -- get the animal a gift. It's a good show of support. Maybe your relationship is more hot than homey. If you'd like to keep things that way, Valentine's Day is the perfect time for offering a sex toy. Nothing says ''I'm hot for you'' as well as a vibrating egg or flavored lube. Whatever gift you choose, it's going to carry more weight on Valentine's Day, so choose carefully.
Is your relationship rocky? Then lucky for you that this day gets blown out of proportion. A V.D. fail is no more likely than a V.D. win, so choosing the just the right gift can take you from unwelcome to wanton in a snap.
Maybe you're trying out a long-distance relationship. From airlines to buses to trains, chances are good you can find a gift certificate that – even if falling short of full fare – reminds your honey you'd rather be sharing the same space.
The Valentine's Day gift is your big chance to say, ''I get you,'' a far more respectful sentiment than ''Be mine.'' If you truly do, then a little effort should lead you to the perfect present. As important as the gift is your presentation, just in case the meaning is not immediately apparent. ''A bottle of wine? Enh.'' ''No, dear, it's a bottle of wine from the year you were born.''