Love it or leave it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And whether you’re a fan of the holiday or not, you probably thought about what romantic thing you should do or buy for your significant other.
What’s love got to do with it?
Valentine’s day is an old tradition, with its origins dating back to Roman times, but today it has mostly been reshaped into a consumer holiday.
$18.2 billion are spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and on average, men spend twice as much as women, paying $160 for the gift. But how important is it really for you to get your loved one a gift for Valentine’s Day?
It’s an absolute truth that money doesn’t buy love, but there is much more to gift giving than we are aware of. Scientists have found that gift giving is humanity’s universal behavior and is a form of reciprocity or exchange that helps build relationships.
The real value of gifting is hidden behind the shallow surface of exchanging material objects.
The science behind gift giving
Gift giving is not just a manifestation of modern consumerism, in its core, it is a manifestation of being sociable. Relationships are a key part of every individual’s life, as well as society as a whole, and through gift-giving we establish a relationship where there was none before or re-establish an existing relationship; as Bronislav Malinowski, a well-known 20th-century anthropologist stated, reciprocity is an implicit part of gifting.
The gifts we give are not the goal of gift giving, what really matters is the act of gifting and the relationship behind it.
What’s also important is that the value of the gift doesn’t lie in its monetary value, but in its symbolism. You don’t give money, you give attention, devotion, love. You don’t have to buy a gift, you can bake it, cook it or DIY it or you can even just write a heartfelt personal message on a blank piece of paper.
It’s not that hard to find a Valentine’s gift
Now that you know why gift giving is important, you might feel under pressure, but don’t worry. Buying the right gift isn’t actually that hard, especially when it’s for someone we love.
Remember, there is no such thing as the perfect gift. There are great gifts and good enough gifts. Great gifts show how much you know and appreciate your partner, and good-enough gifts still show your love and attention. Basically, you can’t go wrong.
Relax and put finding a gift into your mind, but don’t try to figure it out right away. Just let it float there while you go about your day. Once in a while ask yourself: Did your partner mention anything they would really like to do? Maybe try a new hobby or a new restaurant? Did they say they really want something but can’t find it anywhere? Did they mention something they'd like to do together? If nothing comes to mind, expand your thinking. What kind of a person are they? What do they like to do? Could you improve their life with a certain product or activity?
The secret to finding a great gift is to pay attention. We guarantee you’ll find it in just a few days or even a few hours if you focus.