How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake on Valentine’s Day

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want to know how to avoid the biggest mistake on valentine’s day, or really any holiday? i will tell you from experience.


this happened in high school around valentine’s day. i was dating this guy and we both thought valentine’s day was kinda dumb so we wouldn’t do anything to celebrate it. we agreed not to get each other gifts.

as the day got closer, i found a cute little card (it was probably slightly inappropriate) and decided to get him his favorite candy. oh heck, one of his favorite movies was on sale too (damn you target) so i grabbed that. i figured he would probably get me a few little things too because those weren’t really gift gifts, just little things.

when i saw him during passing period (oh high school), i eagerly thrusted my card, candy and movie in his hands. i barely noticed his confused and then angry look as i sheepishly waited to receive my card and little something from him. it never came.

i played it off cool on the outside but on the inside, i had all the feels.

obviously he doesn’t like me as much as i thought he did. shouldn’t he have known that i’d get him a little something and he should get me a little something!? i mean…we are dating. i’m the idiot who got him something and now he probably thinks i’m smothering him.

first he got confused because we agreed to no gifts and here i am giving him things. then he got angry that i broke our agreement and i got him things anyways. later he told me that i made him feel bad because he didn’t get me anything (since that was indeed the agreement).

i talk about this in my e-book, but we can’t read each other’s minds AND we need to say what we mean.

not only was i disappointed on that valentine’s day because i didn’t have anything tangible to show that i was dating someone (which is of utmost importance in high school) but i also made him feel bad.

i expected him to read my mind that even though we said “no gifts,” i guess i did want a card and a little something. i should have said that out loud. since we agreed to not get each other gifts, i should have also respected that.

this valentine’s day, avoid that same mistake.

if you and your significant other have agreed to not give each other gifts, don’t get him/her a gift! if you think it would be cute to agree to no gifts and then throw in a surprise one, it’s not. your partner will feel guilty that he has nothing to give in return and probably a little upset that you broke the deal. it’s not worth it.

if you’ve already agreed to no gifts and were planning to surprise them with a present during your romantic dinner tomorrow night-save it for a random tuesday. it’s better to stick to your word and the expectations put in a place. plus, random gifts are a lot more fun to receive when they are for no reason except to show you were thinking of your partner!

if you want a gift or a card on valentine’s day/any holiday, tell your spouse! no one can read minds.

if you agree to no gifts, stick to that agreement.

that guy and i later broke up, mostly because his favorite candy were gum drops (ew). now my husband and i honor the conversations we have around gift-giving and talking about our expectations (and candy preferences) on holidays. still looking for quirky date ideas for tomorrow? i gotchu. happy love weekend!

1) has something like this happened to you before?
2) do you have plans for valentine’s day?
3) favorite candy to receive as a gift?

Helene in Between


  1. Amanda Wood

    February 13, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Oh how true this is. I think a lot of women make this mistake (I have before). Men take us seriously on these matters, so we really need to communicate to them what we really want and need from them.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Quick & Easy Chocolate Fudge Recipe + Blogger Love

    • chelsea

      February 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      it’s so true, amanda. we need to be communicating what we are wanting and needing from them!

  2. Melissa C

    February 13, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Oh, all the feels! This has definitely happened. It was role reversal on my end one year in high school though. Dude got me something and I was empty handed. oops. I’m guilty of doing it too! Communication is definitely the key! Oh, but best candy is definitely not even candy at all. Chocolate covered strawberries all the way!
    Melissa C recently posted…Currently, I’m in Love!

    • chelsea

      February 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      mmm now i want a vat of chocolate covered strawberries, melissa! 🙂 yeah i’ve been on both ends too and for some reason maybe a small part of us thinks it will be cute to surprise the other person but no good!

  3. Audrey

    February 13, 2015 at 11:42 am

    We always start off saying no gifts (on birthdays, anniversaries, v-day) but then 3 or 4 days before the big day one of us tells the other that we bought them something (usually me). So then the other person (usually my hubby) has time to go get something.
    I also tell him the price range I stuck to so he has an idea. But then he goes and spend 3xs that on me and makes me feel like a spoiled little goof. Lol!
    Audrey recently posted…Love is in the Air

    • chelsea

      February 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      at least you allow a few days for rule revision, audrey! it’s communicating that piece that is key! ohhh price range is a HUGE factor-i totally forgot to mention that. good call. tell him to stay in the price range jeeeez 🙂

  4. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    February 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    omggg I feel like this happens all the time! so true about not expecting your partner to read your mind. {I feel like this happens with my parents ALL THE TIME hahaha ahhh} Also I think talking about price ranges is SO important… that can get awkward too, when one person spends $10 and the other $50!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…Qdoba’s vday deal + I found a cheap tax software

    • chelsea

      February 13, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      YES! can’t believe i forgot to mention the price range, thanks for the addition you financially savvy woman ashley! totally gets awkward when someone goes over the top and you’ve spent close to nothing (that’s usually my case)!

  5. Danielle @ The-Lifestyle-Project

    February 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Very good advice Chelsea! My husband and I aren’t doing anything for Valentine’s this year as we’re spending it apart, but we’ve always been in agreement that it’s not that big of a deal. Usually we include money in our budget for the occasional restaurant/take out, so when we’re together we’ll time it and use that money for a little date night. What are you guys doing this weekend? Also – favourite candy: sour cherry blasters.
    Danielle @ The-Lifestyle-Project recently posted…Immigration Update: One Step Closer to Not Being an Alien

    • chelsea

      February 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

      love to hear that a) you and your husband have a budget you stick to and b) you incorporate the occasional night out! money can be a huge issue in relationships so glad you are open and intentional about it, danielle!

      we played it low-key this year since my husband really isn’t into valentine’s day and i think i still feel super spoiled from my birthday a few weeks ago.

      i literally salivated at your mention of sour cherry blaster candy.

  6. Vivien

    February 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    1) Oh it probably has, and not just in the Valentine’s Day context. Once I was dating a guy and we had a little spat and I said, “Don’t talk to me for a few days.” And guess what? He didn’t talk to me for a few days, when what I had really meant was “don’t talk to me for about a day, but then randomly text me to ask if I’m still mad at you and would I be willing to start talking to you again?”

    Why can’t they read our minds? Geesh!

    3) Chocolates are always good but suddenly I have a craving for the Coca Cola bottles!
    Vivien recently posted…Speaker’s Showcase: The Morning After

    • chelsea

      February 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

      that is the perfect example of this happening, vivien! i suppose that when the saying “be careful what you wish for” comes into play. ohhh coca cola bottles, like the little gummy candies?! i haven’t thought of those in forever and day. mmmm

  7. Rachel G

    February 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I love gifts, so I guarantee that I’m never going to make a ‘no gifts’ rule in any situation, ever. I like to leave the possibility open. At the same time–flexibility is key, and being honest in expectations. Our Valentine’s Day this year is taken over with planning parties for kids, we might go out to dinner next week, we might not, either way, I’m happy. 🙂
    Rachel G recently posted…10 Unusual Date Ideas

    • chelsea

      February 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

      yeah i’m all about unwrapping gifts too-it just makes you feel good. glad to hear you’re all about flexibility and being honest in expectations, even if you go to dinner to celebrate later or not! hope the parties for kids went well, rachel!

  8. Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete

    February 16, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I have trust issues with anyone whose favorite candy does not involve chocolate.
    Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete recently posted…Weekend Roundup

    • chelsea

      February 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

      for. the. reals. courtney! it’s crazytown.