Valentine’s Day Gifts Bring Happiness – or Do They?

We all feel or hope to feel happy on Valentine’s Day. But, among all the gifts and flowers, in between romantic deals at expensive restaurants, what is the source of that happiness we get on Valentine’s Day? Is it the gifts that make us happy or simply spending some time with our significant other on a day dedicated to our love for each other?

From Gifts to Experiences: Valentine’s Day

Now that we are done with Christmas, it is time for us to celebrate yet another special day on February 14, Valentine’s Day. All the shopping malls and streets were painted in red for Christmas. This time, it is for love. Valentine’s Day is a widely celebrated day all around the world and it is a great opportunity for people to reiterate their love for one another by exchanging gifts, going out, etc. What’s more, it is the best opportunity for those who find it difficult be romantic the rest of the year to find the courage to let their romantic sides take over on Valentine’s Day. 

Material Gifts May Not Be the Best Option

Let’s have a look at the common gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps it is better to go through one or two things about gift giving so that we can have a better understanding on Valentine’s Day. Research shows that material gifts make us happy, but only for a short period of time. Experiential gifts, however, bring long-term happiness. When you think about cliché Valentine’s Day gifts, we see that most of them are material gifts. So, exchanging more or less the same gifts every year might bring some instant happiness, but it is short-lived, failing to support your relationship in the long run. That’s why it is suggested that you go for gifts that are based on experiences.

Why Are Experiences More Valuable Than Material Gifts?

It is pretty obvious that symbolic and material gifts that you are never going to use later on will not bring happiness. We already know that experiential gifts bring long-term happiness by creating new memories and invoking new feelings. Let’s have a look at the different types of experiential gifts so that we can see why they are much more valuable than material gifts. People exchange gifts because they want to strengthen their relationship by showing the other person how much they love them via a gift that is representing their love. That’s why it’s always more difficult to find a nice gift for someone we don’t know very well or like so much.

The first type of experiential gifts is gifts that can be used or consumed later on so as to create new experiences and emotions. For instance, if you bought a nice and cozy scarf for your significant other, it would have a long-term effect on your relationship because it will remind them of you and your relationship whenever they use the scarf. The second type consists of gifts that promise an experience for the giftee. For instance, imagine you bought a ticket for a concert or a yoga class for your significant other to attend to. When they use the gift, it will be much more valuable than a material gift because they will associate the good feelings they have during the experience. 

The third type of experiential gifts is becoming more and more popular as a Valentine’s Day gift option. These types of gifts include things that you get to experience with your significant other. So, the gifter and the giftee take part in the experience together. This can be a class where you learn how to cook a particular dish, a concert, a small trip or a new hobby, you name it. Experiential gifts shared by couples are the ones that will bring the highest amount of happiness that will linger for longer. The good feelings you have during a concert or a small trip will have a long-term effect on your relationship thanks to the new memories you collect.

Valentine’s Day Clichés

It is great to talk about experiential gifts and their positive impact on your relationship. However, we know that it can be impossible to stay away from the Valentine’s Day clichés. Most of us feel pressured to celebrate this special day in a particular way. So, most people feel like they are missing something when they do not engage in the common Valentine’s Day celebrations. A romantic dinner at an expensive restaurant, red roses, expensive chocolates… The list goes on and on and on. There is also the stereotypical image of a man, struggling to show his romantic side, and a girl desperate to get some romantic attention from her significant other. This is also a scene we are used to seeing on romantic comedies, but it can feel like we are playing along with these roles sometimes. So, it is best to have an open conversation with your significant other about their expectations from the relationship. And, instead of giving each other the cliché Valentine’s Day gifts that thousands of couples are exchanging all over the world, try to come up with an experience that represents your personal interests that will further strengthen your relationship. Let February 14 be a truly special day for you and your significant other, instead of trying to tick boxes.

How About Flowers?                            

Who doesn’t love getting a bunch of flowers, right? It might feel amazing at the time, but remember that flowers are material gifts, too. They might bring happiness for the moment, but it will be forgotten the next day. It is also believed by some that giving flowers is a huge waste. Considering that people give thousands of flowers on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. it is hard to argue with this opinion. However, there is scientific proof that receiving flowers makes people happy. Just remember that the fact that you receive those flowers with a huge smile on your face doesn’t mean that the effect will last for long. Here’s a quick tip for turning flowers into an experiential gift idea: you can get potted plants and flowers for your loved ones to get the perks of an experiential gift.

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