Valentine's Day is near! February 14 is getting close, and for some people that means lavishing your friends, family and significant others with gifts. We know candy is always a popular idea, and we recently learned the most popular kinds of candy for Valentine's Day.

But what if you want to think outside the box (of chocolates) and do something better? I always say you shouldn't wait for a designated day. It's the thoughtful things you do/give at random times that matter most. I guess that's (one of the reasons) why I am still single and others aren't.

Anyway, I found some guidelines to dictate your Valentine's Day giving by how long you've been with the person.

  • One or two dates: if you haven't spent a long time together, there's no need to spend money on them for Valentine's Day. I would suggest at least texting them a nice Happy Valentine's Day message.
  • Three-plus dates: This is when you apparently have to start thinking about them and buying them Valentine's Day gifts, according to Elite Daily. Cost depends on how long you've been together:
    • 2-3 weeks: A $50 limit is what is suggested after this amount of time.
    • Several months: Start upping the ante here to about $50-$100. Concert tickets would be perfect. We know just the show for this occasion.
    • 6-12 months: Now it's serious, and you should be getting to know the person better. If you've been attentive to them and their likes and dislikes, a more personal gift works best after this amount of time. Treat them to activities you can do together like cooking classes or just drop a little cash.
    • A year or more: You're past a simple dinner out and roses by now, or maybe you're not. This is where substantial gifts of jewelry or practical things they wouldn't buy themselves work best. Or maybe by now you concur with my above philosophy that a designated day is not necessary to express your love and affection and take care of that person all the time, where your presence is more important than presents.  If this is the case, go ahead and send that gift to me instead. Our address is on the station website. (Just kidding).

Single? You can wallow in your loneliness and feel sorry for yourself at Valentine's Day, or you can appreciate the fact that you don't have to think so hard about what to give someone and how much to spend (I'm nothing if not romantic). Better yet, treat yourself or plan to get together with your other single friends and hang out. The possibilities are endless, because it is truly the thought that counts.

Whether you're single, dating, or married, what are your thoughts on gifting at Valentine's Day?

[Via KDATElite DailyElite Daily, KDAT]