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Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is on the horizon, and with it comes the mounting pressure of how to celebrate it with your partner.
Gift-giving for Valentine's can seem like a daunting task.
After all, buying bouquets and heart-shaped chocolates can be sweet, but it may also feel incredibly cliché and impersonal.
Luckily, there are many ways to gift your partner with thought, care, and romance, and make them feel as loved as they are.
Read on for our guide on how to select the right gift for your loved one.
You may be surprised to find that your partner is dropping hints about the kind of gifts they might like - maybe even months in advance, if you start paying closer attention.
Not that they'll explicitly sigh 'oh, I really wish someone would buy me a green necklace', it might come more along the lines of 'I have no jewellery that goes with this dress!'.
If you already have some inklings of what your partner might like to receive this Valentine's Day, you can start browsing online to find the best deals.
For example, with Qantas Shopping, you can shop at Myer with Qantas Points and not only be able to find what you're after, but stretch your Valentine's Day budget even further by being able to spend in a few different ways or even enjoying exclusive sales for Qantas rewards customers.
So get to hunting for any gift items they've maybe dropped hints for recently. The added bonus is your partner will probably forget their passing comment made weeks or months ago, and you'll be able to smugly drop in that you're always paying attention when they're inevitably delighted with their gift, which will make them feel even more loved.
It's such an easy trap to fall into, but we all do it. If you walk into a store without an idea of what you'd like to buy, you come across something that immediately stands out and think 'This is perfect! It's a no-brainer!'. Double check before you take it to the check-out that it's perfect for your partner, and not something that's lit up your brain because it's a reflection of your interests or tastes.
The two won't always be diametrically opposed - chances are you and your partner have a fair few similarities, and will likely enjoy a lot of the same things. However, is your partner someone who loves espresso martinis, but has no desire to shake them up at home with a DIY cocktail set, or someone who loves to sit in your beautiful blooming garden, but it's actually you who does all the gardening in it?
Use the senses as inspiration if you're finding it hard to pick a starting point. What's their favourite colour? Favourite smell? What parts of their body do they like to embellish the most, and where do they neglect themselves? What music do they enjoy listening to? Are they a sweet or savoury person? Mind-mapping these easy to answer questions will make generating a concrete idea a lot simpler.
Speaking of getting your partner what they want, it's important to keep in mind that Valentine's Day gifts are typically never going to be practical gifts - unless your partner has expressed otherwise. More often than not though, the secret behind a good gift is the acknowledgement that it isn't the kind of thing your gift recipient would regularly buy or even consider owning for themselves. You're trying to show your partner how much they mean to you, by giving them something that represents your love and their worth to you, whether literally or symbolically.
So whilst practical gifts can be a good idea for certain difficult-to-buy for relatives, or for occasional birthdays, now is the time to choose your gifts with thoughtfulness and romance at the heart of your purchasing decisions. Think about the age-old appeal of flowers - almost everyone is likely to be happier with a bunch of pretty petals that will die in a week, than a really sturdy bathroom plunger that will carry them through life.
Of course, everybody is different. Some people will love to be absolutely splurged on, but that's because they're someone who feels appreciated through material gifting, and what you're really doing is paying attention to what they like, as mentioned above. But for most people, simply setting a budget and spending on whatever you can to get there is a fasttrack way to show your partner you haven't put any time or thought into them.
Romantic gift-giving is about making the person you're buying the present for feel completely seen and understood, by you. So whilst all those clichés like chocolates, flowers and balloons can be nice touches, they could really be given by anyone to anyone. Show your appreciation for your partner by choosing a gift that reflects their character.
A really easy way to do this is by personalising presents, whether that means having a name or photo engraved into a material object or opting for a more subtle personal touch such as combining their favourite snacks into a food hamper. Even immaterial gifts can be a lovely way to earn you some romance points - plan a day doing all your partner's favourite things, treat them to an at-home spa night, or think about all the little gestures, like something as small as breakfast in bed.
Gift-giving can be a beautiful ritual that showcases your love for your partner by giving them something that is a symbol of the attention and effort you put into your relationship, and in turn serves to bring you even closer together.
There's really not much scope to go wrong when choosing the right gift - as long as you pick something that is personal and thoughtful, your partner is sure to be grateful. More importantly, focus on the gift that is having each other in your lives, as something that deserves to be continually celebrated and cherished.