16 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Women Actually Don’t Want

Buying your special someone a Valentine’s Day gift is tricky, especially since your choices can easily slide into the generic or cliched category. You want to give the woman in your life something she really, really loves, right? If so, avoid buying her any of these 16 gifts this February. Women don’t want them!

1. A box of chocolates

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Yes, chocolates are always romantic. But seriously? This is such a generic gift! If it’s a well-known fact that she loves chocolates, it’s worth splurging on artisan chocolates instead. Avoiding anything from the grocery store or gas station is a good move – they’re boring.

2. Household appliances

couple cooking in kitchen together

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Sure, she remarked that she loved those cute oven mitts or the toaster she saw online, but that shouldn’t be used as inspiration for her V-day gift. It’s like telling her she has to spend more time cooking in the kitchen. Ugh!

3. A gym membership

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Even if a woman keeps expressing that she really wants to get fit, it’s still not a good idea to purchase a gym membership for her. A good guideline is to avoid anything that makes women feel like they’re not good enough as they are.

4. A facial (or any skincare products)

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It might seem to make sense to purchase women something they can use and benefit from. But, it’s not romantic to purchase something that targets their flaws. For example, if she said she wants to fix her acne problem, it’s not a good idea to buy her a voucher for a facial or skincare products. Where’s the romance in that?

5. Clothing

personal style

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She might be a fashionista, but she doesn’t want her partner to go ahead and purchase clothing for her without first giving them the go-ahead. Clothing can go so wrong, and fashion sizes are not the same across different brands. It’s a recipe for a disaster!

6. Joke-inspired gifts


Remember the scene in Succession where Tom buys Shiv a scorpion paperweight but she doesn’t get why and can’t recall the inside joke? So awkward! That’s a perfect example of how gifts based on inside jokes can fall flat. They’re best avoided.

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7. Personal grooming products

Cropped view of a woman shaving her legs

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Sure, it seems practical to purchase a woman hair-trimming products because she uses them. Right? Wrong! It sends the message that she’s not doing something right with her body hair. It’s best to leave the personal grooming items for her to decide to use. Plus, she might want to give shaving a skip!

8. Shopping vouchers

two friends laughing while shopping

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This is the most generic kind of V-day gift, especially if it’s for a girlfriend or wife. It’s basically a gift that tells her the person giving it to her doesn’t know her at all. Ouch.

9. Giant teddy bears

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Unless she’s specified that she loves or wants a teddy bear, buying her one for V-day is cliched and boring. It also makes her feel like she’s a teenager. It’s a hard “no” on all stuffed toys, actually.

10.  Picture frames

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There’s this weird idea that women like picture frames, but they’ve become such a common gift that they’re boring. They’re usually given to women who are acquaintances or purchased when there’s a sale on frames. Ugh. Also, who develops photos anymore to put them in the frames?

11. Candles

health women

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Although scented candles are great because they’re pretty and smell delicious, they’re way too plain to give as a gift of love. Everyone likes them but in a “meh” kind of way. They’re not something women feel enthusiastic about.

12. Flowers

man bringing smiling woman flowers

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Yes, flowers are beautiful and they can be romantic, but they’re also a bit of a V-day copout, especially if they’re red roses. Plus, they’re going to die within a few days, which just gives her something else to throw in the trash. If she loves flowers, she’d probably prefer a flower bed in the garden that can keep growing.

13. Lingerie

man hiding valentine's day gifts

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There’s no doubt that many women would rather have any other gift than lingerie. Seriously. There are good reasons for this. Lingerie is super-personal and sometimes women are given lingerie their partners want them to wear – which isn’t what they like!

14. Jewelry box (with nothing in it)

boyfriend surprising girlfiend with gift

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Women might want a beautiful jewelry box in which to store their precious jewelry pieces, but let’s be honest: it’s a bit of a bummer when they open a jewelry box and there’s nothing in it. Nope!

15. Makeup

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Another item that’s way too personal to get right for someone else is makeup. Unless she’s provided specific products that she’s been eyeing out and she hasn’t stopped wearing makeup, it can go south really quickly. She might see it as an offensive gift – is her partner saying she needs to work on her appearance?

16. Heart-shaped jewelry

man giving girlfriend necklace

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Many women will be into the idea of receiving jewelry on Valentine’s Day, but it should be as personal as possible. Avoiding heart-shaped pendants or earrings is always a good idea, as these are cliched. Hearts on V-day? It’s so predictable!

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.