1. Customisable Pillow
It’s hard to think of a creepier thing to print onto your partner’s pillow than your own name/a thinly-veiled claim to ownership. That being said, there’s also literally no combination of words in the English language that could be printed onto a pillowcase without the universal reaction being “why did you do this?”
2. A “The Great Gatsby” themed Card
“The Great Gatsby is a love story!” – Creative Director of Clinton Cards who only ever saw the trailer for the 2013 film.
3. A Tank Driving Experience
For those quirky, outdoorsy couples who can’t wait to spend the most romantic day of the year “In the reassuring company of friendly and experience [sic] instructors”.
NEW RULE: Never buy your partner anything that requires a reassuring instructor.
4. Meme Fridge Magnet
The clear message here appears to be “You’re in grave danger so remain passive in this relationship,” which perhaps means the gift’s subtext of “Break up with me immediately; I bought you a fridge magnet for Valentine’s Day” may be lost on some people.
5. Anything Engraved
Engraving’s weird. It’s like you’re staking some kind of claim to the gift you’ve bought for someone else, ensuring they’ll never be able to use it without thinking of you, or sell it on eBay without cutting the price by about £50. This paperweight is just one example of countless things you can put your name on for no good reason. It’s easily my favourite useless, engravable object for two reasons:
A) No-one has EVER needed a paperweight since Colin Firth in Love Actually (2003)
B) The hilariously casual inscription they include as an example, as if anyone with the thought to carve a love note into a silver star is the sort of person to play it cool.
6. Personalised Leather Luggage Tag
This thing costs £45.
7. Personalised, Sexually Suggestive Chocolate Bar
In a relationship? Have no sense of humour/desire to actually have sex whatsoever? Cool. This is for you.
8. Death Bauble
No joke: One of Hallmark’s suggested Valentine’s Day gifts is a customisable Christmas bauble used to commemorate a loved one.
9. A Solid Silver Rolo
This is just too far. Want to symbolically show someone you love them in a real, meaningful way? Buy them real Rolos. You pay 50p and get like 15 of them and you can eat them and they’re made of chocolate and they’re great and you’re as in love as ever. This ONE Rolo you CAN’T eat costs £69 and doesn’t so much say “Here’s a fun token of my affection” as much as it says “haha what’s money?”
10. Salt and Pepper Lovers
This is something I myself love and would consider buying, which is every indication that it should be avoided by anyone currently navigating a so-far successful romantic union.
11. Chocolate Pizza
Come on, guys. Just buy a real pizza and a bar of Dairy Milk and know what true love is.
12. Mega Balloon Bouquet
There are four identifiable varieties of balloon in this 17-balloon mega bouquet, which will run you a cool £79.99 and make you look like an insane person who’d rather spend that money filling their living room with what’s mostly more air, rather than go out for a nice meal or something.
13. Parakeet Pin from the Tate Modern Gallery’s online shop
What’s that? This is a silly idea for a valentine’s gift that no-one in their right mind would suggest?
15. Crab Bowl
Ah, the gadget shop: a shopping centre sanctuary for eight year-olds and easily bored, neglectful boyfriends. Home to the lava lamp, the MP3 Player shaped like some kind of food, a small version of that lightning orb thing you put your hand on at the science museum. Also, yes, the crab bowl, which is the ninth thing gadget shop Red5 recommends in its Valentine’s gifts section.
16. Yurt Break for Two
The word “Yurt” belongs nowhere near the concept of eternal romance.