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It's Not Complicated: Valentine's Gifts for All Relationship Stages

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Are you wondering what to get your long-time love for Valentine's Day? Have you just started dating someone new and aren't sure what to select without breaking the bank? Gift selection can be confusing regardless of your relationship status, but we've got you covered with this Valentine's gifts cheat sheet.

Newly dating - If you've only had a few dates and aren't exclusive yet, bringing her one dozen red tulips will brighten her Valentine's Day. You won't be splurging for expensive roses or going overboard, but will still have the impact of bringing her flowers. Starting her day off by sending her a fun Valentine's e-card or video card, where you can customize the card with a photo of yourself or send a romantic message direct to her inbox. Bringing her lingerie sends a message that you're only looking for sex (who isn't?), but at this point she should be selecting her her own lingerie. A gift card for a mani/pedi will always be appreciated.

Going Steady - Honeymoon Phase (1-3 months) - If you've been dating for a month or two, she'll be expecting to be your Valentine's date if geography doesn't get in the way. At this point, bringing her a gift certificate for a massage at her favorite spa, offering to cook her a meal and having in-room-dining with flowers will be a hit. Other fun items include sending her a box of chocolate covered strawberries, or bringing a bottle of her favorite wine or champagne. This way you can feed each other when it's time for dessert.

Getting Serious - Imperfect Phase (4-6 months) - By now you've become an item. You might have even changed your Facebook relationship status to "In a Relationship" and have a drawer at her place. When you're heading towards the half-year mark, she'll want to receive roses from you. There are plenty of great sites online for you to order flowers from, or you can go to your local grocery store to pick up a dozen. When a woman doesn't receive flowers on Valentine's Day, she starts to wonder if you're still swooning over her. If you've taken a trip away together, bringing her a personalized gift such as a silver framed photo of the two of you to memorialize your vacation together will put a smile on her face.

Totally in Love - Over 6 months - Once you're heading towards the one-year mark, it's time to up the ante in the love department. She's going to want something very personal. If jewelry is in your budget, getting her a sterling silver heart necklace, trinket, or bracelet may end up on your list. For those of you ready to step it up, but aren't ready to pop the Q, giving her a lovely commitment ring will show you have all ten toes in, without getting engaged or setting a wedding date.

It's Complicated - The ex and almost ex - If your relationship is winding down or you've recently broken up, acknowledging someone who you didn't go the distance with isn't a great idea. Studies have shown that 20% of singles actually text an ex on Valentine's Day. Whatever you do, sending mixed messages by sending her flowers while you're in the arms of another will backfire. Trust me, it will sting. You can send an ex a birthday present, congratulate them on their new job, and call them on holidays to say hello instead. The best gift you can give is the gift of time apart so you both can move on.

What will you be giving as a Valentine's gift this year?

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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She's the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. Julie's been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. Julie's the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

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