Coming up with thoughtful and meaningful Valentine’s gift ideas that really connect with a man can feel next to impossible. Men don’t tend to be as receptive to simple romantic gift gestures (i.e., the “flowers and chocolates approach”) as most women are, and their tastes can be all over the map — tech, sports, fashion, gaming, and the outdoors, often all at once.

Shopping for someone with interests this broad may appear easy, but varied tastes can actually complicate the process. Determining which interests are true to their heart and which are simply time-passers can be tough, as men aren’t always great at opening up — and that even includes discussing their personal passions.

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Identifying a present that will hit close to your guy’s heart takes some real detective work. But with some insider guidance — we’ve been in this business quite a while, you know — we’re happy to share some tips on V-Day shopping for your favorite fella that will significantly ease your shopping quest.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Men, in general, are hesitant to ask their romantic companion for a Valentine’s wish list, fearing it projects a lack of connection, but when it comes to being asked themselves, most couldn’t care less. For a guy with especially niche hobbies or likes, the question alone may feel like a present! Try inquiring about his favorite author or musician that you know the least about, and then hunt down one of their rarest works. For bonus points, do it with him.

Seek suggestions online

If glancing at his media collection doesn’t turn up any ideas, find an online community or social media forum related to a hobby of his, and issue an open call for Valentine’s gift ideas from like-minded enthusiasts. This approach can unearth some hidden gem gifts that can really make a guy feel understood and appreciated. Try the same with clothing, food, or beverage interest forums.

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Sentimental plus practical

Try seeking a gift your man will use often and that will remind him of you every time he brings it out. Whether a personalized tool for an activity he frequently does or an accessory relating to a favorite pursuit, an item of emotional significance with a functional purpose can become a long-lasting symbol of your love.

Activities & experiences

Participating in a new activity that aligns with his passions is a means of experiencing your special bond in a fresh way. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with repeating past experiences you both love, choosing to arrange one involving an unexplored interest of his — Does he like to cook? Do it together! — or a new destination he’s mentioned reads as especially considerate.

10 Valentine’s gift ideas for him

We just dropped a lot of wisdom on you, and you’re free to go off and use it to find a gift on your own. But if you prefer to have your hand held just a little longer, we have 10 Valentine’s gift ideas that should satisfy men with all types of tastes.

The Wine, Cheese, and Golf Chap

Equally suited for a classy kitchen or 19th-hole man cave, this golfer’s dream bamboo cutting board is far better than par for the course. Shaped as a putting green, with high-toned woodgrain accents, this baby has the works: two swing-out drawers with wine and cheese tools (six included), a “sand trap” divot for nuts and olives, and a carved groove around the green’s perimeter to keep crumbs and juices at bay.

The Meditative Man

This juniper bonsai is one excellent evergreen, raised and trimmed to perfection by expert naturalist suppliers. A humidity tray base ensures the plant’s moisture levels stay even, while an illuminated water fountain ups the zen factor with a calming trickle sound. For the guy ready to try his own hand at raising one, this kit provides seeds to grow his very own Japanese maple.

The Meat Lover

A carnivore’s incarnation of a V-Day flowers gift, this bouquet is much more than mere meat sticks. Each “flower” is made of dried beef carefully cut into different shapes and textures — in other words, these are some real lookers. The beef blooms arrive in a double-walled steel pint glass, designed to keep beer cold while keeping hands dry.

The Whiskey Aficionado

A rustic whiskey chest of modern vintage design, this piece is handsome and then some, handcrafted for heirloom quality. Outfitted with solid, dark oak planks and burnished brass hinges, it includes two lowball glasses, soapstone whiskey cubes (ice substitutes, to chill whiskey without watering it down), and matching coasters. A secure space provides room for one 750-milliliter bottle of whiskey.

The Wellness Fellow

Deep down, no guy is above a spa experience, especially when it involves staying home. This sandalwood and oak essentials bundle, designed to refresh the body and clear the mind, includes a luxury face wash and application brush, exfoliating bath soap, shower gel, rich bath salts, body lotion, and fresh skin mist. Just make sure you bathe first — he may be in there all day.

The Cookout King

Generic grill tools may flip and serve steaks in a reasonable manner, but any real-deal meal-man needs keeper-quality, personalized tools for his top-notch grill. This four-piece set includes an 18-inch fork, spatula, and basting brush, and 14.5-inch chef’s tongs. The former is made with stainless, rust-resistant steel and cool-grip woodgrain handles featuring custom message engravings, available in a choice of six fonts.

The Brew Meister

For the beer lover in your life, a home-brew kit is the perfect mission — perhaps even for the two of you to undertake together. (Dreaming up your beer’s name and logo can be absurdly fun.) If brewing isn’t exactly your thing, it’s also great for him and his friends to undertake on a sports-watching day, as the process is a long one due to waits between steps. Oatmeal StoutIPA, and Wheat kits are also available.

The Exotic Plant Fan

Nestled in an unbreakable, terracotta-tint planter, this vivid assortment of simple-care plants is guaranteed to brighten any dude’s drab desk or office windowsill with southwestern desert vibes. A hardy mini-garden that can withstand a slightly uneven watering schedule, cacti and succulents also require no pruning — so no sweat if he’s no green thumb.

The Beach Baller

For comfort and privacy on the beach, umbrellas are done for — they provide uneven shade, and brisk winds can send them flying. This lightweight, pop-up tent features a light-yet-durable polyester shell with a 50+ UPF sun rating and mesh windows, over a no-pole frame with metal stake anchors. For the non-sand man, it’s just as useful while fishing, camping, or at a kid’s sporting event.

The Tailgate Gent

While other fans struggle with hefting bulky plastic coolers, your man can pre-game in ease and style with this Thermoguard-insulated, waterproof, NFL beverage cart. A padded inner frame provides room for six wine bottles (feel free to stock it yourself) and can be removed to house smaller drinks. A ripstop exterior, pearlized foil top, all-terrain wheels, foldable for easy storage…we could go on, but the game’s starting.


A former arts & culture writer for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's Pulitzer-winning Patriot News, Jonathan Rowe is a New York-based editorialist and cover writer for SPIN, Men's Fitness and WONDERLUST travel. He has crafted original content and news for Sony Music, Live Nation, Spotify and ESPN and works as a songwriter in conjunction with multiple Grammy winners.

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