15 Valentine's Day Gifts To Take Your Relationships To The Next Level

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Valentine's Day is here, and along with store shelves spilling over with heart-shaped candy and stuffed animals comes — drum roll, please — the pressure. Sure, Valentine's Day is a glorious reminder to celebrate love, but the hype can also create stress, according to life coach Kate Evans. The founder of Soulful Space Coaching spoke with Everyday Health and highlighted that "our culture puts on us this idea that you must be in a relationship. And if you are in a relationship? There's all this pressure that the day needs to be incredibly romantic."

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Evans suggests a simple way to lean into the good vibes of the holiday without all that stress. There are Valentine's Day gifts for every stage of your relationship, so just let go of those feelings of burden. And remind yourself that off-the-charts romance is just one way to express love. In fact, consumers have been shifting to a more inclusive approach to the holiday. So much so that Entrepreneur reports that people also splurge on family, friends, coworkers, and children.

At the heart of it all, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to say, "I love you." And although that comes in many forms, some — like sharing experiences together — can strengthen relationships in your life. And along those lines, Forbes reminds readers that spending time with one another is a great way to deepen bonds, create memories, and celebrate love. So, skip the off-the-shelf classics and make new memories with those you adore most.

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Stargazing is universally appealing

The essence of stargazing comes down to the experience of awe. And whether a child or adult — this experience, according to a study by the University of California-Irvine's Dr. Paul Piff, creates a really cool sense of interconnectedness. This idea is perfect for Galentine's Day or a family outing. It also happens to be romantic AF. So, plan a Valentine's Day visit to a planetarium or create your own experience with National Geographic's Backyard Guide to the Night Sky and a telescope.

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Send swoon-worthy love notes

A modern-day message in a bottle, Love Box makes it easy to remind people that you're thinking of them. When you send a message, it arrives on the screen inside the little wooden box and the emoji on the outside spins. Yup, it spins — and the heart soars! We love how this gift aligns with Valentine's Day advice from Time, which noted the importance of loving communication within relationships. But we're also enchanted by how utterly adorable this is, of course.

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Build a romantic cuddle fort

Hooray! Scientists have chimed in, and it's official — cuddling is good for relationships. India Morris, a senior associate professor at Linköping University, published a cuddling study, and even though we're bummed we didn't get to participate — aka, get paid to take cozy naps — we're excited that our instincts were right. Snuggling not only provides a tangible reminder that you're there for someone but also reduces stress. One way to make this a memorable experience for Valentine's Day is to set up a romantic date-night cuddle fort. Add a few twinkle lights, and voilà.

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Embrace love's imperfections

Pottery can be messy, but if you're patient, it's so worth it. And guess what? The same is true of building good relationships, according to licensed clinical social worker Paul Clonts, who penned an essay on the similarities between relationships and pottery. The folks at Noah have a DIY pottery kit that includes all the supplies for two people to create some fun pottery projects together. And, if you want to extend that adventure past Valentine's Day, grab a beginner's book or find a nearby pottery class.

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Cookie decorating for loved ones of all ages

Did you know experts believe baking and cooking can increase well-being? Matthew Riccio, a graduate fellow at the National Science Foundation, offered some relationship insight to HuffPost, explaining that cooking is "a very intimate activity." When you cook for someone, he said, you're "providing them with something that they potentially need, you're really showing them that they have your support, your love, your backing, and that's the kind of thing that really, really promotes well-being, positive growth, and closeness within relationships." With this in mind, Valentine's Day cookie decorating session seems like a pretty sweet way to connect with loved ones. Cheryl's Valentine Cut-out Cookie Decorating Kit is perfect if you want to skip to the frosting part.

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Because sometimes love is a little cheesy

A little creativity combined with regular gatherings is among the cornerstones of enduring friendships, according to The Atlantic. Making time to get together regularly for things like themed get-togethers helps to strengthen bonds, and that's where raclette comes in. The Spruce explains that raclette is like fondue — a melted cheese dish — but it's usually created with special side-by-side grills for guests to cook cheese and toppings like veggies. Boska makes really unique tealight-powered raclette grills, so cue the monthly raclette club.

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Let the good times ravioli

Cooking together, in addition to being a bonafide blast, also requires communication and working through the occasional kitchen challenge. Doing this with a loved one helps develop valuable relationship skills, so an article featured by Utah State University suggests you should turn up the heat on that oven. One way to connect with someone you love — friend or romantic partner — is to skip the noisy restaurants and make a special meal together instead. Farm Steady's Ravioli Kit understands the assignment, and why not pair it with a great bottle of wine?

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Trade the Netflix rut for adventure

Finding cool, unique experiences is a great way to break out of relationship routines. Verywell Mind suggests that although our day-to-day rituals are good in many ways, doing something new together is an opportunity to bond. With this in mind, one unique Valentine's Day gift is Tinggly — an experiential gift brand that offers unbelievable experiences in over 100 countries. Gondola rides in Rome or stand-up paddle boarding near your hometown, Tinggly's adventures range from chill vibes to once-in-lifetime experiences. Either way, it's an opportunity to try something new — together.

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Give a Valentine's Day gift they'll treasure

Most of us have virtual piles of photos on our iPhones — silly moments with friends, milestone memories caught on camera. You may have thought of creating a photo album in the past, but it feels like an overwhelming project. But Recently created a way to reduce all the annoyance; the app grabs the photos and creates a luxe magazine-style photo album. Just choose from categories like date or selfie, and the app searches your camera roll for images that meet your criteria and designs a layout. 

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Lego — the building bricks of awesome relationships

Among the relationship and wellness experts that suggest creativity is good for relationships, Road to Growth Counseling adds to the idea of physically building something. And luckily, the team at Lego understands that creative play and creation aren't reserved for childhood. The brand's extensive collection of building sets includes a Hogwarts Castle, an animated lighthouse, and "Star Wars" sets. Keep it low-key, or go all out by renting a quiet cabin in the woods and spend the weekend building the 2,082-piece Lego A-Frame Cabin.

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Give the gift of nostalgia

Yes, Valentine's Day is a fun excuse to try a new, exciting experience, but the folks at Harvard University are quick to remind us how much nostalgia is created within our everyday lives. A study published in the Association for Psychological Science featured a good, old-fashioned time capsule. Remember those from grade school? Well, the process of collecting memories and adding them to a time capsule is an investment in future nostalgia. What a special way to spend time with your favorite people. Plus, this waterproof time capsule is engravable and under $60.

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Consider this book club and its hidden gifts

Once Upon A Book Club has forever changed the game with its unique subscription boxes. The concept is easy and altogether mind-blowing at the same time. Each book club box comes with a book (of course) and small, numbered gifts that correlate to the story. The numbers match particular pages, so you can open the surprise when you get to that page. It's a refreshing riff on a time-tested way to spend quality time with others (via Libro Maniacs).

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Do the things and save the reminders

Here's another gift that says, "Hey, I love you; let's make some memories together." Maybe you went to a bar and crushed it at trivia night — put that drink coaster in here. Or you baked a batch of red velvet brownies, it went totally wonky, and you laughed until you cried. Well, save a moment — perhaps one of the bags for one of the ingredients — and toss it into this keepsake box. The Memories Box itself is less than $40 and is excellent on its own. Or kickstart the memory-making by adding a pair of event tickets before wrapping it up.

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If public painting is a hard pass, consider this at-home version

Paint and sip-type outings have become so popular even The New York Times has reported on the trend. But if you're not into the whole painting-with-strangers scene, no worries. The DIY Painting Set with Wine brings all that relationship-building (and wine) to your door in one easy, breezy delivery. You can set up your own evening of creative shenanigans, and the paint-by-numbers format makes it easy to follow, even while sipping that wine.

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Because foreplay is always a Valentine's Day classic

Of course, Valentine's Day is still one of the year's most romantic days. And with that, Chronicle Books sells a set of conversation-starter cards, 100 Questions about SEX, which is great for your first Valentine's Day with a new partner. The cards prompt fun, taboo discussions that can be awkward to just casually work into a conversation. To that end, the author of "Tell Me What You Want," Dr. Justin Lehmiller, shared with The Guardian that "people who discuss their fantasies report the happiest sexual relationships."

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