It's become clear after years of painstaking research and trial-and-error gift giving that Valentine's Day is not nearly as important to men as it is to women. Still, we're of the belief that it should be given ample thought. After all, just because V-Day isn't a deal-breaker for your guy, that doesn't give you an excuse to hit up the neighborhood Walgreen's at midnight to buy a tiny heart of chocolates declaring the recipient "dino-mite" with a picture of a Brachiosaurus.
The hallmark holiday falls on Friday, February 14, which gives you a handful of days to get your guy something he not only might like but also might actually use. Though we don't pretend to know your lover the way you do, here are five suggestions for a nearly foolproof holiday hit.
See also: 10 Phoenix Guys You've Probably Dated
The Gatsby from Dapper+Dash Yeah, okay -- traditionally, ties are reserved as the unimaginative and universally accepted gift for Father's Day. There are the goofy, the drab, and the standard all tied up in a perfect Windsor knot. So it's understandable that they may not seem like a good choice for your valentine, and, frankly, we have to agree. Enter the bow tie: its fashion forward and, well, dapper cousin.
Dapper+Dash specializes in all things bow tie. Think less Pee-wee Herman or Chippendale's and more James Bond or that cute barista. (And if you happen to be dating that cute barista at Cartel, well, good for you, girl.) Ties like the Gatsby, Dagwood, and Churchill are named for the gentlemen who inspired them, with prices ranging from $48 to $52 and unique, locally made designs. They may not look as sexy around your neck the next morning but, come to think of it, maybe that Chippendale's image wouldn't be such a cringe-worthy reality after all.
Hand-carved silver rings from Mother of Gideon Jewelry may be a staple present for any woman on any holiday, but just because diamonds are a girl's best friend doesn't mean there isn't something surprisingly attractive about a guy donning a badass ring -- we're talking more brass-knuckle than thumb. For a truly unique piece of handcrafted jewelry, look no further than Mother of Gideon, created and designed by Seth Fainkujen and Charis Elliott -- who are themselves engaged.
Their stunning rings and pendants rely heavily on materials like recycled gold and silver, locally sourced gems, and certified conflict free diamonds. Each one-of-a-kind rugged piece is made to order, ranging in price from $190 to $2,800. In addition to selling through their online store, the couple is creating a line for their first brick-and-mortar foray, specifically to be sold at Fifth Street Paint Supply, which opened last month in downtown Phoenix.
Jump out of a plane at Skydive Arizona Chances are if this isn't your first -- or second -- February together then it's not your relationship's inaugural rotation around the sun. Maybe it's time to spice things up and go out of your comfort zone; time to do something you never thought you'd never even considered doing with another human being before.
For virgins, Skydive Arizona in Eloy, about halfway between Tucson and the Valley, takes the title for training national and international skydiving champions (yes, that's a thing) and boasts the largest drop zone in the world from 13,000 feet up. The facility features a Valentine's Day tandem special for those who make reservations on February 10, 13, or 14, with a discounted price of $282 per couple. Solo prices range from $79.99 to $199.00 per person, depending on experience.
Because you know what's better than make-up sex? Adrenaline-filled we-almost-could've-died sex. You can thank us later.
A different kind of ride Tread lightly with this option, but after ripping the bow off a new bike he's less likely to ask, "Does this mean you think I'm fat?" and far more likely to be rearing to ride.
The guys over at State Bicycle Co. offer dozens of standard model choices from fixie to city bikes ranging from $382 to $945. Looking to separate him from the pack? The Tempe-based store specializes in custom bike design, from handlebars to the spokes and wheels.
Overwhelmed by too many choices? Head to The Heavy Pedal in downtown Phoenix for a Zephyr Bike frame ($649.99) in blue or, yes, pink, or have the experts at Landis Cyclery's four Valley locations help you find the perfect set of wheels.
Getting your guy all limbered up has added benefits for you, too. It may finally be time to crack open that Kama Sutra book he got you as a gag gift two Valentine's Days ago, and use it for real.
Cupid's Couples Massage at Camelback Inn Being in love is exhausting. It's stressful. And when you couple that with every curveball life throws your way, well, you could both use a break -- which is why this gift is better shared.
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The Spa at Camelback Inn offers a well-rounded Cupid's special. The "Red Hot Shuffle" package ($145) includes a 30-minute cardio session with a personal trainer, followed by a "Heart and Sole" foot massage, Red Hot pedicure and, on February 14 only, a dance lesson from the Camelback's very own Cupid. If that's a little too much for both you and your beau, try any of the spas signature massage or packages, ranging from $135 to $160.
Into something a little less extravagant? The Art of Touch in downtown Phoenix offers tandem massages for $110, a traditional, no-extras experience meant to loosen the muscles and lessen the stress. Still haven't found what you're looking for? Consult any of these top notch Valley spas for your opportunity to unwind and, well, we all know what happens on those couple's beds once the masseuse leaves the room . . .