When I was single, Valentine’s Day was a time to do something nice for myself. I would take myself to a bar and drink wine, feeling bold and brave, only to watch my confidence slip away as an attractive and horribly-in-love couple would ask “if I could be bothered to move down a seat?” so they could sit together and clasp hands, or whatever.
I thought Valentine’s Day would somehow become holy when I was in a relationship, but alas, I was wrong: if anything, I have a renewed loathing for the forced obligations and saccharine gifts that come with this holiday. Point being, I don’t like Valentine’s Day.
What I do like is an excuse to buy things for myself, and I encourage you to settle in comfortably under the vague Valentine’s Day umbrella of “this day is about love!” to indulge in some treats that make you feel valuable, regardless of relationship status. Here are a few gifts to consider buying for yourself. (And if you’re feeling generous, many of them can be shared with a significant other who isn’t yourself).
Malin + Goetz Cannabis Candle, $54.00
You may be thinking “that’s a lot of money to spend on a weed-scented candle” but let me justify this splurge. First of all, it doesn’t smell like cannabis found in the wild: it’s a dreamy, soft scent that’s the perfect balance between smelling musky and bright.
Plus, Amazon reviewers agree that everyone can find a reason to light this one up: one user wrote, “This stuff smells amazing and seems to last forever. I get tons of compliments on it,” while another wrote “this is the PERFECT candle for men.”
Sometimes you just need to tune the world out, whether you’re seeking solace from the subway, your roommates or your own thoughts.
Amazon reviewers love the price and functionality of the less-expensive Mpow headphones: one user wrote about how his wife took his fancier pair of $300 noise-cancelling headphones, leaving him with this model. He wrote, “these headphones sound just as good” and, “the only problem I have is that she wants these and says I can have my old headphones back.”
The Bose headphones are pricier, but they make some of the best headphones out there. Amazon reviewers agree that this model has a top-notch sound quality and can cancel noise ranging from noisy neighbors to jet engines with ease.
The Epson VS250 Projector, $299.99
The best part about investing in a projector? You don’t have to wallow in your bed to watch The Notebook on Valentine’s Day. Make it an event! Nothing says “I love myself” like fullscreen Ryan Gosling. (If you’re looking for a more digestible price tag, I took a deep dive into projectors recently.)
All About Love, by bell hooks, $7.17
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, $10.69
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, by Samantha Irby, $12.76
To round out this compilation of giving things to yourself, let me suggest three very different books, all of which offer brilliant and profound perspectives on love.
You should read all of these books, to be clear, but each has a very distinct tone and take on love that you can match to your mood. Looking for an astute and nuanced investigation on what it means to love oneself and others, and how complicated both can be? Try bell hooks (and then read everything else she’s written, too). Want something scary, a bit sinister and a lot sexy? Her Body and Other Parties are stories that deftly navigate the intimacies of relationships and love amid dystopian, crumbling worlds and fairy-tale tropes turned on their heads. Not feeling especially loving? Or just want to laugh out loud? Try Samantha Irby’s collection of essays We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. Irby navigates her own history, including dating, with a deft hand and hyper-relatable voice.
Scouted is here to share practical, entertaining, and sometimes unexpected ideas for products that you might like. ICYMI, here are a few things we recently surfaced for you: projectors, sleep products, and Super Bowl (or anytime) snack accessories. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.