The Best Semi-snarky Gifts to Buy Your Ex This Valentine’s Day—Yes, Really

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Now that the season of love is officially upon us, I thought to myself, “What better way to celebrate the day’s looming festivities than ask my friends for gift ideas for their exes?” Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I’m absolutely more of a Galentine’s Day gal—supporting these badass chicks in my life and appropriately validating their vents about the icks and issues they have with their exes over a fat bowl of guac and chips and frozen strawberry margs.

So instead of fancy chocolates imported directly from Belgium and cute plushies built directly at Build-A-Bear—you know, the ones with pressable paw pads that you can record in your own voice and say harrowing things like “I love you?” Yeah—please enjoy this carefully curated list of some safe-for-content V-day gifts my friends would allegedly give their exes (whom they still sometimes see, for whichever reason, or would prefer never to see again). Because what better way to embrace the future than dwell on the past—as my therapist would probably not say?

Author’s Note: These suggestions are from my friends based on their individual experiences. They had some comedic relief in relaying these gift ideas to me, ahead of this love-infested day. Some situations ended worse than others, and the most popular response was “therapy.” But I believe that therapy is good for everyone and want more people to feel confident in going to it, so I’ve instead handpicked these other funny and potentially useful ideas for my friends’ exes.

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My friend said she would buy her ex a puzzle, because “maybe he will solve his other issues along the way.” Depending on how she left the relationship and how petty she wants to be, we have a few options here: This total gag gift puzzle (to describe her feelings about him), this state postcard puzzle (if she literally moved on), or this “Spot the Queen Bee” puzzle (let’s see if he still can’t spot a queen who’s literally right in front of him).

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Extend the olive branch (if they have a caring spirit towards plants – and you – and you are willing to spend more than white elephant gift exchange price limits on them) or get them a $25 gift card and call it a day; let them choose whether they want a faux plant or something real.

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“Faceted amethyst, rose quartz, fluorite, rock crystal, quartz cluster taken close up”

You may or may not know the specific energy your ex needs right now, depending on how long ago you broke up, which is why I think this mystery box from star Etsy seller The Spirit Nectar is perfect. You could also send good vibes and protective energy out to your ex and yourself by gifting them a healing bracelet, like this highly rated Jasper stone one for calming, inner peace, and balance.

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A Self Help Book

I like to think of my friend’s suggestion for a “self-help book” as “self-care,” so help out your ex with a read that can add value to their life (now that you’re gone). This self-improvement book is a modern classic, and this one is a hint (mainly with a certain group of exes in mind—aka cis straight men).

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“So that they can learn how to tell time,” as my one friend advised. This option from Nixon is literally in the name itself: the “Time Teller.” I mean, can you get more passive-aggressively straightforward than that?

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A Cocktail Syrup

If they want to act like a child, they can drink like one with this grenadine syrup. No offense to shirley temple drinkers, because they are indeed delicious. It’s just what I remember feeling so cool ordering as a kid because I pictured myself 30, flirty, and thriving while actually sitting in a snug booth with my parents at Red Robin.

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Specifically, according to my friend, “a record I associate them with,” or maybe just one that can offer a little jab in the side, a little hehe-haha to their attempt at being friends (or whatever they’re calling it) after ending things. A solid choice with good taste is this Fleetwood Mac classic in vinyl fashion—and if they don’t vibe with this delicious record, well, I get why the relationship didn’t work out. Please continue to go your own way.

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A Movie Pass

My one friend is a total cinephile, so of course, she said she would buy her ex a movie pass. This also makes sense, especially now that her ex doesn’t have as much entertainment in his life. She is a true star. And I watched this low-budget film play out before my eyes, so I can safely and confidently say that he is just a dude without the -e. Anyway, here you go.

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A Guided Journal

“So that he can actually learn how to express his emotions,” as my friend confided in me. Here’s a five-minute-a-day gratitude journal option. We’ll see how long he can last.

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A Framed Photo

“Of me looking my best, just as a reminder.” I’d recommend this one if my friend and her ex are on good terms now, and if they are both still single—to avoid making any new partner feel uncomfortable. It’s a good and cheeky gag gift idea, say if you’re going to a holiday party and you know you and your ex want to give each other something. Go ahead and break the ice (again) with this basic option.

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This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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