You can always tell how bad a retail downturn is based on how expensive the gift guides for a non-gift-giving event are.

Sure, Valentine’s Day is a boon for the flower, chocolate and lace industries, but it’s not Christmas; there are limits on how expensive a gift one is expected to buy for a holiday ostensibly created by greeting card companies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love love and am definitely going to be cooking my wife a nice dinner, and maybe getting her some flowers.

I am not, however, buying her a 75-inch TV.

B&O’s E8 comes in pink now. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Here’s a look at seven gadgets companies suggest as good gifts for Valentine’s Day, and why they might not be the most romantic choice.

Beoplay E8 true wireless earbuds

These headphones are great but also not overly romantic, despite being pink. “I wish you would listen to me less” is probably not the message you want to send.

Plus, at $400, unless you’re uber rich, whoever you give these to is definitely going to think you’ve cheated on them at least once.

Coffee Machine

According to Nespresso’s email, “Nothing says I love you better than the gift of coffee”, which I think shows that the folks over there have never seen a romantic comedy. Most things say “I love you” better than the gift of coffee. Like, I love coffee, but I would be very confused if my wife got me one of their machines ($249–$799) for Valentine’s.

However, Nespresso’s suggestion wasn’t the most outlandish when it came to coffee machines; David Jones proposes the $3799 (on sale now for $3299) Breville Oracle Touch coffee machine as the perfect gift “for her”.

Everyone dreams that their partner will one day let them fry their own food, with air!

Everyone dreams that their partner will one day let them fry their own food, with air!

Kogan Air Fryers

There are few things as romantic as kitchen appliances. Of course, by that I mean literally everything is more romantic than kitchen appliances.

This Valentine’s Day has seen heaps of retailers suggesting everything from stand mixers to food dehydrators. But there’s something about the sheer number of different air fryers ($65+) that Kogan thought sensible for your Valentine that makes a statement. Of the 240 kitchen appliances in its Valentine’s gift guide on their website, 14 were air fryers. Was the person curating this list trying to give their partner a hint? We may never know.

Mobile phones

David Jones suggests getting a $2049 Apple iPhone XS Max in gold for that special someone. If Apple isn’t to her taste, a Samsung Galaxy Note9 for $1499 is a perfectly valid option.

Another, better, option would be to get neither of those things.

Dolce & Gabbanna Smeg appliances

To be fair it is a cool-looking toaster. Just not particularly romantic.

To be fair it is a cool-looking toaster. Just not particularly romantic.

The David Jones gift guide is a treasure trove of things that don’t scream romance, but are very expensive. Another great example is the Dolce & Gabbana Smeg 2 Slice Toaster for a mere $799. However, every kitchen needs the appliances to match — it’s just good interior design — so you’ll also want the Dolce & Gabbana Smeg Citrus Juicer for $799. These gifts are a great way of saying “I have done something very bad and want your forgiveness. I know you like brand names, toast and citrus juice, but haven’t thought this through any further than that.” It also says “I would like you to spend more time in the kitchen making me toast and juice,” and that’s a great way to imply you’d like her to divorce you.

Oddly enough, the range on the website also includes a blender, but no kettle.

Full suite of pink gaming accessories from Razer

Pink is a big theme this year for Valentine’s Day. The thinking seems to be that making something pink makes it romantic. While the jokes practically write themselves there, I still think a keyboard ($249.95), no matter how fancy it is, is not romantic. Matching fancy PS4 controllers ($259.95), maybe; you could go with some sort of “be my player two” pitch in the card.

But a $100 LED mouse mat would be an odd choice.

In no reality is this a Valentine's Day gift.

In no reality is this a Valentine’s Day gift.

Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote

The description on this handy gift suggestion was all about helping your partner slay their next presentation at work. This handy Presentation Remote ($199.95) will be a hit at Powerpoint events, and using the laser pointer to drive cats crazy from up to thirty metres away is a nice side bonus.

But even Logitech has to admit that this is a really weird pitch for a romantic gift. The same goes for its gaming mouse ($129.95) and wireless TV keyboard ($99.95). For starters, none of them are even pink.

Alice is a freelance journalist, producer and presenter.

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