This day is always tricky. Even if you've been married for 20 years, there's still way too much room for error. Here's an exact equation for the type of gift you should give your significant other on V-Day: take how long you've been with them, add how much you care about them, subtract the mean things they say when they're hungry, divide it all by how lucky you feel to be together, and that should come out to equal a gift that they still might not like, but hey at least you tried! There are plenty of ways to show your main squeeze that you think they're great without spending any money at all, but let's be real: chocolate > love.
What to get them if you started dating at the beginning of February and you awkwardly have to get through the day together:
A text message. Maybe a funny gif if you're feeling bold, but otherwise just go back to your regularly scheduled programming and don't make this any weirder than it has to be.
What to get them if you've been dating a few months, but haven't defined the relationship:
Be careful with this one. If you get them a coupon for "3 free hugs" and they get you something extravagant, it might be the end of whatever you guys are all together. If you feel comfortable, talk to them and set a price limit that'll ensure no one out-gifts the other person. Keep it simple. Get them their favorite candy (unless it's Sweethearts, then you might need to reconsider who you're dating) and a cheesy movie that you can make fun of together. These gifts are sweet but still express very low commitment (just like your relationship).
What to get them if you've been together for a few years:
This isn't your first rodeo. You've learned from those bad gifts of the past and you're ready for the big day. Hopefully by , ow, you've learned enough about your significant other and you can put something together that'll knock their socks off. Unless you actually got them socks, but if that's the case then you're clearly about to end things anyway. Your gift doesn't have to be crazy expensive or over the top, it should just show that you've been paying attention to the little details that made you fall for them in the first place.
What to get them if you're married/have committed to spending the rest of your lives together:
Give them your heart. Give them compliments when they look awful in the morning. Give them a hand when they're carrying in the groceries. Give them support when they try something new and stupid. Give them forgiveness when they leave the seat up. Give them courage when they decide to quit their terrible job and follow a different path. Give them your true self: the good and the bad. When you give them all of that every day, you're going to get so much love in return that you won't even know what to do with it.
And hey, if all else fails, get them a Starbucks gift card or something. After all, what do I know? The most steady relationship I have is with my cat. Good luck everybody!