As much as I like to think of myself as a hopeless romantic, Valentine’s Day always reminds me of that episode of Married with Children. Yes, it’s become a highly commercialized holiday. Vendors understandably capitalize on this opportunity; I don’t blame them. All the commercials depict guys showering their loves with flowers, chocolate, and fancy jewelry. What if we turned things around?

Many couples might complain that the romance gets lost after several years of marriage (and the arrival of children). If you’re shopping for the father of your children, perhaps you might consider a few of these Valentine’s Day gift ideas. It’s what he really wants, you know.

Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Alta HR

It’s not a dad bod; I prefer the term “father figure.” All jokes aside, the “dad bod” is a real thing. Many expectant fathers put on (more than) a few pounds of “sympathy weight” while their partners are pregnant. And all the daily responsibilities of parenthood aren’t always conducive to healthy habits either, in terms of both diet and exercise.

And I don’t know about you, but “gamification” can be really effective for me. If it’s being monitored and measured, there’s a much better chance I’m going to stick with it. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Alta HR are small and convenient, providing that constant reminder to “get in your steps” each day. Healthier dads make better parents and partners, right?

Air Fryer

Yedi Houseware 5.8 quarter air fryer

Okay, so we’re not all health nuts. We can, however, make positive steps in the right direction. Air fryers allow you to enjoy your favorite deep-fried foods in a healthier package. I’ve seen several of my fellow dad bloggers rave about these things. I swear, air fryers are becoming the new Instant Pots.

The Yedi Houseware 5.8 quarter air fryer is a top seller on Amazon. It comes as a complete package with a deluxe accessory kit too. Experiment with everything from chicken tenders to French fries, and even air-fried Oreos. Yes, the prototypical image puts dad in front of the BBQ. Now he can play with a fryer too.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nothing can possibly be more romantic for Valentine’s Day than thrashing at one another in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We have to realize that many of the dads of today — myself included — grew up with video games in the ’80s and ’90s. Systems like the Nintendo Switch may appeal to children, sure, but gamer dads love it too.

The first place to start is with the Nintendo Switch console itself, if your household doesn’t already have one. Beyond that, you might look into getting some extra controllers or nabbing a game he’s been eyeing. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was released recently. I’m just saying.

Arcade1Up Street Fighter II Machine

Arcade1Up Street Fighter II Machine

Go big (ish). Then, as Colonel Guile so famously said, “Go home and be a family man!” Speaking of growing up with video games, the retro appeal of an Arcade1Up arcade cabinet is positively undeniable. It’s nowhere near full size, at only about four feet tall, so you may want to invest in the optional “riser” too.

You get retro artwork that’s true to the original, full arcade controls, and three editions of Street Fighter II to play. As much as I love Street Fighter, though, I’m perhaps more partial to the Rampage version of this cabinet. It allows for up to three players, and also includes Defender, Joust and Gauntlet.

Coffee and Coffee Things

Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle and Death Wish Coffee

Did you know that coffee is good for you? All things in moderation, right? As any sleep-derived and over-tired parent will tell you, coffee is very much a way of life. A collection of cool mugs is a good place to start.

At the same time, I know some dads swear by Stanley products and the Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle is one of the highest rated. It’s perfect for keeping that really strong coffee nice and warm, so he won’t have to nuke his room temp java over and over again. As an added bonus, coffee can apparently boost longevity too. Here’s to many more Valentine’s Day celebrations to come!

Just Some Quiet Quality Time

Realistically, what most dads want for Valentine’s Day is the same thing that they want every day: quiet time. This aligns with my guiding words for 2019. We just want to enjoy ourselves without guilt.

For some dads, that might mean they want some time alone with beer, pizza and video games. And maybe an uninterrupted nap. For other dads, that means a quiet date night with their significant other, watching a movie without the kids. And some guys want to spend quality time with the kids too, but without the pitfalls of overwhelming responsibility and obligation.

Who said romance was dead?

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