The Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Men on Valentine’s Day
I have to admit it. Even though I work hard to be a good husband to my sweetheart, I have blown it more often than not on Valentine’s Day. I usually find myself busy with work and other priorities and I tend to start too late and do too little to make Valentine’s Day special for my partner. So, after long years of experience (some successful and most not), here are my top ten do’s and dont’s for Valentine’s Day. If you can learn from my experience, maybe you can make this year’s big day even better.
The Valentine’s Day Don’ts
1. Don’t forget. I think that the worst thing I could do about Valentine’s Day is forgetting all about it. Put it on your calendar in big red letters. And a few days before, make sure you put a reminder in your day planner or your PDA.
2. Don’t buy kitchen appliances. Or anything else practical. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a little extravagant. A new blender is not—I repeat, is not—romantic. Whatever gift you choose should be nice and out of the ordinary.
3. Don’t do the same thing you did last year. Even if it worked well, your partner will appreciate something new and different. She wants to know that you thought about her as you planned your Valentine’s Day gift or event.
4. Don’t give her lingerie. Now, I know the people at Victoria’s Secret will not like this, but lingerie is a very dangerous gift. You can get the wrong size, which is a big problem. You can get the wrong color. But most importantly, when guys give lingerie they often have one thought in mind, and giving lingerie can really backfire. Just resist the temptation and be a little more creative.
5. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. While your partner wants to be pampered, you also have to understand that her day is filled with many demands—kids, work, house, and more. Make sure you go the extra mile, but keep your expectations realistic and in check.
6. Don’t overspend. Particularly if you share a bank account and a credit card with your sweetheart, breaking the bank is a bad idea. Keep within your budget and have the nicest evening you can afford. If it is too much, she’ll likely be panicked about money and too stressed to have fun.
7. Don’t talk about an ex. One of the surest ways to spoil a Valentine’s Day evening is to have your partner think you are thinking about another woman. Don’t talk about your former wife or girlfriend; keep the conversation focused on your woman and life will be better.
8. Don’t give her a generic card. She will not be impressed with the nicest card from the local Hallmark if you just sign your name. Add a note about how much you love her, how much she means to you, and any other positive feelings you have. The personal part is what is romantic to her, not how much lace is on the card or how much you spent on it.
9. Don’t do guy stuff. Your favorite NBA basketball team may be in town, or you may be tempted to take her to a sports bar for dinner. Just don’t. This is her night, so stay away from the guy stuff, and put her first. You can always record or TIVO the televised game and watch it tomorrow.
10. Don’t spend the night online. Too many of us tend to get in front of the computer late at night for gaming, chatting or other online stuff. For this one night, leave the computer off and focus on your woman. She will be grateful for your undivided attention.
The Do’s of Valentines
1. Send a gift to work. If your partner is employed, delivering or sending a Valentine’s Day gift to work is a welcome idea. It will show her in front of her peers that she is loved and remembered on Valentine’s Day.
2. Make a homemade Valentine. Cards from the store are nice, but your partner will really know you love her if you take the time to make your own Valentine card. Get out the scissors, red construction paper, white paper doilies and glue and get started. Your own little verse would add just the right touch. Taking time to do something out of the ordinary is romantic.
3. Cook for her. Once again, doing something out of the routine is an important way to show you care. Breakfast in bed, or cooking a romantic dinner for two can be fun for you and let her know you were willing to go the extra mile.
4. Remember romance. Valentine’s Day for your partner is all about romance. That means taking the time to do the little extras like dressing up for your dinner out, leaving little love notes around, or being on time for your commitments. While guys aren’t often good at romance, it is important to her. Try to see yourself as she sees you and then deliver beyond her expectation.
5. Turn off the electronics. While we live in a fast paced time with cell phones or personal digital assistants running our lives, Valentine’s Day is not a time for interruptions. Turn off the phone, the Palm or Blackberry, and focus your attention on your significant other.
6. Write her a love letter. This is not an email, a text message or a card, but a real love letter. In your own handwriting, tell her what she really means to you. Tell her why you would choose her all over again if you had to. Remind her why you are thrilled that she is your kids’ mom. She’ll keep that letter as a cherished part of her life.
7. Watch a chick flick. Sure, you’d rather be watching the latest 007 film or WWF Smackdown, but she’ll appreciate you sitting through a romantic movie. Consider The Lake House, While You Were Sleeping, You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle if you are looking for one that you both might enjoy.
8. Offer her a massage. Many Valentine’s Day experts recommend a day spa gift certificate as a great gift option for your sweetheart, but I think a personal massage is a wonderful alternative. Giving your woman a good foot massage or a solid back rub can really make her relax and feel good. Learn some massage techniques, pick up some massage oil and work out those stiff muscles.
9. Consider spreading gifts throughout the day. Rather than one big gift, you should try giving her a number of smaller gifts during the day. Maybe one gift at breakfast, leave one on the front seat of her car or in her medicine chest in the bathroom, one at work, and then another one on the front seat of her car before she leaves work. Going the extra mile to remember her during the day will pay big dividends in how she reacts the rest of the day.
10. Just relax. While I know these ideas sound like a lot of work, it is important to not overdo it. Don’t try to cram too much into the day or into the evening. A leisurely pace is an important component of making Valentine’s Day great for your woman.