Valentine’s Day is a challenging holiday for guys, who are usually under tremendous pressure to get things just right for the women they love. While every woman is unique, with her own tastes, style, and preferences, even her own unique way of expressing her love, we’ve rounded up some general dos and don’ts and expert tips that can save you from an epic fail this Valentine’s Day.
Forget Valentine’s Day. Seriously guys, short of forgetting her birthday or your anniversary, there are few things you can do worse than forgetting the holiday meant to celebrate love, especially when you can’t step foot in a store without seeing red hearts, stuffed bears, and chocolates everywhere. “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 smartphone,” recommends Fatherhood Expert Wayne Parker in an article on About.com.
Go overboard. It seems logical to many guys that when they don’t really know what the woman they adore would prefer, spending a lot of money will make up for it. In reality, that’s not true for most women. “Avoid extraordinary surprises, unless she has already told you what she is hoping for or you know her so well that you cannot go wrong,” advises Jerrold Lee Shapiro, Ph.D., a Professor and Chairman of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University in an article on The Huffington Post. “Simply being more extravagant may be a poor substitute to specific thoughtfulness.”
Think that staying in automatically equates to a lame Valentine’s Day. “Well believe it or not, done right, the kitchen can be an environment for romance. But remember to keep things simple and prepare ahead,” suggests bestselling author John Gray in an article for eHarmony Advice. “Consider comfort food dishes that you know you both like. And then be sure to try one thing new: perhaps a tantalizing dessert. What makes any meal really special is the setting! Tablecloth, candles, flowers and music set the tone for a special night.”
Make reservations at a mediocre restaurant. Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, and that means crowded venues and possibly less-than-stellar service. “This Valentine’s Day, forget about the reservations and the expensive, mediocre restaurant meal. (Ask any restaurant cook, and they’ll admit they’re on autopilot on Valentine’s Day.) Create a perfect meal with the most intimate picnic you’ve ever had at home,” says David Wygant in an article at AskMen.com. On the other hand, if your special lady has a favorite romantic restaurant and expects a night on the town, you don’t want to disappoint – but do make your reservations early.
If you’ve procrastinated on making reservations, there are some resources that can help, depending on where you’re located. Eater.com, for instance, offers last-minute Valentine’s Day dinner reservation information in various cities, such as Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco.
Buy lingerie in the wrong size. “Knowing your woman’s size is the most important step of this entire endeavor. It’s like the foundation of your home: without it, you got nothing. Think about it, there is no way you can buy the wrong size and have it turn out okay. Too large and she’ll be wondering if you think she’s really that big. Too small, and she’ll think you’re hinting that she needs to lose a few,” according to an article on Wise Bread.
“Just take a look inside her lingerie drawer. If you don’t have access to her lingerie drawer, then you can try checking the size while she’s in the shower or some such. If all else fails (for example, she cuts all the tags out of her bras and panties), just ask. I promise she’ll love the anticipation.”
Once you’ve figured out her correct size and know her style, there are many classic, luxurious options to choose from to suit any woman’s taste at Julianna Rae.
Make the Valentine’s Day experience unique. Whether that means a one-of-a-kind gift or an unforgettable experience, such as a weekend getaway to a tropical locale, is up to you. “Maybe your girl likes music a lot. Using this example, which is the better gift? A rare signed program from a Katy Perry concert or an iTunes gift card? Show that you’ve put thought into her gift and she’s going to love you for it,” suggests AJ Harbinger, CEO of The Art of Charm.
Realize that it’s not all up to you to plan. “Though 57 percent of men think the dudes are supposed to plan V-Day, 68 percent of women say the couple should come up with something together. Be proactive and give your girl three options, like, ‘Pizza, wine and a massage,’ ‘Reservations at that place you’ve been wanting to go,’ or ‘Netflix and takeout, plus a gift from me’ – and see what she wants. She’ll appreciate you thought ahead, but that you’re not surprising her with something over the top,” AskMen.com explains.
Andrea Syrtash, a dating and relationship expert, offers some helpful guidance for planning the perfect Valentine’s Day at Expert Beacon.
Get creative. “It shows an investment of time, love, and thought when you create something special. You can create a treasure hunt for your partner to find a gift or card. Instead of roses, sprinkle the bed with flower petals,” suggests Darlene Lancer, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, in an article for PsychCentral. “Give a sensuous candlelit foot rub, massage, or body wash. Write your favorite, shared memories with colored pens. Make a collage of your dream home, family, or past or future adventures together designed with leaves, dried flowers, photographs, or magazine clippings.”
Get inspired by these creative ways to show your wife or girlfriend how much you love her this Valentine’s Day from Family Life.
Send her a text, call, or email the woman you love on Valentine’s Day morning. “A lot of women wake up on Valentine’s Day wondering if their special guy is going to do something nice, and when noon rolls around and there are no surprise flowers or chocolates delivered to her office, she worries that he may have forgotten!” says Maggie Oldham, a Los Angeles-based Modern Etiquette Coach. “A quick message in the morning telling her how excited you are about getting together later makes your girl feel special and builds anticipation for the evening.”
Look for clues in what you know about her. “Take 10 minutes and write down a list of things that are special to her. What is her favorite book? What is her favorite place or a place she dreams of visiting?” suggests Dr. Ann Wexler in an article at ToriSpelling.com. “How about her favorite song? Think about stories she has told you about her childhood and jot down key points. Now you have a list of things that are uniquely special to her. Is there a clue in that list to a special gift you can get her or an activity you can plan that she will love?”
Follow these simple dos and don’ts this Valentine’s Day, and you’ll be sure to please the woman you love most in the world.