A Guy's Guide to V-Day


Well guys, it's that time of year that we all dread. (No, not your mother's birthday. Don't worry; you didn't forget it. … I hope). It's Valentine's Day. … DUN DUN DUN.

For those of you who don't have a significant other, you're in the clear. You can do whatever you want this Valentine's Day. No worries for you about sleeping on the couch for the next year if you mess up. Those of us who already possess the old ball-and-chain (wink, wink), however, have a little bit more to worry about.

To all the gentlemen not classified as "available," I am here to provide a bit of insight to this wonderful (and arduous) holiday, and to help you not to screw up what could otherwise be a rewarding evening.

To get the most out of your Valentine's Day and to put a smile on the face of your sweetheart, put forth just a little effort and show a little of your sensitive side. Here are some suggestions that should prevent you from starting a calamity that could result with a stint in the doghouse.

Keep in mind that while some of these suggestions will work for anyone, you need to keep it real. Women can smell a con job a mile away. In other words, if you're in a friends-with-benefits type of situation, dropping to one knee with a ring from Carter's probably isn't your best option. Make sure that your plans are appropriate for your relationship.

Keep it Simple, Stupid.
A five-course meal that you cook yourself plus to a candle-lit table in front of a roaring fire might sound appealing, but I promise that you will see more fruit from your efforts if you decrease the number of problems that you might encounter. Try visiting her local restaurant to see if they have some cheap catering, or maybe cut the five courses down to two. You'll get more bang for your buck.

Just Say No … to Flowers
To be frank, candy and flowers are a cop-out. If you absolutely cannot think of anything else, then go explore the local nursery, but until then, stay away. Giving your lady flowers on a holiday is like admitting, "Whoops! I forgot about Valentine's Day until just now," or even more pathetic, "I couldn't think of anything else." Flowers are best given on a non-occasion, when you are just trying to be nice. Make them a thoughtful gift, not something you defaulted to.

Always Pay
This is a cardinal rule of Valentine's Day. Times may be infrequent that your honey will insist on paying for things. And even when they do, if they're anything like my girlfriend, they're secretly hoping that you'll offer to pay anyway. Valentine's Day isn't the time to "accidentally" forget your wallet, or "forget" that you spent all your money on beer for the kegger at Steve's. This is a time to celebrate love, not let your significant other start being "Miss Independent" and pay the tab.

You. Pay. The. Bill. End of story.

Sometimes Easy and Cheap Aren't Bad
Dinner and a movie might seem cliché, but sometimes this kind of thing is what your love craves. Take her for a nice meal at one of Jackson's many outstanding and affordable restaurants. Perennial "Best of Jackson" winner for Italian food Amerigo will probably get a bit of my money this year, but Jackson has dozens of excellent mid-priced restaurants including favorites like Julep and BRAVO! (Show a little love for the local economy by staying away from big chains, and impress your sweetie with your concern, too.)

After dinner, bite the chick-flick bullet and take her to see a movie that she wants to see, not that "Drag Me to Hell meets Indiana Jones" gore fest that you've been dying to veg out to. There's a new movie out aptly named, "Valentine's Day," that comes out this week. Hit that one up; you'll be glad you did.

Small Things Matter
This last tip is probably the most important one: Things like opening doors and pulling out the chair for your lady at the table may seem like a hassle, but these easy-to-forget, miniscule details are sometimes what will make or break the date for you. Little things like this not only show respect for her, but also show that you've put a little thought into this one. They also make you seem less like the barbarians that so many of us often are.

Despite what you might have seen on a movie, catering to your girl's likes and dislikes can go a long way in showing her that you care. She'll probably be excited that it's not the same old "pizza, beer, and a movie at my place" routine, and will really enjoy you taking the time you take to make her feel special.

She'll really appreciate the gesture, and she can brag to all of her friends about how great you are, how caring you can be … all that jazz. So put on a pair of jeans that's not four days dirty, put on a shirt that doesn't show off your love handles, and get out there and show your girl that putting up with your shenanigans and washing your clothes means the world to you.

It'll mean the world to her.


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