I have to preface all of this by saying that I truly dislike Valentine’s Day. Really and truly. I won’t get into all the reasons, but I do.
However, for many couples it is a necessary evil because, well, we’re told it is. I just overheard a guy from the office next door on his phone. He was giving advice to a buddy that he really needed to do something for Valentine’s Day because “With women it’s those little things that go a long way. You’ll take less shit in the end.” I gave him a thumbs up and left with my tea.
So unless you’re dating me, or someone like me, don’t skip it. Don’t forget about it and don’t get her a cheesy box of chocolates from Walgreens on your way to her house (I don’t care what that commercial tells you). At least head over to Whole Foods and get some nice organic chocolate that also helps save the rain forest, or villagers in Uruguay. And please don’t get her some cheap looking stuffed animal from the aforementioned Walgreens either. You can, and should, get her a nice card from the drugstore, though.
If you’re going to get her flowers, put some effort in. Go to a local florist–CT is full of them–and try to find out what her favorite is rather than defaulting to roses. Believe me, a few of her favorite Gerber daisies will be cheaper and more appreciated than a dozen trite roses. Or, better yet, get her a little herb garden for her window sill…something that won’t die in a week!
Make it unique and memorable by doing something different and cheap. Has she been bugging you to add some culture to your lives? Hit up the Wadsworth Atheneum or the New Britain Museum of American Art. Does he love airplanes? Check out the New England Air Museum. Or do something ridiculous and go to the American Clock and Watch Museum in New Britain or the PT Barnum Museum in Bridgeport. At least the day will be memorable!
Instead of sinking a lot into a fancy dinner (unless that’s what she expects and you won’t be getting any for weeks if you don’t), find a recipe on Epicurious or the Food Network and go shopping for the makings and create a romantic meal together. You’ll both remember and appreciate it more than fighting for reservations and poor service on a busy Valentine’s Day with every other couple in the state.
Most importantly, don’t put too much expectation into it and don’t let it stress you out for a second. So many women (and men) build up this day, expecting it to be magical and romantic when really, it’s just a day. There are 365 days to celebrate your love and relationship and any of those can be magical and romantic…unexpectedly. Forcing it is the surest way to ensure that it it won’t be either.