If you dread Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. It can be a minefield full of heart-shaped booby traps that can detonate a relationship. What should you buy? Should you go all-out or keep it simple? Will she be overwhelmed or disappointed?
Expectations are high and the pressure is on. It’s no accident that statistics show breakups spike after the holiday.
So, as a public service, we asked some famous guys (including two Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars) about their Valentine’s Day hits and misses. Take note!
“I’ve never been successful at buying the right present. I’m going to sound like a Grinch, but those kinds of holidays are consumer-driven at best. The way I see it, in a relationship every day is Valentine’s Day. But I still buy the flowers to make sure I’m covered” —Tony Goldwyn, Scandal
“My wife is East Indian, born in New Delhi. I thought I’d take her to an Indian restaurant for Valentine’s Day. Taking an Indian woman whose mother was trained by a gourmet Indian chef to an Indian restaurant is gambling in the first place, but doing it on Valentine’s Day when they’re mass-producing the food in massive quantities was a fail in every way. I recognized that halfway through and we left. The next year I hired a chef to come to our house and it was fantastic. She loved it.”—Jason George, Grey’s Anatomy
“One time my wife said she didn’t want to do anything for Valentine’s Day and I took her at her word—the dumbest thing I ever did. I’ve never done that again. She said the same thing the next year and I knew not to believe it.” —Michael Ealy, Secrets and Lies
I’m proud to say I’m 100 percent on Valentine’s Day. I nail it every year.” —Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“I was trying not to be the materialistic guy, so I’d try to simplify things, make dinners and breakfasts, nothing big. When I got into my relationship with my wife, that’s when I started doing cool stuff. We started dating shortly after Valentine’s Day so to this day we have Valentine’s and the anniversary of our first date, plus our wedding anniversary is three months later and her birthday is in January so I’m buying a lot of stuff!” —Larenz Tate, House of Lies and Game of Silence
“My planning for Valentine’s Day back in the day could have been better. Now that I’m married I’m much better at it. I actually proposed on February 13th so it’s very special for us.”—Dave Annable, Heartbeat
“Fails? Not yet, but there’s still time!” —Rob Lowe, The Grinder and You, Me and the Apocalypse
“Years ago I bought my wife some jewelry and I saw by her reaction that she didn’t like it. It was a necklace made of shined-up pretty stones, and it was really heavy. She was like, ‘Honey this is choking me.’ She kept it but never wore it. At least my heart was in the right place.” —Terry Crews, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tony Goldwyn: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Michael Ealy: Bob D’Amico/ABC
Jason George: ABC/Image Group LA
Rob Lowe: Justin Stephens/Fox
Andy Samberg, Terry Crews: Tommy Garcia/Fox
Larenz Tate: Michael Desmond/Showtime
Dave Annable: Justin Stephens/NBC