And with good reason, because beware: When she insists she doesn’t want anything, she’s lying. It’s sort of code for, What do you have planned for us on Valentine’s Day? She wants you to tell her to quit the nonsense because of course you’ve already lined up a celebratory date night replete with expensive wine she probably won’t even recognize and Godiva chocolate.
Relax. We’ve rounded up the most foolproof ways to just get through this damn day without looking like Eli Manning when his brother took home a second Super Bowl ring.
Pick up a Hallmark card while you’re at it. Write something nice in it. Sort of long, too—or take up space with bigger handwriting.
1. Bring her breakfast in bed.
Whether you make her chocolate-drizzled strawberry crepes or just order some Seamless bagels, she’ll wake up feeling appreciated. The positive news for you: You’ve just set the tone for an already good day before you even have the chance to screw up.
2. Turn your phone off, or at least put it on silent.
As much as you still have to tend to real-world emails in this fantasy world you’re being forced into, mute the incessant distractions on your phone. Unless there’s some kind of emergency, nothing is that important that it can’t wait. This costs you no money, and she’ll appreciate your presence in the here-and-now more than any gift—but don’t not buy her a gift.
3. Just buy the flowers and chocolate. It’s sort of obligatory, anyway.
You don’t want to venture down that aisle adorned in pink and red garland and talking, tap-dancing teddy bears, but the flowers at the end of it are already assorted and wrapped, and at least they’re right next to the chocolates. These are just part of the whole Hallmark-y feel to the day and, if you skip it, you really can’t recover. Pick up a Hallmark card while you’re at it. Write something nice in it. Sort of long, too—or take up space with bigger handwriting.
4. Take her to a dinner spot you’ve been wanting to check out anyway.
Tell her you’ve been wanting to show her this place and she’ll feel like you’ve been thinking about her and want to experience new things with her. Really, those prime ribs are just tugging on your heartstrings. It doesn’t have to be über-expensive, but it should have at least a solid three $—and positive reviews—on Open Table to qualify as special.
5. Give her a massage.
The day is almost over and the quicker you get in bed, the faster Valentine’s Day will become yesterday. But you can’t go right to sleep, nor should you want to because she’s probably hiding some lavish lingerie under her dinner dress anyway—women actually plan these things out for “special” days. Start with a massage. It has massive potential to get her excited, and it will probably turn you on, too. Check out our Gentleman’s Guide to Massaging a Woman to make sure you nail it. Before you nail it.
6. Actually try out those sex toys.
Again, no harm done to your wallet or ego and more fun for you. You—or more likely she—probably have some kind of sex toy sitting around in one of your bedside tables, and you never actually use it. Now’s your chance to heat things up because, yup, it’s a “special” occasion.
7. After sex, do literally nothing.
It doesn’t get any easier than this. Just try to keep your eyes open and look into hers every now and again. Laying in silence embracing one another—it’s romantic, right? Indulge in some deep, philosophical conversation if you’re up for it. But she’ll just value the quality time free of disruptions from those bad infomercials, your phone (which is still on silent!) and all the other 21st-century tech shit that rids humans of organic connections and consequently all opportunities to exercise empathy or compassion or, you know, true love, and instead makes hopeless romantics utterly hopeless… There’s a conversation for ya.