VALENTINE'S DAY RECIPES
1. Avoid restaurants. Reservations are brutal, your waiter will be in a rush, and, most important, you will feel like a schmuck for dining with a roomful of married couples who only go on date night once a year. The better move is to..
2. Cook her dinner. You will accomplish two things: saving money and getting more intimate. Obviously, it's not a good idea to default to Bachelor Meal 101: pasta and marina. Get creative. Show effort. And if you're a lousy cook? She'll still appreciate the gesture.
3. No coupon books. Remember these? They might seem cute. You get all creative, and make her a little coupon book with things like "Good for one free massage." But think about it. This really is the move of a shy second-grader, and is that who you want to be?
4. Don't ignore it. Maybe you -- and she -- think that Valentine's Day is the ultimate cliché and that, therefore, you can ignore it altogether. All you've done is turned it into a different kind of cliché. You're sort of like those anti-conformist high school students who display their individuality by rebelling in exactly the same way. Lots of women say that they hate Valentine's Day. Very few mean it.
5. Personalize the gift. Chocolates, roses, hearts -- these are cliché because they're overly generic, they speak to Every Woman, not your woman. Pretend, for a second, that it's her birthday. What do you get her? Go with that, and then Valentine-it-up with red wrapping paper.
6. Use flowers only as an "add on." You cannot -- cannot -- just get her flowers and a box of chocolates. This will turn you into a cheeseball. However, assuming your woman likes flowers, use them to accent another gift.
7. Get her tickets. Not necessarily tickets for something on Valentine's Day itself -- again, overpriced, overcrowded -- but tickets for some night in the future. Here's why this works: It's more intimate than your average physical object. Tickets also can be packaged and presented on Valentine's Day, and it's something that you can do together, as a couple.