DON'T GET LEFT OUT IN THE COLD

Okay, gentlemen, Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year. That gives you three days to play with. If you’re something of an overachiever, your plans are set for your special lady. If you’re among the majority, though, you’re still figuring out what you will do to melt her heart. You may choose to go away for the weekend, plan a romantic date for Saturday, or treat her to a Sunday afternoon brunch. No matter your plans, let me clue you in on what NOT to do. You can thank me now or later, but “You’re welcome,” in advance.

TOP 10 DON’TS FOR GENTLEMEN ON VALENTINE’S DAY

1.      DON’T BE CLICHÉ.

We all know the typical Valentine’s Day gifts. They’re like staples in a kitchen cabinet, and almost every woman has received all or most of these: chocolate, a teddy bear, red roses, and perfume. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Not all women like chocolate! The red, heart-shaped box full of calories should not be your default selection. A teddy bear isn’t a bad selection if you haven’t already gifted her with six or seven in previous years. Get creative with flowers. Roses aren’t the only option; but if you insist, try a different color. Stay away from perfume unless you know her favorite or know her taste. Whatever you choose to buy, be thoughtful.

2.      DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.

Unless you have an Amazon Prime membership, shopping the week of Valentine’s Day can be pretty risky. Please don’t find yourself in the aisles of Walmart or Target at 8 o’clock, Valentine’s Eve. You’ll end up buying perfume that smells like hot dog water and having to make a card out of construction paper. 

3.      DON’T FORGET TO MAKE RESERVATIONS.

Frantically calling around to restaurants on February 13th will not work in your favor. Generally, most restaurants are booked two weeks ahead for Valentine’s Day. Does she have a favorite spot? Is there a restaurant she’s always wanted to try? Call them today! If you plan to catch dinner and a movie, purchase your movie tickets in advance through an app or at the theater. Hint: www.Opentable.com

 Photo by Jupiterimages/PHOTOS.com>> / Getty Images

Photo by Jupiterimages/PHOTOS.com>> / Getty Images

4.      DON’T SPEND MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE.

You don’t have to break the bank to make the day special. If you can’t afford long-stemmed roses and dinner, do what you can. Otherwise, you’ll end up begrudging her when you can’t pay your electric bill. If she likes to be pampered and you can’t afford a spa day, buy some candles, bath beads, and some fragrant lotion to create the experience. Then give her the best massage you can. Watch YouTube tutorials if you need a little instruction. Hint: A romantic dinner or picnic at home goes a long way

5.      DON’T “NETFLIX AND CHILL”.

The reason behind this should be obvious. Sitting on the couch watching a movie or the next episode of Making a Murderer is not romantic. You can do better. 

6.      DON’T BUY LINGERIE STRICTLY BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’LL GET LUCKY.

Buying her sexy undergarments does not qualify as an all-access pass. Though there’s nothing wrong with hoping your night ends with fireworks, don’t attach expectations to that fishnet and lace teddy. Buy something that flatters her figure and makes her feel sexy; and let things happen organically. Hint: You can't go wrong with one of these boutiques; Sugar Cookies www.sugarcookiesnyc.com , Brooklyn Fox Lingerie www.brooklynfoxlingerie.com and Azaleas @ www.azaleasnyc.com

7.      DON’T BE LAZY.

This digital world we live in allows us to do just about anything on our electronic devices. Emojis are cute, but multiple heart pics do not replace the real thing. Texting is fine. Just remember it does not replace spoken words and cards. Express your feelings in-person if she’s not your distant lover. Hint: Papyrus has a great selection of cards www.papyrusonline.com

8.      DON’T OFFEND.

Whoever said you can’t go wrong with chocolate was wrong. If your significant other is working on her beach body or has given up chocolate for lent, receiving a box full of temptation won’t go over too well. Also, gauge where you are in your relationship. Gifting lingerie too soon can be off-putting. And be careful with sex-themed, “funny” cards. What’s funny to you may not be funny to her.

9.      DON’T BE ASHAMED TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. If you are starting a new relationship and just getting to know you lady friends, try asking questions without giving away your plans. Ask what her favorite cuisine is? Her favorite color? Or if you've been with your lady for a long time, been to her favorite spots (several times), you’ve exhausted all your good moves. Call a friend! Or just listen. Most likely she is saying something that will let you know exactly what will make this day special for her.

10.  DON’T STOP ONCE THE HOLIDAY IS OVER.

Many gentlemen use the line, “I don’t need a designated day to express my love.” Great! So make sure you do the sweet, thoughtful, and spontaneous acts of love throughout the year. Nothing makes a woman smile like receiving a bouquet of flowers just because it’s Thursday.

Ladies, don’t let your man do all the planning. This is a chance for you to also treat him to something special.