January 21, 2014

Don't Be Cliché: How Not to be Lame This Valentine's Day

There's nothing romantic about Valentine’s Day. The holiday is a cash cow leveraged by greeting card companies, where the price of roses is as inflated as a Hollywood starlet’s fake lips, and the cost of dinner at a favorite restaurant is triple that from the week before. Valentine’s Day is for dating tourists and suburban couples who need an excuse to get out of the house. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is as cliché as going out on New Year's Eve for a prix fixe menu and a free glass of champagne. But here’s the thing. You need to do something. If you ignore Valentine’s Day and pretend Cupid and his absurd arrows don’t exist, she is going to be ticked. To put the romance back into the least romantic day of the year, do something unusual.

Prepare Dinner

Even if this is the only time you cook all year (grilling on game day doesn’t count), dazzle her with a special recipe. This is the type of gesture that goes a long way. Light a candle or two. Put on some music. Create a romantic ambiance. And here’s the fallback plan. If the lobster Newburg or steak tartare comes out like a botched science project, order some Chinese or Indian takeout and curl up on the couch with a movie. Just make sure it’s not a rom-com because that would be an obvious kiss of death.

Photo by Jacob Davies via Flickr

Unconventional Flowers and Sweets

If you get her roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates, you turn yourself into the biggest cheeseball known to man. Have some dignity. The idea is to show her you care, not make her run out of the room. If you have to go the flowers route (and you do), get her irises, lilies, tulips or forget-me-knots—anything but long-stem roses and baby’s breath. The same holds true for the sweets. Don’t just get chocolates; get her chocolate strawberries.

Photo by liz west via Wikimedia Commons

Love Quotes 500

Listen. You’re going to get bonus points if you write her a love poem on Valentine’s Day. For those who can't channel their inner Shakespeare, the Love Quotes and Sayings: Romantic Messages 500 comes to the literary rescue. Available on the iPhone or iPad, Love Quotes 500 allows you to flip through classic and famous love quotes. So even if you’re not Billy Shakespeare, you will have no trouble finding a line or phrase that will make her swoon.

Photo by jessgrrrr via Flickr


Whether for a play, musical or a dinner theater show, get her tickets to a special event. However, unless you want to be stuffed in an overcrowded, overheated auditorium with a zillion other couples, don’t get her tickets for an event that is being held on Valentine’s Day. Make it for the following weekend when it’s safe to venture out for date night again. The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to celebrate it on a different day.

Photo by Andypiper via Flickr

Road Trip

If you want to be romantic and spontaneous, then hop in the car and see where it takes you. Head somewhere you've always wanted to go or revisit one of your favorite places. Go someplace completely random. It doesn’t matter. Just be together without a worry in the world.

Photo by PhillipC via Flickr