Originally written by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, for Shine
Memo to men: Valentine's Day is on February 14. In years past, Yahoo.com has noticed a spike in men searching for an answer to the question: "When is Valentine's Day?" as the day fast approaches. Of all the holidays on the yearly calendar, the one designated for romance never fails to trip guys up. Blame mixed messages: While retailers consider the holiday worthy of diamonds, many women take the stance that it's no big deal.
Don't fall for any of it. Valentines Day is when a guy's affection, compatibility, and commitment are put to the test. Forgetting the day is just the first mistake to avoid. There are six other common mistakes men make on February 14. Here's a cheat sheet.
Mistake #1: Getting words of wisdom from your local drug store. There's a time and a place for Hallmark poetry and it's never on Valentine's Day. No matter how cursive, heartfelt, and close-to-home the text, you still didn't write it.
Why it's bad: Women want to feel special. Giving a card that's designed to cater to millions of women on Valentines Day sends the message that your love is a lot like everyone else's. It also suggests you bought some Rite Guard in the next aisle while you were at it. Nobody wants to feel like one of two birds.
The fix: Cliché as it seems, the thought really does count. More than 75 percent of women claim to want nothing more than a heart-felt love letter on February 14. Relationship psychologist Dr. Terri Orbuch also suggests a personal note trumps even chocolate. "Which says 'I love you' more: a box of candy or a handwritten note telling your partner you'd still choose him/her if you had to do it all over again?" asks Orbuch. "Show your partner why he/she matters so much to you."
Mistake #2: Letting a bear do your bidding.
Stuffed animal tricks are for kids. Giving your special lady a teddy bear holding a balloon with a pun like "I Yearn Fur You" is sweet if you're both in junior high. But in a poll by ShopRunner, a women's shopping site, members claimed teddy bears were the worst gift they had ever received on February 14. Flowers and chocolates (standard accompaniments to the stuffed animal) aren't going to win her over either.
Why it's bad: A stuffed animal not only suggests you don't take your partner seriously, it's also generic. Flowers, candy, and anything that's stamped "buy this for Valentine's Day" suggests limited thought went into the gift.
The fix: Don't run to your nearest jeweler. It's not about the money—besides, a dozen roses and a build-a-bear don't come cheap. "In fact, depending on where a couple is in their relationship, extravagant gifts like expensive lingerie or fancy chocolates can seem overwhelming," author and etiquette expert Leah Ingram tells Bankrate.com. "If you've just started dating, a big gift can imply more depth to the relationship than is really there. It can also be awkward if the guy splurges on a big Valentine's gift, but the woman doesn't do the same." Instead, find a simple gift that shows you've been listening to your lady, like a DVD of her favorite series, or a book by an author she's mentioned. Dr. Orbuch has a more direct approach: "Think of something your partner really needs," she says. "Get the car detailed. Replace her tattered briefcase. It may not sound romantic, but thoughtfulness is a turn-on and shows you really care about your partner."
More from Shine:
- How to Score a Date By Valentine's Day
- The Worst Valentine's Day Gifts Ever
- Take the Pressure Off Your Guy This Valentine's Day
Next: Why it's a bad idea to declare Valentine's Day a "ploy for consumers"...
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