Saint Valentine: enemy of Romans, money-lenders, and clueless guys everywhere. Thanks to him, there’s one day a year where we have to show our appreciation for the most significant other in our lives by thinking about what they want and trying to make them happy…what an asshole. Anyway, The Man Guide is here to help you through these trying times and make you look like the sort of sensitive, caring man she (or he) will brag about to that annoying guy-friend who you know for a fact is into her (him).
Make Her Dinner
Want to cheap out while still giving the perception you’re pulling out all the stops? Make like a ‘50s housewife trying to save her failing marriage by making a roast so good her husband will have no choice but to abandon his mistresses. Break out the ol’ eggbeater and saucepan and call your mom to ask how to make that roast you stuffed your face with when you were 12. If you aren’t Gordon Ramsay, hell, if you aren’t even Guy Fieri, just put your heart and soul into not burning the linguini. The real importance of this ritual is less the food and more the intimacy. Show her that you’re willing to go outside your comfort zone. Also pick up your shit from the floor and clean the bathroom for crying out fucking loud.
Go Ice Skating
This one’s a classic, and for good reason. Aside from a wedding, no image is more romantic (maybe don’t use that example when you suggest it). You two holding hands, gliding circles around the rink under the city lights, everyone around you laughing and having fun…its tight shit, man. If one of you doesn’t know how to skate, even better. Flopping around the ice is the sort of endearing little anecdote you two will be sharing while you sit at your Chiropractor’s office.
Take Her to a Show
No, not to the newest Marvel movie you goddamn Man-child. Take her to the kind of show where there are actual thespians on a stage and a live orchestra in the pit. It being Valentine’s Day, you might want to think more Hamilton than Evil Dead: The Musical, but that of course, depends on your girlfriend’s tastes. If you really don’t have a clue, there’s this magical website called Google where you can find out all the big shows happening in your city and which ones are the most popular. Again, it being Valentine’s Day, buy tickets in advance. And by all means, avoid the cheap seats.
Most women appreciate wine the way we enjoy a good tailgate. If you’re dating such a woman, make her eat her heart out by taking her to an elegant, refined Valentine’s Day wine tasting at a fancy restaurant with a wine cellar. If you really want to impress her, do some research beforehand and go in knowing the proper bottle to accompany your meal.
Bungee Jumping (Or Something Equally Insane)
Want to prove to that special adrenaline junkie in your life you’re not a pussy? Dare her to go bungee jumping with you. Do you live in a wintry clime? No worries, Whether it be axe-throwing (at a controlled, properly managed establishment) or archery tag (basically paintball with bows and arrows), chances are your town has some batshit-insane places that’ll offer the sort of outings you wouldn’t even consider if you didn’t want to impress a girl.
Or Y’know, Ask Her What She Wants to Do
Do absolutely none of these ideas seem like the sort of thing your girl would be into? Then we recommend the revolutionary method of casually asking her what she’d like to do. It beats putting a bunch of time, effort, and money into a surprise she may not be that into. Just don’t be surprised if she’s cuddling with another dude on Valentine’s Day next year, as this approach shows zero creativity on your part.
However, if you really want to commit to crafting the ultimate Valentine’s Day date, there is no one size fits all answer. You know your girlfriend better than anyone and whatever you come up with needs to reflect what she’s into. If what she’s into are beer and hot wings then congratulations, friend. You have yourself a keeper.