The Valentine’s angst is upon us

Valentine’s Day can be stressful, no matter what your situation.

If you don’t have a sweetie in your life and want one, perhaps you’re feeling some stress. One radio interviewer wanted me to help his listeners with ideas on how to get a sweetheart by Valentine’s Day. Since I’m not in the quick-hookup business, I had no advice to offer.

flowers for readersOr perhaps you’ve been dating someone, but there’s been no discussion of the “big” day — made “big” thanks to incessant marketing by card companies, florists, restaurants, candy makers, lingerie stores, airlines, hotels and spas. Perhaps you find yourself with those dreaded expectations — he needs to do something romantic, or he’s history.

Or maybe, you’re like this DG reader who has been dating someone for a while, a special dinner has been planned, but she’s at a loss for what she is to do.

What is appropriate valentine etiquette for a gift for guys? Do you get them something? I know that we are having a dinner at a nice restaurant and the guy I’ve been dating for 6 months has made a reference the a valentine gift, but do I get him something? If so what? Or just a card?

DG charm braceletI would definitely get him a nice card, and the gift’s price would be based on past gifts. You’ve spent the holidays together, so, depending on your gift-giving tradition, I’d take a note from that. Did you exchange simple gifts then, perhaps a CD, inexpensive clothing, or book? Or was it something a bit more substantive? Unless you two are used to exchanging expensive gifts, Valentine’s Day gifts tend to be less costly. Unless, of course, his gift involves diamonds in a ring.

Gifts for the two of you are the most romantic, I think. Something you’d both enjoy, say tickets to a concert or play or ball game, or if he likes some pampering, a couple’s massage. Or you can get him something just for him that you know he’d appreciate. Not the usual tie or golf balls, but a lesson with the golf pro or shirt to go with that new suit. If you are on a tight budget, then a coupon for a museum date followed by a hand-packed picnic, or his favorite dinner cooked by you, or even some massage oil and a voucher for a 30-minute massage from you.

By all means avoid stuffed animals and “cute” items. While you and your gal pals may think these are precious, few — if any — men will think these are great gifts. Your man may fake appreciation — he wants to stay on your good side so he can reap the benefits of his Valentine’s largesse — but as soon as you are not around it will be jettisoned to an unobtrusive place so his pals don’t discover it and give him endless grief. And guess who will be the next recipient of the cute stuffed bear with a heart you gave him? His next girlfriend.

Do you have any angst about Valentine’s Day? If so, share what it is.

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One response to “The Valentine’s angst is upon us”

  1. Aggressively Single Avatar
    Aggressively Single

    Love your ideas about Valentines Day! I’ll bet even those who pooh pooh this made-up holiday secretly wish for a great guy to whisk us away for a romantic weekend.

    So what should those who don’t have a valentines date do that evening? I had an all-girls party last year where we all wore high-heeled boots and funny hats, and changed hats every time the word “We” was spoken. That was pretty fun, but the big day itself still felt a bit empty. Suggestions?