Top 10 Valentine’s Tips for Dudes
Yes, it’s American commercial rubbish invented to get you stoned on chocolate, but that doesn’t mean Australians haven’t quietly adopted Valentine’s Day for their own understated purposes. In 2013, there’s no shame in manning up for your lady and showing her some love this Thursday evening.
Still, if you’re a dude, negotiating Valentine’s Day can be a little like passing the California Bar Exam. This is hard. People have panic attacks, vomit, faint and just generally flip out. (I know a guy who once took his girl out on the bay in his friend’s dinghy. He was so intent on dealing wfith his nerves that he got hammered and capsized the boat.)
With that in mind, we at TheVine thought we’d reach out to our fellow men and offer a Top 10 of Valentine’s Day tips. The obvious stuff should be clear by now (no strawberries in the champagne, no declarations of love on your erect penis). The rest, though, can be a little trickier. Here’s a guide.
10. Effort in, not pressure on
A bit of planning is probably essential if you want to make Valentine’s Day a success. But anything that requires scale models and a synchronisation of watches is off limits. Keep it simple, bro.
9. Be adaptable
So planning’s good, but it doesn’t mean you can stop the world from turning. If it’s raining, don’t insist on taking her to the park. Obvs, I know, but I guarantee you’ll still get some losers trying to share cover with three other couples and a squadron of mosquitoes. Keep your options open.
8. Avoid restaurants
This might seem counterintuitive, but restaurants are the worst place to go on Valentine’s Day. As much as that one girl across the table might love you, the staff absolutely hate you. You’re that sucker who goes out for dinner once a year, gorges himself on a set menu and refuses to tip: none of this is necessarily true, but I guarantee it’s what they’re thinking when you step through the door. Besides, you should already be going on plenty of dinner dates, ones where you can pick what you want off the menu and the waiter actually cares.
7. If you’re single, don’t go out
If you hate being single, Valentine’s Day is not the time to hit the pub and drown your sorrows. You’ll simply finish the night propping up the bar, creeping everyone out. And don’t get together with your other single buds and look to make some sort of alpha-male statement. That way strip clubs lie. You’re not an alpha-male, and your shirt’s stuck in your fly.
6. Valentine’s begins at breakfast
This might sound like a pain in the arse, but consider it an investment. You’re setting the mood here, meaning that by the time you catch up with her after work, she doesn’t spend the evening talking about how much she wants to stab her boss. I recommend poached eggs on zucchini bruschetta. Stay classy.
5. Don’t go to the flicks
The cinema is a lousy place for a date at any time of the year, let alone on Valentine’s Day when there’s absolutely nothing on. What are you going to see? Zero Dark Thirty? Joel Edgerton and a terrorist covered in his own excrement are not romantic. Forget about it.
4. Refrain from ragging on girls who get all excited about Valentine’s Day
You don’t want to be this guy. The girl you likely have a crush on receives flowers and you make some comment about suckers and commercialism and so on. Bad look, bro. If you must protest, do it silently.
3. Avoid first dates
You can see how this might get out of control, right? The expectations and responsibilities are all over the place. The wait staff don’t know you RSVP.com’ed about 20 minutes ago. Leave it until Saturday.
2. Don’t send anonymous cards
You’re still doing this? There’s no place for such pissweak moves in the modern age. Either man up if she’s single, or stop being a creep if she’s not. Everyone knows it’s you, anyway. I once worked in a restaurant where an apprentice gave a waitress an ‘anonymous’ card. We shamed him so hard he was later found trying to climb into the pizza oven.
1. Don’t expect sex
Valentine’s Day usually takes place during the week. It’s a bitch, I know. That means, though, that by the end of your evening your paramour might be a touch tired and want to save herself for the weekend. Don’t be a dick about it. Keep it tender, and maybe things will happen. If not, get your own good night’s sleep and bar up in the morning.
Matt Shea (@mrmatches)