So, that time of year has come around once more; Valentine’s Day. It is a day of love for some, but for others a day of horror and heart-break.
The thing is, Valentine’s Day is so often a failure because people expect their “other” to express their affection in a meaningful and powerful way, and sometimes we just plain DON’T KNOW HOW. As a result, many people end up having a terrible Valentine’s Day with their significant other mad or disappointed with them. Unfortunately, it is usually us men who are scorned by our ladies, and why?
Because too often do men not realize that Valentine’s Day is not just about the convention of gift-giving. That is, you can’t just squeak by with the traditionals like a heart-shaped box of chocolates, flowers, or a stuffed animal. Your girlfriend, undoubtedly, “wants you to WANT to show your affection and care for her, as opposed to showing it because she wants you to, or because you feel like you HAVE to.” The traditionals express that you thought you HAD to, not that you wanted to. Which isn’t to say you can’t get her chocolates or flowers, BUT that if you do, you better make damn sure that they are her favorite kind of each. However, because you are reading this article, it can likely be assumed that you might have messed up, which carries us forward.
Men, the time has come to make amends. Now, let me preface this by saying: If you broke up with your girlfriend or did something equally horrible/dire, you may need more than the following to make-up with her (if you even deserve to). BUT, if you didn’t provide an adequate gift, forgot the holiday, or god-forbid got her the WRONG gift, this might give you some insight.
The Most Important Thing
Valentine’s Day should never be a problem as long as you manage your expectations and actually take the time to know your girlfriend. The first step, if you messed-up (which, if she is mad, you probably did) is to apologize. Next, you need to express that you want to make sure the blunder never happens again. BUT, what does this mean?
It’s All About Her
Tell your girlfriend that you want to get together and make sure that you really know the finer points of “her”. If you messed up (unless you forgot…which I’ll get to), it is probably because you don’t know the finer details about your girlfriend. To make up, you need to show that you:
- Care enough to really get to know her.
- That you plan on listening, AND this time remembering.
- And finally, you know when you have done her wrong, and want to take time to make it right.
This is why you must get together with her, ask her the following (at least), and remember the answers (frankly, if you have been dating, you should probably already know all of this). Take notes if you must.
- What are her favorite flowers?
- Her favorite color?
- Her chocolate/candy preference (if any)?
- Her favorite place (in town, or otherwise)?
- Her favorite restaurant?
- Her favorite movie?
- Her favorite activity?
Finally, plan a bad-ass apology date to make it up to her, and for god’s-sake don’t mess up next Valentines.
If You Forgot
If you honestly forgot about Valentine’s Day, you must be dumb and/or blind. It is one of the most commercial holidays around and you should have seen signs WAY in advance. But, if you did forget, you should really apologize to your girlfriend and then refer to the section entitled “It’s All About Her.” Your girl will probably forgive you if it is just that you are forgetful. That can’t be helped. BUT, you do still need to make it up to her, and that means knowing EVERY detail about her to make your apology perfect.
THEN, take steps to make sure you won’t forget next-year, and that you won’t forget her birthday. Optimistic? Maybe (you might not know if you are going to be together that long). But, the gesture is worthwhile.
A Special Thanks to Emily Taylor Varnadore For the Maple, Pecan, Bacon, Bacon-Chocolate-Chip Cookies! They are Both Delicious and a Revelation in Manliness.