Guys, get your heart on

ASSOCIATED PRESS Libby Fravel adds some roses to the display at her Stephens City, Va., flower shop. Valentine's Day is her store's busiest single-day holiday of the year.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Libby Fravel adds some roses to the display at her Stephens City, Va., flower shop. Valentine's Day is her store's busiest single-day holiday of the year.
Posted: January 21, 2014

WE'RE LESS than a month from Valentine's Day, but it's never too early to snap fingers under the noses of men who are focusing on the Super Bowl (or Wing Bowl) instead of on their romantic partners (sometimes even their wives).

When it comes to romance, most guys have webbed feet. (Apologies to the webbed-feet community. No slur intended.)

Over the years, through a blizzard of girlfriends and a shower of wives, I have learned a lot, but never enough. Most men know less and need to know more. So I turned to various "friends" and "experts."

The rock-bottom is this: Cliche or not, flowers and candy are mandatory on VD, guys. They are no more "gifts" than the bread basket a restaurant puts on the table.

Speaking of restaurants, the No. 1 best VD date is dining out, according to the It's Just Lunch VD dating guide. (Guys, it can't be at a restaurant where the hostess wears a paper hat with a cartoon animal.)

Experts warn to make your reservation early to be sure you can get in and also because women love the thoughtfulness of planning ahead. Like you were actually thinking about the Big Day.

Even better than taking her out for dinner?

Cook for her!

No, seriously.

WARNING: It can't be made on a George Foreman grill or something that comes in a plastic pouch that you boil in water. Go online to find recipes. Even if it turns out lousy, she will appreciate the effort. And by "appreciate," I mean you will get "lucky." And by "lucky" I mean . . . [ Editor's note: We think adult readers know what you mean.]

To my shock (incredible sadness, really) lingerie gets shot down by some experts, including romantic-event planner Michele Velazquez. "My number one Valentine's Day gift tip is do not give her lingerie," she says. "We both know who that gift is really for."

Stop ruining a good thing, Michele, and not all women feel that way. Half-Pint, my delightful romantic partner (who will get flowers and M&Ms, her chocochoice) loves lingerie because it makes her feel sexy. She especially likes the thick flannel kind, with "Do Not Disturb" embroidered at strategic places.

On my side in the War on Lingerie is Jennifer Rosen, owner of Hope Chest Lingerie, at 1937 Chestnut St. "Make sure it's her taste, style and right for her body type, something she'll feel comfortable and confident in," says Rosen.

How about crotchless?

"As long as lingerie is wrapped nicely and is in a box from a classy, reputable store, I don't think it will ever come off cheesy or selfish."

I think any fair-minded woman (an oxymoron?) would "tolerate" lingerie if there were more in her gift bag. I mean, in addition to the skimpy little nothing and the candy.

WARNING: Household appliances and gym memberships are forbidden. It's like giving a guest membership to Weight Watchers. Also deep-six cash - but a "love certificate" to do something "special" to her or for her is welcome.

For Christmas, Half-Pint gave me a bracelet that monitors vital signs. (Kind of odd: She always seems to know where I am, and if I look at another woman I get a 5,000-volt shock.)

Lots of experts have lots of opinions ranging from a spa treatment to shoes to aromatherapy to jewelry, but you know all that.

WARNING: Do not suggest a menage a trois.

One widely recommended idea is sitting down to write a love note, in preference to a store-bought card. Fantasy Dating founder Suzanne Casamento says that even if you come off "like a tipsy teenager," it will have the desired effect (see "lucky," above). But if you feel less than able, I'm here to help.

Buy a card with the proper gooey sentiments, take it home and copy the contents onto your own note paper. (It's only called plagiarism if I do it.)

Etiquette expert Maggie Oldham says to surprise the lady by calling or texting VD morning to say how excited you are to be seeing her that night. Oldham, 29, describes herself as "young, hot, fun" - Ouch!

I just got a 5,000-volt shock.

The bottom line, guys: Women want sincere sentiment, they want to know they are special to you.

Once you learn to fake that, everything will be OK.


Phone: 215-854-5977

On Twitter: @StuBykofsky


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