alentine’s Day is around the corner. If you’re in a relationship, you’re probably beginning to wonder what the hell to do (or, if you forgot, here’s your friendly reminder). It’s tough. You see the cliche formula everywhere: chocolate + flowers + stuffed animal + dinner reservation = all the effort you need to send off Valentine’s Day without a hitch. And maybe that’s all you plan to do. But for most women, there is no a + b + c + d equation that’ll cover all your bases on this seemingly overrated holiday. You can’t just coast by with a box of chocolates and expect that to win you the home run. No, women are much more complicated than that (but you knew that, didn’t you?).

Now, we’re not saying that you need to shell out more money. In fact, I’m not saying that at all. But there are definitely some things you could (and should) do in preparation for Valentine’s Day that will make 99.9% of women happy. And, a happy woman = a less stressful, more fulfilling relationship. Now that’s an equation we can all get behind.

This Valentine’s Day, forgo the shitty grocery store chocolate and the cookie cutter stuffed animal (where do you expect us to put all of those teddy bears, honestly?). Consider these 8 tips to really take your this Valentine’s Day to the next level and give your significant other the day she deserves.


First and foremost, have the conversation about whether or not Valentine’s Day is something you two want to celebrate. If it’s not your thing, cool. Establish that, and it’ll make expectations clear for the day, so that no one is accidentally hurt or stuck anticipating something that doesn’t happen.

If you and your significant other are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it might help to figure out your tentative plans in advance. No, I’m not saying to ruin any surprises up your sleeve. I’m saying divide up the day, or the activities, so you can take turns. So, let’s say she takes the morning and you take the evening. That way, you know exactly who’s turn it is to plan something, you don’t overlap any surprises, and, if you make Valentine’s Day a joint responsibility, you get to really hone in on your ideas rather than scrambling to figure out how to span the entire day. You can apply this same planning logic to any big day you have planned, from birthdays to anniversaries. That way, no one is left guessing, and no one is stuck having to do all the legwork.


Unless you’re not going to celebrate Valentine’s Day (which, like I said, is totally fine as long as it’s a mutually known fact), you should actually plan something. Even if it’s something small. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that even if a woman says she “doesn’t want you to do anything” for Valentine’s Day, she damn well wants something (even if she doesn’t know or admit it). It could be something as small as getting up early and making her coffee in her favorite mug, or something as grand as surprising her with tickets for a cruise. Whatever it is, make sure you plan something out. It’s devastating to expect something to happen that doesn’t. It’s even more devastating to plan something for your boyfriend or husband only to realize that you were the only one that remembered.


Women want to be desired. I know, I know. You’re probably sitting there feeling like I just told you that you need to wear pants in public, or that the sky is blue. This sounds self-explanatory, but more often than not, it’s an afterthought. I’m not talking about giving her a kiss or going through the motions of intimacy simply because she’s there. I’m talking about actually wooing her. Remember the early days of your relationship? I’m talking about that. No matter how long you’ve been together, every woman wants to feel wanted. Every woman wants to feel like, if you guys weren’t together, you’d still choose her above all else. So light some candles. Tell her you want her. Show her you want her. Make eye contact! It’s an amazing feeling when the love of your life is completely and unapologetically enamored with you. Let her feel that more often. And, odds are, she’ll reciprocate.


It’s easy to hear. It’s harder to listen. And that’s why it’s so crucial to any woman that you make the effort and really pay attention to her. To a woman, effort = love. So, put the phone down, turn the TV off once in awhile, and pay attention to your significant other more–not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.

Bonus: Doing something on Valentine’s Day that she mentioned in passing, like a restaurant she’s always wanted to try or a show she’s always wanted to see. This not only shows her that you listen, but it also lets us women know that you take what we say seriously. Hot.


There’s a whole level of intimacy beyond physical touch that relationships need to continuously nurture in order to thrive. I’m talking about having emotional closeness (don’t roll your eyes!). On Valentine’s Day, and every day, be sure to tell your significant other what’s on your mind. Find some time to talk about your day, things that bother you or make you happy, and how you feel about one another. Sharing these things with each other keeps you close, and strengthens your relationship by keeping the two of you on the same page. Women shouldn’t have to pry an “I love you” or a “you look beautiful” out of you. We deserve to be told these things, just like you deserve to be told that you look handsome, or that you’re an amazing boyfriend/husband/life partner. No matter who you are, hearing stuff like this like this is like icing on the metaphorical love cake.


If you’re planning a date this Valentine’s Day, put some thought into your appearance, even if you’ve been with your woman for years. It shows us that the date is important to you, and that our perception of you is important to you. It lets us know that you want to impress us, and because women notice everything, the effort certainly won’t go to waste. So iron your shirt, get a clean shave, and throw on a tie and a nice pair of shoes (but since you read Genuine Men’s Magazine, you already knew this. Didn’t you?).


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from men I’ve dated that “flowers are a stupid gift because they all die anyway.” My eyes rolled at least 3 times while typing that.

Sure, flowers might be cliche and fleeting, but no matter how complicated you think a woman might be, a bouquet of flowers will melt her heart. It’s not because we love flowers, or because we plan on starting a garden anytime soon. It’s the thought behind the action that gets us every time. That being said, my best advice to you is to not just get a woman flowers on Valentine’s Day, but at the most random times, for the most random reasons. Nothing cheers me up quicker than a guy buying me flowers after a stressful day at work “just because.” And, when you buy flowers throughout the year, they’re usually ⅕ the cost of what they’re about to be this Valentine’s Day. 5 “just because” bouquets of flowers throughout the year for the price of one batch of droopy Valentine’s Day roses? Yep. Just some food for thought.


I would rather receive nothing for Valentine’s Day than a cliche, mass-produced box of milk chocolate. If you guys don’t do gifts on Valentine’s Day, awesome! But if you do, I suggest putting some more thought to it than quickly running to the grocery store at 10 pm the night before. If she likes chocolate, get her her favorite brand, or a cool artisan box of chocolates she’s never tried before. If she’s not the chocolate-and-flowers type, get her tickets to see her favorite band, or supplies for her favorite hobby. A thoughtful gift, no matter how inexpensive, will be far more well-received than something you can pick up in the same isle as the Ziplock bags.
I hope these tips prove to be useful to you not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. In fact, forget Valentine’s Day! Follow through on these 8 tips no matter the occasion, and your relationship will thank you in the long run.

Image provided by picjumbo

About The Author: Rachel-Jean Firchau

For as long as she can remember, Rachel has had an affinity for fashion, and in the past few years, this passion expanded into the world of menswear. Her favorite thing to see on a man is a well-fitting suit, and she takes note of people's shoes like it's her job. Rachel is the face and voice behind Rachel Off Duty , a west coast personal style, lifestyle, and travel blog. When she's not writing, Rachel spends her free time practicing yoga, salsa dancing, cooking, and watching New Girl. She holds two bachelor degrees in Public Relations & Advertising and Communication Studies, and she owns more clothes than she's willingly ready to admit.