I want to issue a friendly wake-up call to all the men out there:

If Valentine’s day is important to your partner, it should be important to you too.
Whenever I say this to a guy, he will generally stare at me, slack jawed, as if I were speaking some foreign language. But every now and then, the guy will actually argue with me, offering up one of these gems:
Valentine’s Day is a commercial Holiday designed to sell stuff. Case closed.
Who cares how I treat my wife on one particular day of the year? It’s how I treat her the other 364 days that counts!
A Valentine’s Day gift doesn’t say anything about how much I love my wife!

And of course, there’s truth in all of these arguments. But unless your partner shares your disdain for Valentine’s Day, these arguments are generally cop-outs for the sort of procrastination that forces you to make a last-minute pit-stop at the local Wal-Mart for a bouquet of silk roses and a box of stale chocolates.

Hey, if you’re really on your game, you might end up with one of those furry toy gorillas that sings “Be My Baby” when you press its foot.

Come on now. How old are you?

Truth be told, I like buying silly toy gifts as much as the next guy, and if you’re lucky, your wife or girlfriend (hopefully you don’t have both!) will like them too. I’m lucky: my wife loves anything I buy her. But that’s not really the point.

The point is that I know Valentine’s Day is important to my wife, so I owe it to her (and to myself) to make sure it’s important to me too.

And as much as I love those singing toy gorillas and giant stuffed frogs, I know my gift would mean so much more to her if it really came from the heart, an honest expression of love and gratitude instead of an obligatory gesture.

If your wife likes corny gifts (or thinks the whole idea of Valentine’s Day is silly), by all means, carry on with your bad self. On the other hand, if you think your lady would appreciate something a little more thoughtful, here are 10 ways to inspire her this Valentine’s Day. While I can’t promise that she’ll love all these ideas, each has been fully endorsed by my own personal Romance Consultant: my wife.

Cook dinner for her: The less comfortable you are in the kitchen, the more significant this gesture will seem. The one time I cooked dinner for my wife, she was very impressed! And bless her heart, to this day, she swears it tasted good despite the fact that I know my Alfredo sauce tasted like schoolhouse paste.
Cook breakfast in bed with a single rose: In general, breakfast is easier to prepare than dinner. Hey, even I can make pancakes! Put a rose in a little glass vase and place it on the tray next to the food.


Do her half of the chores: This one admittedly works a lot better if you’re cohabitating with your significant other because, in most households, the man and woman split the chores in some way or another. Pick a chore-heavy day during the week of Valentine’s Day and, on that day, do all the household chores yourself. If she normally takes out the trash, do it for her. If she normally does laundry, do that too. But remember, you are not allowed to do man-laundry. And yes, you know what I mean. Man laundry is when you throw the darks in with the lights and let the whole mess turn purple. Don’t do it!

Run a romantic bath with rose petals and candles: Don’t forget the bubble bath!

Treat her to a day at the spa:
Does she like back rubs, face packs, and other typical spa trappings? Well then?

Go see a movie that she wants to see: Guys, for a lot of you, this one’s going to hurt. But if she really wants to go see Legally Blonde 3 (or whatever), take her. It takes a real man to sit through a chick flick without having a fit!

Take her some place she’s always wanted to go: If money is no object, you have a lot more options, including a weekend mini-vacation. But you can do this on the cheap too. Is there a local restaurant she’s always wanted to visit? A show she’s always wanted to see?

Send her flowers at work: My wife tells me the primary attraction is the reaction all her female co-workers have. “Oh girl, your man cares enough to send you flowers? My man never sends me anything!” Whatever the attraction, this works.

Revisit someplace romantic that’s of historical significance to your relationship: The restaurant where you proposed? The ice rink where you took her on your second date?

Become her personal massage therapist: Buy a book that will teach you how to give a real back-rub. Read it. Put the book on her nightstand along with a note that says you’ve spent the last week reading it and are now prepared to give her an all over body massage whenever she likes. At the bottom of your note, attach homemade coupons that she can cash in for a free massage whenever the mood strikes her.

Okay, yes, I’m making some generalizations in this post. I admit it. And yes, I’m sure the world is full of women who hate Valentine’s Day and men who fall all over themselves to celebrate it with style. Furthermore, I’m sure the world is full of men who love chick flicks and who always separate their whites from their colors. So if anyone found this post to be unbearably sexist, please allow me to apologize.

My opinion? I think the generalizations I’ve made here are close enough for government work, as they say. After all, this post is supposed to be fun!

So guys, take a hint. And ladies, if you want more men to read this article, give it a Stumble so more of them will see it!

And above all, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”