A straight man’s guide to courting on Valentine’s Day

Brian FosdickI’m sure after reading that headline, many of you have looked at my mug shot, laughed, and closed the paper immediately. But if you didn’t, hear me out. I’ve lived with a variety of women I’ve known very well for two to three years now, and I’ve been in a relationship for the past three years so I’ve heard the do’s and don’ts of what guys do on Valentine’s day.

Trust me, women complain about the stupid stuff guys do. If you don’t think they do, you’re kidding yourself. So here are a few things to do if you’re looking to impress that special girl on this depressing consumerist shadow of a holiday.

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The first and most important rule will always be: Don’t be creepy.

I’ve seen so many guys text my roommates fifteen times after they haven’t responded and try to get them to do something all day. Just stop. If you ever wanted to push a girl further away, you can do it by harassing her when she’s clearly not interested. If she doesn’t respond to the first text, she’s probably not comfortable spending Valentine’s Day with you.

Work on improving your relationship and try again next year.

If, on the other hand, things do work out for the better, you will always find that giving a gift is one of the harder parts of the day. There’s always the classic flowers, chocolate, etc., but going beyond the cliché will get you more points. The key is to make the gift more personal to you and the girl.

As an example, I have a friend who is talented in the arts and took time to draw a picture he had taken with the girl and give it a nice frame. I was there when he gave it to her, and her face lit up like the Fourth of July. They were dating a week later. Use talents you have to make something special on Valentine’s Day and I promise you will always be more impressive.

The final advice I can give for this day is that fortune favors the bold when it comes to confessing feelings for a woman. I don’t want to bother getting a tally of how many guys have asked my roommates out over the internet or by phone, but I can tell you that the success rate of this method has been zero.

Almost every woman I have met has told me that you have a much better chance of asking them out in person. It is more earnest and it shows a confidence that women can respect. There is no easy way to ask women out, but normally there is a right way and that is never online.

Still, I can sympathize after seeing too many drunken depressed guys on Valentine’s Day who struck out, or are afraid of striking out. But, the failure to ask someone else or spend this day with a woman is not your measure as a man. It’s a holiday that makes most people feel like crap and makes you feel pressured, but every bit of advice can be applied on any other day. Don’t feel pressured to run around and try to express all of your feelings because people say you should.

Regardless of how you spend this Valentine’s Day, try to have a good time and take the day with a grain of salt. No matter how you cut it, it’s just another day.