Gentlemen, This Is Your Wake-Up Call

Alright, guys - it's nearly that time again.  Seven days hence is Valentine's Day and you need to put a plan together before it is too late.

Many things have surprised me since starting this blog, but the fact that one written last February 8 is among the most popular came as a shock.

Just who is reading "Are You Ready?"  I don't know, but since it's a year since that blog I feel some responsibility to bring it up to date.

If there are some guys depending on me for relationship advice... wow... you might want to change that up before embarking on Valentine time.
I am not an expert in the area of preparing for Valentine's Day - but, someone who has learned the hard way, through experience.

Love letters can be a good way to start a romantic and loving celebration, even if it is interrupted by a day at work, and one that she can treasure a long time.  This is an item, though, where you need to know your audience.  Will an email suffice or is an actual hand-written letter best?  If you are not sure - I would go "old school" and write it out, pouring out your feelings in your words.  You can quote somebody else, but the sentiments need to be yours.

Yellow roses are appropriate if you know that is the favorite color of your beloved, and traditional red make a good impression.  Keep in mind, the day is about presentation, bringing home a couple of roses in a plastic bag and dropping them on the counter will undo whatever good you were starting to have work for you.

If you are planning a night out, you better be acquiring a reservation now.  Back in Indianapolis, the White Castle offered seated dinner service on Valentine's evening - but let's just say that won't work for everybody.  (If you aren't sure about whether it might work in your case - I can confidently tell you that it will not fly.  At all.  Next.)

Line up a sitter and plan something.  It doesn't need to be a pricey night on the town to make a big impression.  You could try a quiet walk through a museum or (if it's closer to 32 than zero) a nice walk through a park.  Then find a quiet place to share a drink and re-live some earlier dates.

Based on my limited experience, I think the big take away to share with the rest of my gender is that it almost (and I mean almost) anything can be a great way to celebrate if you put thought into it; are sincere in spending all of your time with her (leave all electronic devices off or at home); and recall the details of some of the things she's told you she would like to do someday - then put at least one into action.

No guarantees here, my friend.  But a sincere effort that demonstrates your love will beat spending all the money in the world... take that to the bank.