March 24, 2019
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A Valentine’s Day cheat sheet for romantically-challenged men

Forget Cupid’s arrow. For most men, Valentine’s Day is like holding a gun to our heads and saying, “Be romantic — or else.” The pressure is on to come up with a special gift or create a memorable moment that convinces our significant other that we love her. Succeed, and the world is our oyster; fall short — or fail in coming up with the goods — and we’ll find ourselves checking into the Dog Hotel, located just out our back door at the end of our property.

What’s up with men dreading the most romantic holiday of the year? Chalk it up to fear. We’re afraid we’ll do the wrong thing. We’re afraid to ask our significant other what she wants, because that makes us feel like we don’t know — or love — her. And we’re afraid to go out on a limb and do something creative, because we might make fools of ourselves.

While Valentine’s Day has become way too commercial, in my opinion, I do love that it affords us the opportunity to reconnect with the one we love — and to do so in an individual and unique way. So, to every guy sweating Feb. 14, I say suck it up and think of Valentine’s Day as the “Super Bowl of Love.”

How can you channel your inner Romeo and score big? Try these sure-fire strategies that would make even Cupid proud:

ä Express yourself. Good news: Most women claim they want nothing more than a heartfelt card from their man. But don’t make the mistake of just buying one, writing “I love you,” and signing your name to it. Never mind how sweet, sentimental, or close-to-home that Hallmark text is. Since you didn’t write it, she’s not going to feel special reading it. Instead, take a few minutes to pen a special message about why she means so much to you and how you’d still choose her if you had to do it all over again. This will go a long way in filling up your sweetheart’s emotional tank.

ä Resist the urge to drop a pile of cash. Many men feel the need to spend big bucks to prove their love, but here’s the thing: Money can’t buy you love, but being “on the money” can sure make those love sparks fly! Forget about trying to woo her with pricey presents, and remember that a little creativity can go a long way. Go for a low-cost — even no-cost — gift that says you “get” her: Put together a collage of her most cherished couple photos. Make her a mixed CD of her favorite love songs. Create coupons that she can redeem for a 15-minute massage or breakfast in bed. Or write her a poem or love letter. Even if your efforts are clumsy, you’re sure to come out a winner, because thoughtfulness is a major turn-on for women.

ä Take charge. The majority of women prefer that we guys map out the entire evening — they see this as a sign of commitment. But a whopping 64 percent of men fail to make Valentine’s Day plans in advance. To further complicate matters, women also expect us to read their minds — and let’s face it, we suck at that. So, take the guesswork out of the equation by asking her what she wants to see happen — then take over. Do whatever you have to, and make your plans in advance. This is not the time to be spontaneous.

ä Rely on anticipation as an aphrodisiac. If a romantic dinner is on your agenda, send a simple text message or shoot her a quick e-mail during the day that says, “I can’t wait to spend time with you tonight!” Half the fun of a date night lies in looking forward to it, and this will not only melt your lover’s heart but also double the chances you’ll share a passionate evening!

ä Strike up a sexy conversation. Whether you venture out to her favorite restaurant or whip up a romantic dinner at home, remember that topics such as work, the kids, or finances are taboo. Instead, share fantasies with each other. Studies show that nine out of 10 of us have them, and the 10th person probably has them but won’t admit it. Research also reveals that couples who share fantasies make love more often — so start the dialogue, dude!

ä If you opt to go traditional and send flowers, make sure your bouquet is delivered to her office. This will make her feel more special because it allows her to show off to co-workers how much you love her.

ä Go for this win-win gift: If your sweetheart is the type who prefers something she can unwrap, think lingerie. As visual creatures, what man doesn’t love seeing his significant other wear something lacy or racy? Women, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional and need reassurance that their mate finds them desirable and sexy. Well, watching us salivate over what they’re wearing can certainly do the trick. And did I mention that when a woman looks sexy, she feels sexy, and she becomes sexy?

ä Whisper sweet nothings in her ear. When you share terms of endearment, do it in a supersoft tone of voice — even a whisper — then watch her quiver. Not only do people pay closer attention to what we’re saying when we whisper, but our words have greater impact.

ä But don’t say, “I love you!” Yep, you heard right. This phrase has become so overused — we all say it so often when talking to friends, family and sometimes even co-workers — that when exchanged between lovers, it has lost its luster. Better ways to let your sweetie know she’s numero uno? Try phrases like, “You rock my world,” “Baby, you mean the world to me,” “Being with you is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” or “My skin tingles every time I get near you.”

Todd R. Reed, aka “The Communication Coach” is author of “Conversation is Sexy.” He may be reached at 406-396-7755, or

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