I’ve been single for a while now, so there are some things I don’t do traditionally. I don’t wait for men to buy me diamonds. I don’t wait on men to take me on trips and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. In my past relationships, I either had really beautiful, romantic Valentine’s Days or really horrible, ‘I’m breaking up with you after this’ Valentine’s Days. Therefore, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I wanted to share some DON’Ts that I learned over the last 20 years. This is for men and women, married couples and single people. It is to be taken with a grain of salt because everything ain’t for everybody. However, even if you disagree with the DON’Ts, they are something to consider, particularly if you’re always puzzled about the lack of romance in your relationship.
If you DON’T call, date, ask out or have interest in someone throughout the year, DON’T post Valentine’s Day greetings, pictures of flowers, candy, teddy bears, kisses, or jewelry on their Facebook wall, Twitter or send by text message. This is NOT sexy, NOT romantic and if you’re over 18 years old, NOT mature. Instead, try the REAL thing. If the person isn’t important enough for you to spend the money, don’t waste the time it takes to sign on to the computer and go to their Facebook or Twitter, or go to your phone and send the text in the first place. That is not genuinely romantic.
If you give a gift, DON’T expect to receive sex from the recipient in return. All gifts should be given based on what you think the person is worth, what the person likes and from your heart. Expecting sex in return cheapens the gift and the gesture. It doesn’t matter if the gift was the $1 million Victoria’s Secret bra or an Aston Martin. Give the gift because you wanted to.
DON’T believe that you can give an intangible gift for Valentine’s Day and that it should be appreciated by the recipient because it’s “the thought that counts“. The other person is thinking that you’re a selfish, cheap ass.
DON’T give a person something they give themselves all the time. Although it is beautiful to pay attention to what a person likes, if they treat themselves to a movie every week, taking them to the movies for Valentine’s Day is not going to earn you any cupid points.
DON’T forget the phone number to 1-800-FLOWERS. Unless someone specifically doesn’t like flowers (I know some women who don’t), this is a good number for any man who is truly a romantic at heart to have and keep stored in his phone. And guess what? They have other things besides flowers now. So if you’re a woman or your sweetie happens to have allergies or just doesn’t like roses, you can find something else there that they may like.
DON’T forget to think about what a person truly likes. If someone is an avid reader of a particular author (like Super Woman for instance), they might really appreciate the current or next book released by that author – autographed. If a person loves a particular music group, get them concert tickets or a gift card to a venue where that group is going to perform that year. This is called planning and preparation and requires paying attention to the person that you’re with. Procrastinators will have the hardest time pulling this off. They will be the ones buying big bags of candy and single roses on the street corners on February 14th.
DON’T buy big bags of candy and single roses on the street corner on February 14th. The nicest candy gift I ever received was from a guy who didn’t have Godiva Chocolatier money, but he knew that I liked colorful, assorted M&Ms, chocolate covered nuts and Raisinets. He mixed them all up in a decorative jar with a cap so that I could enjoy them at my leisure. I ate all the candy eventually, and I still have the jar.
DON’T be insensitive in your gift giving. Sometimes people are dealing this issues that no romantic gesture can solve. If a person is having a difficult time financially, and they’ve expressed it, but you give them a gift that is valued at the approximate amount of money they needed to resolve, or ease, their financial difficulty, they will probably look at you like you’re crazy because you could have just given them the cash instead. So consider the person’s needs versus trying to impress them needlessly when giving a gift. This is a good principle all year round, not just on Valentine’s Day.
DON’T overlook obvious gift possibilities. If the person has a favorite dish that they rarely have the opportunity to enjoy, and you’re a pretty good cook, or there’s a restaurant in your area that is known to serve that dish, there’s your Valentine’s Day gift! If a person is über busy and complains about not having time to get certain things done, find a service that will accommodate them or help them personally to get that task completed. DUH! Some people are simple to please but in our efforts to impress them, we over think the simplest gestures that will put a smile on their face.
DON’T give a gift that will result in additional work for the recipient. Avoid buying your girlfriend a dog if she’s never at home or travels for work. Who’s going to feed and walk Snookums? Plus, if the relationship ends, you’ll be on Judge Judy fighting over who gets to keep Snookums.
DON’T wait until the last-minute. People can tell when you didn’t put any thought or feeling into your gift and you bought the gift on the street corner that same day. You lose cupid points immediately for “forgetting” because it means that it wasn’t important enough for you to remember.
DON’T forget about the gifts that people will remember most. Sometimes people want to feel appreciated more than anything else. If you have an interest in someone or have feelings towards them, try expressing that – verbally. Cards are nice, but unless you made the card and it contains your original words and feelings or poetry inside, that card will be thrown away eventually. However, people always remember kind words and heartfelt sentiments. So tell someone what they mean to you and how you feel about them face to face. That will earn you huge cupid points and you might discover that they also have positive feelings towards you.
DON’T be selfish in your giving. DON’T be surprised, angry or bitter if you don’t receive a gift in return. It really is better to give than to receive. Giving with the expectation of getting something in return is selfish. Also, it’s possible that the recipient of your gift was surprised to get something from you to begin with and therefore, they don’t have anything for you in return. Personally, as a single woman who rarely receives gifts, I’m always surprised when I do receive one and therefore, I never have anything to give in return.
DON’T forget that old school romance still works. Romance has been put on life support by technology. Texting, Facebook and Twitter have made it not only popular, but too easy to forget about doing things the right way. Real romance comes from being attentive towards the other person’s interests, hobbies, career, thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, needs, wants and moods. One thing I find romantic is someone who is a good listener and hugger, that I can talk to, who will simply understand and support my creative, overachieving and ambitious nature.
So, this upcoming Valentine’s Day, step away from the computer, smart phone, social networking and street corner vendors, and do something different that will separate you from today’s romantically challenged norm. I even suggest that you Google “romantic gestures” and see what sparks your creativity. If you are single and you don’t have someone in your life worth the effort, or even the money, be honest with yourself about that and spend the day by yourself, loving yourself. It’s much better than “poking” someone on Facebook.
♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥