V-Day Survival Manual
When I was 19, I worked a summer in a plastic factory (don’t ask). There was this gruff old man who managed the shop – he was the dirty-old-man type, the kind of guy who probably gets drunk and grabs his friend’s daughter’s ass. Anyway, he would always ask me about what hot 18-year-old ass I was getting (answer at the time: none). But he told me once a wise piece of wisdom:
“You dump them before Christmas and then pick them back up after Valentine’s Day. That way you don’t have to buy them anything or act like you give a shit … And if their birthday is in the middle, that’s a bonus.”
Uhh… wise words?
I wouldn’t quite go that far, but you’ll be hard to find someone more cynical about Valentine’s Day than me. As my dad used to say 3-4 times a year, “It’s a fucking Hallmark holiday.”
Based on your dating situation, here is my advice:
This is the easiest situation. GO OUT! Especially if Valentine’s Day is on a weekend. Valentine’s Day makes for easy pickings when you’re out. All of the most desperate and lonely girls are out in full force, and they’ve all had to sit around all day and listen to their friends talk about their boyfriends all day. They’re dying to meet a guy, and all of their romantic Disney programming has them convinced that somehow meeting a guy on Valentine’s Day is “special.”
If you’re casually dating a couple women or have a rotation going, Valentine’s Day might as well be the worst day of the year. On the one hand, if you do anything with any of your girls, you’re setting quick and immediate boyfriend expectations. On the other hand, if you go out prowling around and your women catch wind of it, they’ll immediately recognize you aren’t commitment material for them and it could have some adverse effects (depending on your relationship status with each girl).
The answer? Call in sick. Stay inside. Don’t leave the house. Get some work done around the house, read a nice book, watch a nice movie. Take the day as a holiday to yourself. Believe it or not, I’ve spent most Valentine’s Days in the past years alone and in doors.
Ugh, I hate this shit, don’t you? Valentine’s Day, Christmas and birthdays. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been that great at buying girlfriends gifts and I’ve always tended to only commit to relationships with girls who are pretty lax about this stuff. Super sappy and romantic chicks aren’t really my thing. So fair warning: I’m not the most qualified guy in this department.
But the general guidelines for any sort of gift is that showing thought is 100x more important than what you do or how much money you spend. Guys often make the mistake of assuming that there’s some sort of pre-ordained “romance” ritual to Valentine’s Day – fancy dinner, romantic movie, wine, chocolate, blah, blah, blah… That’s really nice if you want to do it. But honestly, women appreciate it when you show your imagination and think about them so much more than any stereotypical “romantic night.”
Bonus points if whatever you do shows that you listen to them.
But when in doubt, chocolate, sexy underwear, homemade (and sappy) cards and wine are all pretty safe bets.
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About Mark Manson Mark Manson is a writer and dating coach from Boston. He spends most of his time abroad visiting exotic places and fornicating with exotic women. He's also the creator of the acclaimed Mark Manson website.