Ok gentlemen, here is my take on Valentine’s day.There are a few constants in life…death, taxes, and Valentine’s Day. The things you do and don’t do on and around this day will most likely be micro-analyzed by the woman in your life. Ignoring this day and all it implies will NOT make it go away. It’ll just make you look like a jackass! So I suggest you tackle it head on this year. Choosing to spend Valentine’s Day with a woman does send the message that you care. This being said, you’ll be relieved to know that 40% of woman DON’T expect a gift unless in a committed relationship, or three months of dating. If you’ve been dating her two weeks or less, less than 4% of woman expect a Valentine’s gift. So the pressure really is OFF! Here is my advice for you gentlemen… If you’re actually thinking about asking a girl out for the first time on Valentine’s Day…DON’T! Wait until the following weekend to ask her out! Too much too soon! If you’ve been dating 3 months or less…ask her out several days to a week before Valentine’s Day. This shows you’re thinking about her. You’re not a “last minute McGee.” If you’ve been together more than 3 months…it’s kind of a given that she expects to be together on Valentine’s Day. There’s no real need to formally ask her out; just reassure her you’ve got something planned at least a week before. Now the what and hows to pull it off… My suggestion for any length of relationship or level of commitment with budgetary constraints is “The Picnic.” Go to your local Trader Joe’s or similar grocery. Ask their wine somali to suggest a great bottle (your girls preference red or white) for under $10. You can then have that same person suggest a great mild cheese to compliment the wine. Buy a nice box of crackers. Finally, go out front and select a beautiful $12 orchid or $10 bunch of tulips. Of course, don’t forget a card. This completes your shopping list. Your total should be less than $40.oo! This is inexpensive, but comes across very thoughtful and romantic. For the long-term or live-in boyfriend…wake her up with a tasteful bouquet of flowers and a kiss. Or have the same delivered to her office with a card. Once you’ve made this gesture, in my opinion, everything else is gravy. From this point, you decide; do you want to cook her dinner, take her to favorite restaurant, or try the new restaurant she’s been wanting to try? Of course reservations must be made at least a week before! This year Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Sunday. This is a perfect opportunity for a weekend getaway. The trip can be a surprise to her or planned with her, either way you’ll most likely be getting “lucky” for Valentine’s Day! After all these gestures…to decide to give a gift for Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, is totally optional. This being said….JEWELRY and CUPCAKES are always accepted!