Right about now men in this city are wracking their brains, trying desperately to figure out what to do for their girlfriends/wives/mistresses/life partners for Valentine’s Day.


Isn’t too much fun, is it? Trying to figure out how to top romantic gestures of years past is never an easy task. As I’ve done in years past, I want to take the time to drop a few pieces of advice that have helped me in years gone by.

Let’s be honest here, this advice is mainly about saving cash and headaches and, hopefully, I won’t be crucified by my female readership for making the following suggestions.

First, don’t try too hard to outdo yourself. If you took her to Paris last year for Valentine’s Day — which means you’re probably a bit foolish for setting the bar so high that you’ll NEVER be able to surpass it — don’t try for Venice this year (or any other romantic city).

Odds are, even a simplified Valentine’s Day will go over well despite the fact that we as men often THINK we have to go to unsurpassable lengths to impress. Having said that, think before you buy traditional goods and services. Don’t go to the most expensive place to buy roses if you’re so inclined. Shop around and look for wholesale suppliers — I’ve used them in the past and the quality is almost the same as more expensive shops.

A day at the spa is almost always appreciated (by men, too!), but again, hunt around for less expensive options. Prices can vary, as can quality within the industry, but Valentine’s Day packages don’t always equal great value.

I find the best spas are the ones that maintain consistent pricing throughout the year, but offer special services for certain occasions. For something a little different, try a his and hers massage and class to learn how to properly caress each other’s sore muscles. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

But let’s get back on topic, we’re trying to save money and stress this year, so that means we should also be booking our preferred dining spots far in advance. Want to take her to the hot new restaurant on the block? Don’t book on the 13th or you’re sure to be disappointed.

If we all stick together, we can get through Valentine’s Day together — we can even enjoy ourselves. All it takes is a bit of mutual support and a few good connections with the city’s best maitre d’s.


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