I should preface this by saying: In many ways, I am not a typical girl. I maintain an intense dislike of roses and chocolate-covered strawberries, and will always choose a classic cocktail over champagne. Then again, I love cupcakes and high heels. Ah, the contradictions! While I may not be a representative female, I have amassed a vast store of scientific research (read: polled friends and colleagues). My findings? When it comes to Valentine’s Day, guys have it all wrong. Herewith, three common Valentine’s Day myths.
Myth #1: You can’t go wrong with flowers.
In fact, it’s possible to go very wrong. To wit: red roses. Not every girl likes them and even the ones who do know that they’re the easiest (read: laziest) choice. I love flowers—doesn’t everyone?—but there’s a huge difference between a wilted bodega bouquet (afterthought) and an arrangement of your favorite blossoms (aww). Instead of automatically opting for long-stems, think about what your special someone likes. Does she always gravitate toward tulips at the farmer’s market? Is her windowsill crowded with succulents? Follow the clues. If all else fails, ask her best friend.
Myth #2: Women want a fancy dinner.
On February 14th, restaurants serve overpriced prix-fixe meals loaded with clichés like oysters and molten chocolate cake. In attendance are flocks of annoying couples that are either tense and stressed or gaga and PDA-happy. Skip it all in favor of a cozy dinner at home: order in your favorite takeout and splurge on a decadent bottle of wine and fancy dessert. Or try your hand at cooking her favorite dishes—even if it blows up in smoke (literally), she’ll appreciate the gesture.
Myth #3: Presents have to be expensive.
Nope. They just have to be thoughtful. We love surprises that show that you were listening to us when we assumed you were focused on the football game. We melt when you bring us a just-because cookie, fix up a proper cocktail with us in mind, or pick up the latest book from our favorite author.