It’s Valentine’s Day – time for Cupid to come out and do his thing and you to come out and do yours for that man or woman who makes your heart skip a beat.

Obviously, every relationship is different, but there are some cardinal rules you should follow when you start planning your Valentine’s Day date. Here are the essential guidelines that you need to remember:


Do not promise a romantic evening and then wing it. Make reservations at a nice restaurant in advance so you’re not left, in the words of John Mellencamp, sucking down chili dogs outside the Tastee Freeze. Hit the bank before the evening starts – stopping off at an ATM is a bit of a buzzkill. So is filling the car with gas. Get the annoying errands out of the way so you can both enjoy yourselves.


If your significant others hates flowers, don’t get her a bouquet of roses because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do on Valentine’s Day. If she once said she thinks it’d be romantic to go to a rodeo, then scare up some tickets. If your date loves ice cream sundaes with pickles, make one. It shows you’ve paid attention and care about what your partner likes and dislikes. And that is sexy.


The special lady or man in your life may have hinted to you what they’d like for Valentine’s Day, but they probably have a good friend who they flat out told what they really want. Talk to their friends to get some insight. You may discover something that's a total surprise to you and when you give it to your partner, it will be a total surprise to them. That shows you’re a doer willing to go the extra mile to make your special someone feel, well, special.


If you’re taking your significant other out for dinner at a five-star restaurant where the waiters answer to “garcon,” then you need to leave your jeans and sneakers at home. If you’re snagged tickets to a big basketball game, dress like a fan and keep the suit in the closet. Tailor your wardrobe to the occasion or else you run the risk of looking like a doofus.


Assuming you’ve done a good job putting Valentine’s Day together – and you’ll know if you have – don’t get cocky and say something like, “Ha! I told you I’d do a great job.” Being obnoxious is a turnoff and will wipe out all the effort you put into the evening. Just smile and say thank you and bask in the glory of having been responsible for a memorable date.

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