In case you haven't been inside a store recently or since Christmas, it's time to buy stuff for Valentine's Day, or as some call it, Singles Awareness Day.
In my humble opinion, Valentine's Day should be a drop-kick for men. Flowers, dinner, jewelry gift of appropriate seriousness. What is appropriate seriousness? Because I just like men and think they are cute and generally fun to be with, here's a chart:
Dating 4 months or less: Buy stud earrings in her birthstone or some other not-diamond stone
Dating 4 - 8 months: pearl earrings that are a style that she would wear frequently (notice what she wears, find pearl earrings that copy that general style)
Dating 8 - 12 months: short pearl necklace or other everyday necklace made out of something real
Dating a year or more: it's time to fish or cut bait. Get a ring or move on.
This gift will communicate the level of seriousness of the relationship -- from your perspective, anyway.
Women, since we, The Definitely Not Dead, are pursued and do not pursue men other than to be accessible and friendly, if we find ourselves single on February 14th, it is fortunately NOT the end of the world. Do you have a date? Yes, February 14th. And your date after that will be February 15th.
Don't let one day make or break your whole essence of being. Don't have a date or are not dating? That means you can do whatever you want! Have your girls over and eat pizza out of the box while watching Hallmark Channel! Splurge on a mani/pedi! Babysit for married friends that want to go out! If you want to buy chocolate, DO IT. And eat it and DON'T feel guilty, or for that matter, get weepy mid-box because some guy didn't plop down his $12.95 to buy some cheesy, fake velvet, heart-shaped box of chocolate. You are so much better than that!
Men that find themselves dateless on this holiday: My experience has taught me that the ends of the Valentine's Day Awareness Spectrum are: either 1) He only remembers it's Valentine's Day because he finally sees the aisle of chocolate at Walgreen's, or 2) He spends the night listening to Hall & Oates "Sarah Smile" or some equally terrible romantic/nostalgic song on repeat and drinking something that will end up in a pretty heinous hangover the next morning.
Although there are plenty of guy responses in between, my advice is the same: Don't let one day bum you out or ruin your whole outlook or make you question how dateworthy you are: Out of the 16 million hours in your life time, a measly twenty-four is a literal drop in the bucket.
But I leave MEN with this advice: If you don't like spending this holiday alone, what are you going to do about it? TRUST ME, there are a bunch of great women that are out there and waiting for you to ask them out.
Make a coffee date! It's one of the safest and most transitional dating experiences you can have. If it is not working out, well, it was just for coffee, so thanks and have a great day. But if you would like to transition it into a meal, the invitation is all that you have to make. Voila! Instant date.
Is it too late to ask someone out for Valentine's Day? No. However, it will not carry as much romantic fervor as if you have already dated for months, but ask that woman out that you've had your eye on, guys. However, you are going to have to have flowers or something meaningful to give to your date.
Speaking of meaningful, on one particular Valentine's Day, I had a box of chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to my office. It was definitely appreciated and made me think about him pretty much ALL DAY LONG. So how much is it worth to have a woman thinking nice things about you all day if you have a date that night? Without any disrespect to women, GUYS -- this is like shooting fish in a barrel. (Not that we are fish or live in a barrel, even though we may like that reclaimed wood look.)
My parting words to WOMEN: Love yourself and be fabulous! Don't waste time thinking about someone who is not making you his priority. You know the saying, if he isn't contacting you, he's just not that into you? It's true. Figuratively, why spray a can of hairspray that you know is empty? Don't look for something to happen when it's just not there. Most single guys just need some assurance they won't get shot down if they ask you to coffee. Be accessible and friendly, but never easy and definitely not free.
My parting words to MEN: Love yourself and be amazing! Not all girls are out to smash your heart. Get back in the game, swing for the fences, and you'll probably hit a homerun! Just get out there!
Every single reader that sends me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org will be entered into a drawing for a box of amazing chocolate covered strawberries! Drawing is Friday, Feb. 10th. In your email, list the three top things you look for in a potential date for next week's blog post. No list, no entry. You can do it! And thanks. (Note: emails for contest purpose only and will be incinerated at 4000 degrees after drawing.)
Get out there and date! I've got your back.