“This is my first Valentine’s Day with my new boyfriend. I’ve waited until the last minute to get my guy a gift and I don’t want to ask him now what he wants. I am clueless about what to get him. Flowers? A massage? Cologne? A sex coupon book? What do I get him? Help!” —S.A.
You’re a procrastinator, like me. I bought my Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, finally got it decorated by 5 p.m. Christmas Day and it sat in a corner—lit—until February. We mean well, but you know how it goes.
Fortunately for us, we’re in luck when it comes to Valentine’s Day. In general, men don’t really expect much on this “holiday.” I put that in quotes because many guys think of it as a commercial holiday for which they’re expected to splurge just to meet expectations. They do it because they don’t want to disappoint the woman they care about. And for stand-out guys who make romantic gestures and spoil their women throughout the year—and not just on one particular day—Valentine’s Day can feel like an unfair obligation.
As my fiance put it, “Valentine’s Day is like wedding day. It’s all about the woman.” He and his friends, like most men I spoke to about this subject, are really only hoping for a good time spent with their lady and good sex, a reward of sorts for the stress above and beyond what they go through to make the day extra-special for the woman they care about.
If you’re thinking about sending him flowers, buying him something that smells nice or a day of professional pampering, skip that. That’s not what he is expecting. What he’s really looking forward to is spending time with you doing something romantic and then hopefully, more time in the bedroom (or wherever you prefer it) with you.
Instead of a gift, make Valentine’s Day special for your great guy another way. After his Valentine’s Day plans for you have wrapped, tell him you have a romantic surprise for him—a massage performed by you. This is when you put on your ’90s slow jams, light a few scented candles, show off your sexy lingerie and break out the water-based massage “oil” since it won’t stain sheets or your outfit.
Your idea for sex coupons will go over well, too. Don’t buy the standard ones you see in sex shops—make the effort to create them yourself so you can add some basics and more importantly, tailor the selection to those fantasies he might have talked about that you two haven’t gotten around to fulfilling yet. Make sure one of them has an expiration for that night.
If you insist on getting him a gift—again, skip the things that we women would normally find romantic—choose something you know he would enjoy. If he collects something in particular, purchase something for him that adds to the collection. You can also rarely go wrong with electronics or an expensive bottle of his favorite drink. A woman on one of my social media pages wrote in to say she’d purchased a bottle of liquor and used a sexy pair of panties to tie a card with a sexy message to the bottle.
Most women would think, “too simple.”
Men responded in droves to say, “Win!”
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.