All right guys – believe it or not, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s probably something along the lines of this:

“Crap – Valentine’s Day.  What does she want and how much is going to cost me?”

Well – I’m feeling rather charitable today so I thought I would help you out and give you a few secrets as to what women want!

So – print, bookmark, save and memorize what I’m about to tell you – and you will come out of Valentine’s Day a winner!

  • 1

    The “New Relationship” Stage:

    I think it would be safe to say you fall in the “New Relationship” status if it’s been 4 months or less from the time you both decided to become monogamous.

    Now, go back and reread that last sentence.  Why?  Because you probably missed the part where I said “from the time you both decided to become monogamous” – NOT “4 months from the time you first spoke to her.” Understand? Good. Now if your relationship falls in this timeframe then you’re in luck because this is actually the easier gifts to get because you can get away with getting the cliché bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates with a silly little card with puppies on it. If you want to go one step further then take her out dancing or go to a movie she wants to see.  The point is – this is a new relationship – don’t get all crazy!! So the secret here is if you go too big too fast you could give the impression you are obsessed, but if you don’t do anything then that says you’re not interested and don’t care.

  • 2

    The “LUV Ya” Stage:

    First of all guys – know the code.  KNOW. THE. CODE. I am sad to report that at some point in the last 10-15 years a “code” was developed that may or may not still be active.  It’s ridiculous really – but nevertheless, here it is… “luv ya” DOES NOT mean “I love you.”  I can’t tell you why and I can't tell you who came up with it and personally I think it’s silly. But now when you take your girlfriend home and she gives you a hug and kiss and says “luv ya” as she is walking away – that means that she believes you two to be in a serious relationship and she can see herself falling in love with but she isn’t there yet.  And if I had to guess I would say the timeframe for this relationship stage is somewhere between 6 months.

    But since she has yet to use all of the letters when she says “luv ya” so it’s not necessary to use all of your money for a Valentine’s gift (YET)!  You can still get the box of candy but don’t just grab the heart shaped box chocolates at the supermarket where she would only enjoy 2-3 pieces of chocolate, because NO ONE likes that dark chocolate filled with pink or orange goo! Go to a candy store such as The Candy Wrapper and build a custom box of her favorite treats. If she’s like me and doesn’t really eat candy then go to Edible Arrangements and get her a Valentine fruit bouquet.

    You can still get the cute puppy card – but you better write something in that card that is sweet, romantic and ever so lightly touches on how you feel about her. But for the love of a woman’s sanity DO NOT write “luv ya!” or you will surely confuse her! Which brings me to the next secret - guys must KNOW the code but they can never successfully USE the code.

  • 3

    The In Love Stage:

    She has been your girlfriend for a year or more now – you are completely in love with her and she has graduated from the 3 letter word “luv” to the all-caps 4 letter word “LOVE”!  Oh happy day!

    You don’t really go out dancing anymore because it’s just as fun to dance in the living room. You don’t go out to dinner anymore because you have more fun cooking together.You don’t get dressed up and go out on the town because it’s more entertaining to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and sit outside by a fire listening to the radio while you sip on a beer. Life is grand! And you can totally get away with a nice romantic evening at home with dinner, wine, dancing, candles and so on.

    You want to be as “cheesy” as you possibly can. Throw rose peddles in a bubble bath, leave candy hearts all over the house and throw on some Marvin Gaye. Find an assortment of the most romantic movies you can – new and old – and make sure you have built the perfect spot to watch the movie that includes a blankets and a TON of pillows – and chances are you will never make it to the end of the movie.

  • 4

    The Marriage Stage:

    As most of you know, there are several stages within the Marriage Stage. The Honeymoon stage is not that much different than the “In Love” stage and she will most likely be in on the planning for the Valentine’s Day gifts and festivities. You’ll probably purchase something that the both of you will benefit from while you receive a side gift of chocolates and/or flowers. But it is during this time that the Valentine’s Day card is what is most special. Here’s another secret – while the words that were printed in the card are important – it’s the words YOU write in that card that will melt her heart. So make it count!

    After being married for a while life changes and so does Valentine’s Day. You have careers and kids that keep you busy. The money that was once spent on weekend getaways, fancy dinners and gifts are now spent on your children and family vacations. You’ve done Valentine’s Day now for 20-30 years and you’re fairly certain that she doesn’t need or want another heart shaped bracelet or necklace…and you would be right.  She doesn’t want a box of chocolates or a dozen roses. After so many years she is now looking for a feeling; looking for excitement.

    Here’s the secret – the woman you've been married to for 10, 20, 30 plus years, every once in a while kind of misses the feelings of excitement of those early years.  It’s time to summon your inner Cupid again. Here’s the perfect gift: Buy her a new dress (grab one of her friends to help you if you need to but YOU must have the final decision on the dress). Get her the shoes and accessories and everything that goes along with it.  Lay it out where she will find it when she gets home with a note on it that says “This is for you to wear tonight – I will pick you up at 7pm – I can’t wait. I love you.”