Expectations versus reality: Why guys shouldn’t dislike Valentine’s Day
Wait just a minute, is Valentine’s Day actually easier for guys than we think? According to the results of our 2014 Valentine’s Day survey of 1,500 consumers, the answer is yes. Here’s why:
- The Plan: Nearly 7 out of 10 women would prefer to make Valentine’s Day plans as a joint decision rather than simply doing what men organized for the night. Less than 50 percent of men thought the same. While men still need to bring some ideas to the table, simply having a chat with your significant other can significantly reduce the stress of planning a romantic night.
- The Bill: While nearly two-thirds of men believe it’s their duty to pick up the check, more than 40 percent of women believe that the couple should split the cost of all Valentine’s Day expenses right down the middle. Once again, a quick conversation about splitting the dinner bill before going out on Valentine’s Day night can help reduce stress over the budget.
- The Date: A night out for dinner was the top choice among both men and women when we asked what they wanted on Valentine’s Day, so you really can’t go wrong with a night out on the town. In addition, more than 70 percent of women indicated that they either like or love Valentine’s Day compared to only 40 percent of men. Even if men don’t like the holiday, just making an effort can go a long way to making their significant other happy.
Successfully Avoid These Common Mistakes
It’s obvious that guys are probably assuming too many responsibilities for Valentine’s Day, thus the stress builds. A little communication will probably go a long way to reducing that stress. However, beware of some potential minefields such as:
- The Benjamins: Don’t assume that she will spend the same amount of money that you are planning to spend on her. According to our survey results, approximately 38 percent of men are planning to spend over $100 on Valentine’s Day, more than 10 percent over $200. Alternatively, only 20 percent of women will be spending over $100 and 46 percent will spend less than $50. If you do chat about splitting the bill, make sure you talk about budget as well.
- The Perfect Gift: Think about what she actually wants and would make her happy. If you are thinking lingerie, think again. First off, that’s a gift enjoyed by men. Secondly, it ranked at the bottom of our survey results along with impersonal gift cards and electronics. A card and a thoughtful gift will go a long way and avoid the situation depicted by Saturday Night Live in the video below.
- The Perfect Gift, Part Deux: Don’t assume that she will purchase what you really want for Valentine’s Day. According to our study, the Valentine’s Day gift that’s most sought after by men, after a night out, was electronics. Unfortunately, only 4 percent of women are considering electronics as a gift this year. In other words, drop some hints.
- The Admiral Ackbar: Did she tell you that she didn’t want a gift this year? You should probably play this on a loop for the next hour.
Plan the Day like a Pro
If men really want to impress their significant other, you can knock it out of the park by focusing on two areas, the flowers and the dinner. Everything else will fall into place.
According to our survey data, women want flowers nearly as much as a night out. It beat out receiving a card, candy or jewelry, so here are a few tips on the floral front.
- The Florist: If you have time, visit your local florist and buy local. Florists are likely to take the best care of flowers, compared to warehouse or grocery stores. While prices may be higher, there’s usually room for bargaining at a locally owned shop.
- The Speed Test: When buying online, fast shipping is vital. Roses, for instance, are kept in refrigerated chambers, typically less than 36 degrees. The moment that they are removed and shipped, you want to receive them ASAP to avoid wilting. Use online deals on the flowers to help offset the cost of fast shipping.
- The Options: Don’t assume that you have to get roses. There are plenty of other flowers in season and the money you spend on flowers will go much further. Flowers like orchids, jasmine and hyacinth tend to be cheaper during February. You can always pick up a single red rose and deliver it during the date.
- The Right Color: If you do go with roses, you need to buy red. Not pink, not orange, not white. Not lavender, not coral, not peach. And if you purchase yellow roses, just pack up your things and get ready to set sail into the friend zone. While whoever assigned these arbitrary meanings to rose colors was probably a sadist, it’s impossible to ignore at this point. Just buy red.
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So you’ve got the flowers down? Let’s move on to dinner. Here are a few tips to help plan your night.
- The Empty Wallet: If you are light on funds, consider cooking dinner for your significant other. Better yet, plan the entire menu and ask her to help you cook. You can go a long way with candles on the dinner table and a home-cooked meal. If you must go out, consider opening up a bottle of champagne or wine at home first in order to offset the additional cost of alcohol at dinner.
- The Packed Joint: If you haven’t booked a place yet, you need to book now. A week or two in advance is best, but you might be able to get away with a few days. In any case, you won’t be able to make a reservation on the morning of February 14. You can also try OpenTable’s mobile app to search for last minute openings. In addition, beware of special menus since many restaurants increase prices on Valentine’s Day.
- The Ambiance: Trying to book a reservation at the trendy, expensive spot in town? Why bother if it’s loud? Look for a place where you can have a conversation without yelling over the noise. That will help in the romance department as well.
- The Home Run: Combine dinner and flowers into a one-two punch. Many restaurants will agree to special requests like bringing a large bouquet of flowers to the table when you arrive or at the end of the meal. If you are light on funds, consider dropping off your card at the restaurant early and having the waitstaff tuck it into her menu as a surprise.
In conclusion, stick to the game plan above and you will have a stress-free Valentine’s Day. There’s really not that much to stress out about if you stick to the basics.