Every year as we approach the big day, people are always asking me for Valentine's Day advice. Most years, I provide the "do"s. However, this year, I have been seeing so many dating faux pas that I think some Valentine's Day "don't"s would be more helpful if you want to still be a couple come February 15th morning.
1. Don't expect a love poem or a mushy-gushy love note unless he is truly that guy. Most busy, successful guys aren't love poem guys -- they just aren't. You should just be happy, very happy if he actually chooses a romantic or sentimental card, instead of one of those joking cards that most guys are tempted to get.
2. Don't expect jewelry. Most men are scared to give you jewelry on Valentine's Day, for fear that it will signify more. I know that jewelry on Valentine's Day might seem like the ultimate in romance for you, but most men don't do it. Married men, yes, but dating men, no. Don't be angry when you don't get it.
3. Don't say yes if you don't like the guy. This will make you more depressed. I know you want a date on Valentine's Day. However, if you aren't into the guy who asks and he is going to be making a play at you all evening, you will just wind up feeling awful. Instead, go out with friends or to a Valentine's Day singles party.
4. Don't double-book. In this day and age, I know it's easy to date a lot of people at once. However, it is really poor form and difficult to pull off a double-book on Valentine's Day. The meals are always long, and your date is expecting a full evening. Be careful.
5. Don't plan the romance and then be angry at him that he didn't plan it. I know you are a planner and a drill sergeant when it comes to plans. However, if you want him to plan the evening, then let him plan the evening. And if you take over the plans because you know you will be disappointed with what he plans, you can't give him a hard time for not doing it. If that happens, he loses either way, and so do you.
6. Don't choose a card that speaks sentiment you or he doesn't feel yet. You will end up backpedaling if you grab a card that is all lovey-dovey and you or especially he is not there yet. It's better to err on the side of less sentiment than too much; guys scare off easily.
7. Don't forget to give him hints as to what he can get you. I know you want him to be Edward from Pretty Woman and romance you, but it's time to live in reality and not in the Beverly Wilshire. If you want something for Valentine's Day, drop some hints, help the guy out. Then it can be a win-win for both of you.
8. Don't compare your night to your friends' nights. I know that part of Valentine's Day is the bragging rights to your friends the next day. Go ahead and brag away, but also take a moment to actually be thankful for the man you have in your life, and what effort he actually put forth for you on Valentine's Day. And don't waste time contrasting and comparing; you never know what is really happening behind closed doors.
9. Don't forget to say thank you for whatever he does and buys you, no matter what. Most men dislike Valentine's Day. They think it's a "Hallmark" holiday and if they participate in it at all, it's for you. Chances are, he is going to disappoint you -- or, at the very least, not live up to what you expected. Regardless, even if you hated his gift or his restaurant choice, you must say thank you. If you don't, he won't make the effort ever again.
10. Don't forget to romance him also. I know Valentine's Day is more your thing than his, but you still need to get him something and treat him to romance, too. It will be fun for you to do it, and he might learn something from your example for next year. Plus, he will notice if you do nothing and then he won't be so keen to plan other romantic things for you in the future.
Do you have any other Valentine's Day don'ts?
Samantha Daniels is a well-known Professional Matchmaker and Dating Expert as well as the founder of The Dating Lounge, the exclusive invitation-only iPhone dating app for upscale people looking for real relationships. You can follow her on Twitter @Matchmakersd. For more information, go to www.samanthadaniels.info