It’s called romance. Do you notice the word in the middle there? Ro – MAN – ce.  That’s right, man is right in the middle there. And yet, one of the greatest complaints I hear as a relationship coach is how men seemed to have fallen asleep at the wheel of the romance car. In fact, according to 85% of women purchase Valentine’s Day cards, and 53% of women say they would end their relationship if they DIDN’T receive something for Valentine’s Day! Yikes! Now that’s some pressure.

Maybe you are one of those guys that just doesn’t seem to have that romance gene. Maybe you’re the partner to one of those men and you want to leave him an obvious hint. Well, I got your romance, right here! I’m going to give you five accomplishable Valentine’s Day ideas that will turn on your heart light!

Book of Love (Love Language = Act of Service or Words of Affirmation)     

This takes a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it. First, hit up a book store and purchase something you think she might find intriguing. This isn’t so difficult because it’s not really about the book itself. Now, go through the book – you can start anywhere. See if you can construct a love letter or a love poem or just a simple love note by circling words on a page. Circle the word, ‘you’. Circle the word, ‘have’. Find the word, ‘the’ and then ‘most’ and then ‘beautiful’ …. ‘eyes.’  It’s fun. It’s cute. It’s imaginative and it takes effort. Honestly guys, if you can get that more than almost anything, your woman wants to believe you want to please her with your efforts. This one is an easy winner.

The Spa Treatment: Hair Brush, Facial, Massage (Physical Touch)

There’s a reason woman love to go to the spa. It’s the one place she gets to be all about her. No kids wanting something from her. No husband wanting other things from her. Just an opportunity to relax. For this gift, you’re going to try to create this at home. There are a few caveats to this one. First, pick the physical touch where you have some skill. Some guys have no idea how to brush a woman’s hair; some men wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to find stuff and execute a rudimentary facial; while other men can only give a massage if they get something out of it too. Just make sure you pick something you are willing to try and have a fair amount of confidence that she’d like it. The other caveat to this is try your best to not make this gift just a pretense for sex. That erotic flair can put pressure on the two of you. See if you can give this gift with an open heart and no expectations. 

A REAL Date Night (Quality Time)

This doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day. That night can often be so crowded and over-done that it turns out to be less a celebration of love and romance and more a fight for survival. However, take some time to actually plan a whole date night. Find a time in your schedules that works. Find tickets to a play, a jazz club, a museum exhibit. Then find a restaurant near the venue. Make reservations. If you still have kids, YOU make the arrangements for childcare. Then on Valentine’s Day, give her a card with all of the details, telling her that you wanted to arrange a full-fledged date night and have taken care of all the arrangements. I have a feeling this may be a present she’s always hoped you’d give to her.

That Special Something (Receiving Gifts)

This one takes some mental effort, gentlemen. It starts with you thinking back to a time where she mentioned some little thing that she loves. Romantic movies and TV are great and showing us how to do this. On Friends, Ross remembered the broach Rachel wanted that reminded her of her grandmother. In the movie Definitely, Maybe, Dave found the copy of Jane Eyre that April’s father inscribed for her and she had been searching for her whole life. These are dramatic examples, but if you listen and pay attention – she tells you hopes of her heart. Look for it. Find it. Give it to her.

Vulnerably Tell Her You Love Her (Words of Affirmation)

Guys… this might be is the hardest one for many of you. This is the one that most of guys struggle with in their relationships. First, arrange some alone time. Then, sit down with her and tell her what you love about her. Tell her how you appreciate her. How hard she works. How much she cares. How beautiful and sexy she is to you. Tell her you love her laugh. Tell her how proud you are of her. Tell her how even though you can be a grump and forget to be thoughtful that your very deepest wish is that she really really knows how much she means to you. If you can do this with honesty and vulnerability… you just may make her Valentine’s Day.

Yes, maybe Valentine’s Day has become a commercial nightmare. Yes, maybe it seems too much. All the anti-Valentine’s Day stuff can be true. Just remember this, Valentine’s Day is also like a semi-Anniversary. It’s another point in the year where you are reminded to celebrate something you cherish and have worked for so long to hold together – each other.