Tabatha McGurr is a Brooklyn bred-writer currently residing in Bed-Stuy with her boo and dog Coco. She's been running to the Married To The Mob blog for the past six years. In her weekly column, she gives Complex readers insight into what today's young women really think about love, sex, and relationships.
Valentine’s Day. What a fucking scam of a holiday. Even though I partake in the tradition with my man, sometimes I can’t help but feel like it’s just a giant ploy to put unnecessary pressure on couples, depress the shit out of single people, and put money into the pockets of florists and Hallmark card-carrying stores. That said, when you’re three-plus years into a relationship like me, any opportunity to spend a day solely dedicated to loving and appreciating one another is important, so you have to do it right. In these 21 years, I’ve seen every Valentine’s fuck-up in the book, from dyed-blue carnations to dudes not having enough money for dinner, and I can’t stand to watch those types of travesties happen. Gentlemen, pay attention. You were probably going to, but here’s how not to blow it with your girl this Valentine’s Day...
YOUR GIFT GAME IS WACK
A few years ago, I came to the frightening realization that most men have no fucking idea what they’re doing when it comes to shopping for chicks. I know it’s the thought that counts, but just because something is pink or shaped like a heart doesn’t mean we’re interested. If you truly like the girl you’re with, you should at least put in the effort to find out what she’s into. Otherwise, the classic flowers, chocolates, and lingerie never fail, either--as long as you didn’t get them from Walgreens. You can get your woman pharmacy chocolates any day of the week, but Valentine’s Day requires the big guns. Every pastry shop and specialty chocolate store has some cutesy confection themed out with hearts for the occasion, which is a much more thoughtful gesture than a couple of Ferrero Rochers from the corner store. Are you too lazy for that, too? Then just order some dope shit off the Internet and let it come to you. I’d personally suggest Dean & Deluca. Their selection of V-Day sweets is off the hook.
Treats aside, that still leaves lingerie, and while there’s nothing wrong with a nice underwear set from Victoria’s Secret, it’s just so...obvious. Since I met my man, I’ve been begging him to hook me up with a gift from one of the three most coveted lingerie joints: Kiki de Montparnasse, Agent Provocateur, or La Perla. If you want the blowjob of your life this February 14th, present your woman with something wrapped in any of the above packaging and thank me later.
YOUR FLOWER GAME IS WACK
For such an extremely simple thing to get, countless dudes fuck it up. Don’t feel bad, though. I know most of you aren’t born with that kind of knowledge. The golden rule is no carnations, and I seriously can’t stress that enough. Not only is it the sorriest excuse for a flower on the planet, but it also means that you ran to a bodega at the last minute and just grabbed whatever you could find. Roses are classic and all, but just like teddy bears and Victoria’s Secret stripes, they’re super played out. If you go for roses, you have to either get a dope color or a ridiculous amount. None of that “single rose wrapped in plastic like you’re in 4th grade” nonsense, please. Personally, I’m a peony freak. Just trust me on those. Also, if your woman happens to be working on Valentine’s Day, then make sure you send flowers there. Being at your job on that day is a huge competition to see who gets more love from their boo, and if her co-workers see she didn’t get jack from you, that humiliation storm is coming back home to shit all over you later.
YOUR RESTAURANT ISN'T SEXY
I’m definitely not the type of chick who’s too bougie for Dallas BBQ’s ribs or Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, but if you dare take a woman to a chain restaurant on Valentine’s Day, you’re an asshole. There are a thousand restaurants to choose from and so many of them are completely affordable. Do a bit of research online and take your lady somewhere new. Girls appreciate a man that can take charge and plan out something special without leaving the decisions to her. That whole “I don’t know, what do you wanna eat?” conversation is beyond annoying. Think dim lighting, cozy atmosphere, and most importantly, good drink selection. Valentine’s night is way more about the alcohol than the dinner, in my opinion. Who wants a bunch of heavy food in their stomach when they plan to get crazy afterwards?
YOU LACK THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE
The element of surprise is important in keeping any relationship spicy, especially on big couple occasions. One our first V-Day together, I had my boo meet me at the Thompson hotel where I’d secretly gotten us a room, and it’s really worth the extra cost to have a super special night. Save up some loot and scour the Internet for good deals, then after dinner or whatever evening you have planned, tell her there’s one more stop to make and pull up to the telly. I’m not sure what it is about hotel atmosphere, but they bring the freak out of everyone. To save a few bills, buy your own champagne and have the staff put it on ice for you when you get there. Your romantic adventure could turn into a financial crisis if you get too drunk and wild out on room service.
No money for a hotel? Fuck it, there are a million other awesome and original ways to surprise your sweetie. Whether it’s a nice home-cooked meal, a fully-naked hot oil massage, or even a couples package at the Spa Castle. Just avoid the typical dinner and a movie routine.
The effort you put into Valentine’s Day really depends on how strong your relationship is and how much you love the other person. All couples are different, and shit, maybe some women truly adore getting carnations and eating at the strip mall. Losers. For the most part, I know what lots of females are looking for, and generic crap won’t cut it. While it’s fun to spend the whole day rekindling your romance and making wifey feel desired, the most important thing is to keep the effort going even after the day is over. That’s not to say that you should be giving your woman rose petal baths every other night, but doing something special every once in a while keeps the love from growing old and sour.