The Valentine’s Day Dilemma

February 10, 2010

I don’t know about you but I’ve always had a love/hate thing for Valentine’s Day. In Manhattan I witnessed guys swaggering down 23rd Street headed to their Sweetie Pie with over-priced long stemmed roses and I wanted to yell, “Hey, over here!” That was my dark period. Things have gotten better.

Some people can’t deal with all the Valentine fuss. One man from Phoenix told me he hides in his house and watches reruns of Golden Girls and mutters his own romance-adverse version of “humbug.”

I’m a born romantic—I turn girlie on VD.I love the cliché red roses, over-sized corny cards, upscale chocolate and dinner out—and lots of hugs and kisses.

I’m a little like Kent who tells me about Greg and himself. “It was Valentine’s Day and I got nothing from Greg. We went out together for dinner but for Greg Valentine’s Day meant little-if he remembered it. He’s the sweetest of the sweetest but I think he’s got the straight gene when it comes to romance. So the next day I told Greg, ‘Honey I want a big fat Valentine’s card from you next year with a big “I love you” written down.’ Greg was like,’Duh, I didn’t know—so sorry honey.’ I didn’t have to wait! The following week—every day--, to my delight, I got a different Valentine card in the mail from Greg with a big I LOVE YOU! He came through. I realized then and there that people can’t read our minds—we have to tell them what we want and need.”

The economy is grim and a lot of folks are out work so I think we should have a National Valentine’s Day Weekend (February 12-14)—to get our mind on Cupid and off the Federal Reserve Chairman. Whether by yourself, with some friends or with your boyfriend/partner we can collectively remember and celebrate through action that classic line from the movie Aunite Mame, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”. Below are some tips on how to do it.

Men With Boyfriends / Ideas for Romancing your Man :

  • Be attentive to him.
  • Share astrological readings.
  • Drive to the beach or some romantic spot
  • Hot tub in the snow/ at night with the stars -- my partner and I go to a place in Western New England and love this
  • Give each other a full body massage
  • Have a bottle of your favorite wine and cheese
  • Cuddle together listening to your favorite music
  • Watch the sing-along version of Mama Mia and sing your crazy hearts out
  • Do yoga/chant together
  • Tell him, “You know the tongue has thirty-five muscles? Let my tongue massage yours.”
  • Ask each other who you were in past lives.
  • Buy a romantic card and mail it to him.
  • Slow dance at home.
  • Watch your favorite movie together
  • Prepare a quiet dinner at home.
  • 10 minute shoulder and neck massage exchange
  • Read to each other your favorite poetry-- Walt Whitman, Sappho, or other poets of your choice,
  • Spend some time photographing each other
  • Lie outside and watch the stars—does not ever get better than that!
  • Go ice skating, ice fishing, snorkeling, surfing
  • Spend an hour together in meditation, listening to the “still small voice” within
  • Hike in the woods and bring some food and wine,
  • Take turns giving each other a full body massage- with or without clothes.

Let some of the above be technology- free. No texting, no internet, no phone calls , no Blackberry. Be present. Flow with the moment and be with your man.

Single Men Only:

  • Have a “singles unite” get together. Just as there are ’orphan’ Christmas get- togethers, find other singles to gather over the weekend.
  • Go see the new flick, Valentine’s Day—with Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Jaime Fox and Topher Grace(sans shirt)—share one of those gigantic popcorn barrels.
  • Call some friends and go out dancing or to a karaoke bar.
  • Invite some friends over to watch a fun/romantic/sexy movie: Moulin Rouge , Shakespeare in Love, Parting Glances, Ghost, Romeo & Juliet (1996), Titanic, The Notebook, Doctor Zhivago, The English Patient, As Good As It Gets, Harold & Maude, Wedding Banquet, Desert Hearts.
  • Meet some singles over the Internet . This is great time to jump-start your love life. Caution. When meeting someone for the first time over the Valentine weekend—don’t expect to meet the love of your life. Take the pressure off yourself that this has to work because it’s VD. Forced intimacy can be draining. Keep it light. Say, “ Hey It’s Valentine’s weekend—would you like to go out for some Thai food?”

Alone by choice
It’s totally permissible to relax and curl up on your couch to read a novel or watch your favorite movie, and eat your best chocolate. Or you may choose to dine out at your favorite restaurant and simply enjoy your own company. To you I share this Oscar Wilde quote: “ To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Jim Sullivan , dating and relationship expert, is author of Boyfriend 101, a Gay Guy’s Guide to Dating, Romance and Finding True Love(Villard), and is currently working on his second book project. Jim maintains a private coaching practice on dating/relationship/life issues. He holds two masters degrees, one in counseling from New York University, and one in religious studies form Manhattan College. Jim is the subject of a LOGO-channel documentary, Love Lessons.

Tags: Relationships, Advice
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