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For all the hype surrounding Valentine's Day, the truth is that most guys get by doing the bare minimum for their significant others. Generally, women say they receive relatively ordinary treatment during most of their Valentine dates. This year, to prove your partner wrong, treat her to a complete and well thought-out evening she won't forget. To make this evening a memorable one, spoil her with the little things that she probably forgot even mattered to her. We're talking about the intangibles here -- the forethought and care that money can't buy, but that matter to her more than any expensive gift.
Prepare for the date
It goes without saying that this special date will require you to clean up nice. It might be a good idea to buy yourself a new shirt or sweater, something you know she'd like even if it's not exactly what you'd wear if it were up to you. Think about it: how do you react when she buys a new sexy dress? Once you are dressed and ready to go, stop at the local flower shop to buy her a dozen of the best-looking red roses. Go ahead and pop a breath mint before you show up. She'll smell the mint and know you took that extra step, and she'll love it. Yes, this applies even if you're married.
Tonight, even if you're the guy who is chronically five minutes behind schedule, you need to show up on time. When picking her up (assuming you have a car), be a gentlemen and open the car door for her. While doing so, present her with the roses and a hello kiss. These little details of opening the car door and handing her roses might seem like fussy details to many men, but for Valentine's Day, this is the crucial stuff, the stuff she remembers and tells her friends about.
Getting the restaurant right
Make reservations at least 2 weeks in advance to get a table at the ideal time. Opt for a small and quiet restaurant instead of a busy, mainstream one, and good lighting is key. She'll love you for choosing a low-light or candle-lit environment that she feels most attractive in. Don't go somewhere that plays loud music, like a supperclub or a trendy new restaurant where people wait three-deep at the bar before their tables free up. You need to be able to hear each other speak.
When entering the restaurant, take care of opening the door and asking the host to be seated. Taking care of such simple details like opening the door and letting her in before you will set the evening apart from conventional dates. Many might say these details are exaggerated and useless, but women generally like a man with good manners.
Once you've settled in, perused the menu and ordered your first course and drinks, turn your focus completely to her. Instead of asking her about mundane daily activities (how's work? how was your week?), start a conversation focused -- without being overbearing -- on her needs. Ask her what she likes to eat or drink. Ask her what her future plans are. In other words, tailor the conversation around her the entire evening.
By staring in her eyes and ignoring what is happening around you, you can focus your thoughts on her and make her feel totally appreciated. Also, in case the waiter forgets to ask how her food was, inquire on whether she liked it or not. Make sure her wine glass is filled when needed, and compliment her every time you have a chance (without crossing the line into contrived).
When coffee and dessert is being served, find out what she feels like doing next. Pick up the tab, and head back out to whatever next step in the night is waiting for you.