14 February 2017

Because Sometimes Love Needs A Helping Hand

Valentines Day Do's & Don'ts

You've got one night to get it right, just one night. So make it count, make it magical and make it memorable, but in the best way possible. And, whatever you do, don't make a mess of it by making one of the classic mistakes! Nervous? Don't be! As always we've got you covered with the top Valentine's Day do's and don'ts both for the lads and the ladies.

Valentines Day Do's & Don'ts

It's that time of year again, when Cupid presses a sharpened arrow barb to your skull and yells, "one false move and your love-life gets it!" 

But it doesn't need to be this way.  

Truth is we're so pumped full of fake romance from TV, movies and ads that we've forgotten what the real thing is all about.

It's not about expensive presents, or things with hearts on them, it's not about goofy "grand gestures" like you get at the end of a cheesy rom-com or whatever terrible advice you read on your newsfeed this morning.  

So jettison all that nonsense, rid yourself of old fashioned stereotypes. It's time to free your mind, open your heart and allow true romance to blossom.  

Dos and Don'ts am Valentinstag aus Sicht der Frau

True romance is that giddy feeling you get when in the company of a significant other. 

It's that dizzy rush you get when you kiss. 

It's the jolt of electricity that can come just from holding hands.

It's those fleeting moments of elation and escapism when you both transcend this dreary day-to-day life and exist in a glorious bubble called "just you and me." 

And today's the day created especially for it. So let's make some magic. 

Dos and Don'ts For Her

Chivalry dictates that it's ladies first, though that's not to say we're being old fashioned here. It's the year 2017; so let's first dispense with the outdated notion that it's only the guys who are, how shall we put this – Romantically Challenged?

We'll get to all that stuff, don't worry ladies, but let's not forget that it takes two to tango – and to really do it right both partners need dancing lessons!

So, you ready? …Ready now? ….How about now? C'mon, seriously… 

Don't Be Late! 

We know it can take you a while to look your best, we don't understand it, or have the slightest idea what it entails, but we get it. It's like gravity, we don't quite understand how it works, we merely accept its existence.

Plus, we know that saying "you look great already" counts for nothing in an argument about punctuality. 

To us your beauty is infinite, alas time is not. And our reservation was for an hour ago.

Likewise, although there's such a thing as being fashionably late, there's nothing fashionable about being that guy sitting at the bar alone on Valentine's night who keeps turning his head expectantly every time the door opens.

We have all reconciled ourselves to the fact that one minute does not equal 60 seconds and whatever time you say should be multiplied by four. But there are limits!

So this year, ladies, give him something he'll truly appreciate – the gift of punctuality!  

Silence Is Not Golden

Comfortable silences take years to perfect and very few people can manage it. Plus they're overrated. 

Trust me – we'll take a giddy chatterbox any day of the week, it's always better than a lady who's trying too hard to seem quiet and aloof.

Believe it or not us blokes can be shy and sometimes struggle trying to find the right thing to say. Empty silences can be dangerous because we then feel the need to take initiative and fill them with whatever drivel pops into our squidgy little brains – with mixed results. 

So forget trying to "play it cool". If you're proactive on the silence front it'll help the night go smoothly by drastically reducing the chances of us saying something really stupid. 

Eat Something! 

There's nothing quite like a romantic, candlelit dinner, good food, fine wine… but salads are not good food, and mineral water is not fine wine!

What's the point of going to a restaurant if you're going to count calories? Time and place, right? We want you to enjoy yourself, and we want to enjoy ourselves too and we can't have either if you're pecking at spinach leaves. So order something tasty, enjoy it, and have desert too why not? 

Bonus:

If you're not hungry we get it, but just keep in mind that while we'll happily give you our hearts, our stomachs are another matter, because, in one very important way, we're all Joey... 

Dos and Don'ts For Him

Saving the best for last, you might say. Actually we could start a whole new blog on this topic but, since time is limited, and you've got arrangements to make, let's just stick to the basics. 

Scrub Yourself Up

She puts up with you for 364 days of the year, and you've got one day to make it all about her – it's a bit of a bargain when you think about it. She wants to be able to dress up nice and look her best and go somewhere proper – and she expects the same high standards from you. 

So, proper shave, smelling nice, hair nice and neat and when was the last time you wore a proper shirt eh? C'mon, time to be a L'oreal lad and show her you're worth it. 

Go Somewhere Nice – Her Nice, Not Your Nice

So far I've gotten at least three electronic invites to Valentines Day specials, two from local pubs, and one from a sports bar I often frequent.

Although their hastily-Photoshopped set price menu full of typos and love hearts may represent good value, especially the free bottle of Castillo Barato cava they insist is champagne, you know in your heart she's worth a hell of a lot more. 

So tonight, for all that's decent, forego the familiar and step outside of your comfort zone. She's a special lady, so take her somewhere special!  

And whatever you do make sure she knows in advance so she doesn't feel underdressed, because "well I think you look great anyway" ain't gonna cut it if she's in her regular clothes straight from work and you take her someplace snazzy. 

Mind Your Ps and Qs

And even more your Fs and Bs.

Doing the old skool gentleman stuff is easy; holding the door open, pulling the chair back, paying her nice compliments…

…Get those elbows off the table… that's better, wait, you're not letting her reach for her wallet are you? Course not! "Call me old fashioned" you say with a smile. So far so good. 

But c'mon, this is remedial stuff, so don't pat yourself on the back just yet.

You want the night to go well and maybe you're feeling the pressure, but it all goes out the window if you loose your cool. So the newbie waiter's clumsy and he keeps mixing up your orders, but resist the urge to give him serious Ramseying. Keep it cool man. 

Eat Like A Human

So, you're on your best behavior all night, the perfect gentleman, despite the fact that she was late, despite the fact that you're starving and the waiter brought you the wrong food twice – you've kept your cool, the banter is flowing, you're starting deeply into each others eyes… and finally the food arrives! 

Now I don't really get these people who "savour" their food. Instead I just enjoy my food, in the same way the Tasmanian Devil from the cartoons enjoys his food, and my table manners are about on par with him too. Put a steak in front of me and stand well back as it's rapidly devoured in a slavering whirlwind of grunts, snorts and teeth. Sometimes the plate survives the ordeal, though I can't guarantee it. 

But sometimes it's good to be a mouth-breather; chew, stop, breath, say something nice but don't talk with your mouth full. How much food is on your plate? How much food is on her plate? Ok, hold off for a bit… look into her eyes again… c'mon, the gentle art of conversation. Remember those movies where the guy brings the lady to dinner and exudes charm? Think you can be that guy for at least 20 minutes? Course you can. 

Dos and Don'ts am Valentinstag aus Sicht des Singles

Beardy Boy just blew his chances - there's a lesson to be learned! 

Keep a Little Mystery

That's a more delicate way of saying "know when to shut up". A genuine compliment will be sweet, a second, the cherry on top if you can pull it off. But leave it at that – go for three in a row and the probability of you saying something stupid jumps up by 500%.

Don't gamble with your love life, when you think you're on a roll that's when you stop.  

The best things are those things that are left unsaid – so don't say them. And whatever you do make sure to avoid topics like religion, politics, your crazy ex or how much you hate your job. Check your hobbies, too, because while you might find it the most fascinating thing in the world, she may not. Yeah, I know right? Weird!

Stuck for a topic of conversation? Not sure what to do? Ask her something and… wait for it… listen!  Because you know that perennial complaint they have, that we never listen? I'm starting to suspect they might actually be onto something here. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now this is normally the bit where I remind you guys of a big jackpot we have, but money's just one way to spread happiness and today's all about those other kinds. So there's no link to click on this time guys – your "call to action" for today is to get out there and spread the love! Tell that special someone how much he/she means to you and show them that you care!