There’s this view about relationships, that once you find “the one,” it’s easy. You just get each other, right? You finish each other’s sentences, laugh while falling into piles of leaves, and always show up at the airport to give a speech, right before she boards her flight.
“You complete me. You make me want to be a better man. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night! As you wish.”*
*You only get one shot at this — stick to the classics.
The point is, we often have this idea that soulmates are always perfectly in-sync. When the truth is, you’re learning in a relationship — figuring out preferences, hearing dreams, exploring what turns one another on. In fact, if you’re not constantly uncovering a little more about your partner every day, you might be doing it wrong.
Of course, the flip side is that sometimes there are missteps. Like a gift or a date you were sure they were going to love that fell painfully flat. Maybe you made reservations at a hot, new seafood restaurant and then found out she doesn’t really like fish. Or you got her something she already had in her closet. Or the classic, “I booked a romantic horseback ride on the beach!” only for her to scream, “How did you not know I have a lifelong fear of horses! And I’m allergic!”
We’ve all been there. But even if last Valentine’s Day was so disastrous that your palms are sweaty just thinking about another go, take a deep breath. Stop worrying. You’ve got this. We’re here to tell you how to come back from any “bad gift” in 2018 to create a Valentine’s Day 2019 so spectacular that she’ll never bring up last year again. This is our guide to making up for any and every past Valentine’s fail.
The Fail: You picked an experience more for you than for her.
The situation: You’ve always wanted to go skydiving and you thought, that’ll be cool! But unfortunately, she’s afraid of heights. Ooof. Now you’re asking her to do something she doesn’t like, while also making it clear that you had yourself in mind rather than what’s on her bucket list.
Have no fear though, here’s the fix:
This year, show her you’ve been listening, and also, that you’re committed to helping her check off her dream bucket list items. Start asking her subtly about the experiences she has always longed for. A restaurant she’s never tried, a vacation spot she’s always wanted to visit, or a crazy thing she’s always wanted to experience. Then, in her Valentine’s Day card, put the list you’ve made of all the things you’re going to make happen for her this year.
The more specific the better. Like “Patagonia Adventure — September 2019.” With it, give her a Fun In Love Bracelet gift set from PANDORA Jewelry . Fill the bracelet up with charms this year that represent each of her bucket list items, completed.
The Fail: You went too conventional and she planned a way better present.
The situation: You didn’t want to go too “out there” and have her end up disappointed. So you went with flowers and candy, and she ended up… disappointed.
Have no fear though, here’s the fix: This Valentine’s Day, go big. It’s time for a surprise.
V-day is on a Thursday. In the morning, make breakfast in bed and tell her the actual present will come the following day, after work. You’re stealing her away, so make sure she clears her weekend. Book an adventure that’s totally intimate. Like a remote cabin in the woods with a hot tub and zero wifi.
Tell her to pack her bag with only a few hints of what she’ll need. Then, plan the whole weekend. You get all the groceries with her favorite foods for cooking, the wine, a bunch of books from the library or magazines she might like to read, DVDs of her favorite movies, candles and rose petals for a bath — the whole nine yards.
The Fail: You totally forgot to do anything.
The situation: This is a rough one. You either didn’t think it was a big deal to her or you just got really busy and totally did nothing. Her feelings were hurt and you ended up feeling like a jerk.
Have no fear though, here’s the fix: Yeah, you have to get her something really, really special this year. This is not the time to pick up something on your way home or even say, well the nice dinner was the gift! For this Valentine’s Day, make her the most gourmet dinner at home (hire a chef or caterer if you need to!) and give her a gift that really says you care.
As an appetizer of sorts, before the meal, this delicate Love Script two-toned necklace from PANDORA Jewelry is a sweet message that will remind her every day of how much she’s loved. And you’ll get big points for going with something so clearly romantic.
The Fail: The unexpected happened and your plans fell apart.
The situation: It rained on that picnic you put together or your hotel getaway weekend was haunted or your private chef gave you both salmonella.
Have no fear though, here’s the fix: This year plan a date that cheekily addresses the past failure. Rain on your picnic? You plan the ultimate, “rainy day date” Movie, bowling, walking in an indoor garden, etc. And give her a cute raincoat or boots or umbrella, just in case. Ended up with food poisoning? Make a huge romantic dinner for her yourself. Snowed in? Tickets to a tropical destination for later in the winter.
Whatever “ruined” your last Valentine’s Day, remind her of the story (it was kinda funny, right?) and make up for it.*
*Let us know in the comments what your specific disaster was and we’ll come up with the most fun plan to counter to it!
The Fail: You spent too much money.
The situation: You think she’s the dopest and so you planned the date to end all dates last year. You took her to the nicest restaurant in town, you got her a box of diamonds as a present and they were wrapped with….more diamonds! You got a room for the night, but instead of using the internet to find a nice hotel, you bought an actual mansion and staffed it so you’d have a little privacy. It was magical and she loved it. But, it also put you into crazy debt.
Now you’re nervous that she’ll be disappointed with if you don’t raise the bar.
Have no fear though, here’s the fix: If you can’t go wildly expensive, you’re going to have to go wildly personal. Why not recreate some of her favorite things you did over the last year? Takeout from her favorite place or go for fast food at a joint you stopped at on a particularly crazy road trip. Get a copy of her favorite book and write in the front cover how much you love all the things that make her unique and cool. Do an activity that she loves that you aren’t that into (She likes to surf but you never go with her? Get out there and plan the world’s best surf day!), and write the love letter to end all love letters.
Maybe you can’t book a private spaceship this year so you can tell her she’s your star while cruising the actual stars, but you can show her that you love everything about her and that’s just as good. If not better.
The Fail: You forgot to have fun.
The situation: You were so nervous about making things perfect last year, that you ended up sort of miserable. “OMG, the swans were supposed to swim by at 8:30, WHERE ARE THE SWANS? SWEETHEART I’LL BE RIGHT BACK, I HAVE TO GO SEARCH FOR SOME ESCAPED SWANS IN THE MARSH OVER THERE. YES, IT WILL RUIN MY SUIT.”
Have no fear though, here’s the fix: Relax. Don’t overdo it. Think of things that will be fun for both of you and that involve planning early but less effort on the actual night. The important thing is that the girl of your dreams thinks you’re pretty dreamy so don’t ruin it by buying her a lot of angry swans. A piece of nice jewelry, a great dinner, and sparkling conversation with the guy she loves. Nail those things and that should do the trick to making her Valentine’s Day totally unforgettable.