Asian woman feeding man with chopsticks.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, everything is being suited up in red and white. Love it or hate it, V-day is here to stay and for many men, making plans for that special someone can prove to be a challenge. Whether you’re in a steady relationship or in the early stages of one, here are seven dos and don’ts to help you organize a memorable Valentine’s Day date.

1. DON’T Forget

Assume that Valentine’s Day means more to her than it does to you. There are very few things you could do worse than forgetting important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Whether or not your partner sees Valentine’s Day as a capitalist cliché, you can take advantage of the occasion to show your appreciation for your girl.

You might not forget February 14, but note that it’s one of the busiest days for dining establishments. Set an alarm at least a week in advance to make necessary reservations.

2. DO Pay Attention

If you really want to romance your girl, then you should know not to treat each date in isolation. Did you order the lobster not remembering that she mentioned her shellfish allergy last time? Did you book a seat at a club when she already told you she’s more of an intimate dinner-date kind of person? Listen to the finer points of her stories and make a mental note of her habits. She’ll appreciate your attention to detail. 

The next piece of advice is one way to pay attention while on the actual Valentine's Day date.

3. DO Put Your Phone Down

Nothing is more frustrating than an animated conversation getting interrupted by an alert – except maybe you responding to that message midway through the best part of her story. Switch your phone to silent mode and put it face-down on the table if you have to. Get off the grid for a few hours, so you notice the good stuff, like the intimate conversation or how she prefers red wine over white. Take notes for your next outing.

4. DO Make an Effort to Look Good

Pay special attention to the details of your appearance. Look sharp with your clothes (or at least have them pressed). and get a fresh cut. Wear a subtle but striking scent, like AXE Bodyspray Gold Temptation, which features notes from oud and dark vanilla. This antiperspirant-deodorant works double-duty, protecting you from sweat and unsightly white marks or yellow stains. You can confidently raise your hand for the check without worrying about checking your pits first.

5. DON’T Talk About Your Ex

This rule should apply to most dating situations, Valentine’s Day or not. Your date is not your therapist. If you are just getting to know each other, you can find better than your ex and baggage from past relationship PTSD.

While you’re talking about topics that you both find interesting, stay confident with closeup Red Hot Toothpaste. This has antibacterial zinc that blasts away 99.9% of bacteria to give you fresh breath for up to 12 hours, with regular use. This way, you won’t hesitate to open up and be yourself.

6. DON’T Spend Beyond Your Means

You must not splurge on expensive gifts or a fancy six-course dinner if it’s outside your budget. Win your Valentine's Day date over with thoughtful gestures (Did you hear her say how many good times she had at this museum? Take her there!). Load the cooler, bust out the grill, and cook her dinner (or cook together) in an outdoor spot with a view. Surprise her with a road trip to that beach where you first met. Jewelry and VIP tickets are exciting, but a well-executed and unique plan will make her more touched.

7. DO Have Fun

Remember all the reasons you asked her out in the first place. You enjoy her company, she makes you laugh, and you can be yourself around her. You can put in the work for the perfect date, but you should allow yourself to sit back and kick it with your SO. If this is your first outing, chances are, she’s just as nervous as you are. So, relax, check your vibe, and if you play your cards right, this Valentine’s Day date won’t be your last.