Valentine's Day can be More Stressful than Christmas! By Etiquette expert Marie Dubuque

Women are clueless about just how stressful Valentine's Day can be for men. Decisions, decisions...Should it be a card, candy, flowers or a ring? Will she dump me for not being romantic? Or does she prefer someone less slobberingly sugary sweet?
Feb. 3, 2012 - PRLog -- You might think Christmas is the most stressful holiday for most people. But for guys, Valentine's Day takes the cake...or the candy in this case. From the minute those cards filled with hearts and flowers hit the store shelves, men feel this weight on their shoulders...what to get their significant other, and will it be enough? Will she complain? Or worse yet, will she dump him for someone more romantic? Believe me, this thought is not far from a lot of men's minds. And yet, they do nothing to help themselves. I see so many guys give their honeys appliances or gadgets on February 14th, and wonder what went wrong!

Here's what's wrong guys: You never, I mean never give your sweetie anything that takes batteries or plugs into a wall, period! Here are the rules (follow them closely): If you have been dating for less than six months and you are not all that serious, candy or flowers for sure (maybe a stuffed animal if she is that kind of gal.) Now, if you have been dating for more than six months, or you are in a serious, committed relationship, then go with jewelery. Don't panic, I'm not talking diamonds here. Just a nice piece of jewelery (it can be crystals, not gem stones) within your budget. And do some digging. Look at the pieces she already owns and maybe even snap a picture to bring to the jewelery counter at Macy's. Is she kind of funky and edgy? Then a Tiffany bracelet will not fit the bill. And if she tends toward more serious, conservative clothing, a dainty pearl necklace would work. See where I'm going with this? The more planning you do, the more successful you will be on the big V day.

And when you plan that romantic dinner, don't ask her where she wants to go. Instead, take charge and figure it out. If you know she loves seafood, do a Google search and find a quaint out-of-the-way place that she is sure to love. Or if she has been talking about wanting to try this popular new ethnic restaurant, surprise her by making reservations early. Your lady will be flabbergasted that you took the time to really plan that special dinner.

What if you have no money at all? Not to worry. Women love the fact that you put thought into the perfect evening. Even if you make pasta from a jar, light some candles and put in a CD with some of the love songs that depict your relationship, it will be enough. Because you actually took the time to prepare a meal!

But what if you go through all that, and your woman still isn't satisfied? If that's the case, it's time to rethink your relationship. Because if someone really cares about you, all you have to do is put some thought and planning into this day, so she realizes you love her too.

Etiquette expert and life coach Marie Dubuque is the author of six books and hosts a popular YouTube channel on manners:

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