So tomorrow is Valentine's, and you haven't planned a thing out. No worries. If you were pressured into a big V-Day, run... It's just another day. Not to say it can't be romantic, but unless you're a Disney prince, you can't successfully plan ahead for that kind of thing. Instead, just let the day happen, and see where things go. Let's break it down.

  • Dinner

    I get it. This is the one day a year where you can make your completely unique and heartfelt gesture of a really good meal. If only that wasn't the plan of everyone else. And lets face it, even the nicest restaurants will be so packed, odds are the meal will be so rushed out, 'meh' will be the only way to describe it.

    Instead, cook a couple of steaks at home. Or chicken if you're really good at it. And you can save a little if you look for the right thing. Instead of splurging on a couple of pricey ribeyes (which are delicious), choose the humble chuck eye. They're a little smaller, almost identical to a ribeye, and normally only five bucks or so for two steaks. Seriously, google chuck eye. They're amazing.

    Add a bag of salad, maybe a side dish and microwave some baked potatoes. The you've given the gift of a wholesome, home cooked meal. You'll be golden, unless you over/undercook the protein. Spend the extra $10 for the thermometer.

  • Movies

    While there is nothing sweeter than sharing a movie with your date, and three hundred of you closest co-daters, this is a rookie move. How do you expect to spend quality time together when you can't pay attention to each other? Plus, when you add in snacks, beverages, and tickets, you'll be lucky to walk out with any cash left in your pocket.

    Instead, clean your living room, pull up the smart hub on your TV, and stream a classic. Not something you've both seen a million times, but something familiar nonetheless. That way you can talk throughout the flick without missing a thing. Skip the sad and sappy titles too. Those only end in tears and vulnerability.

    Instead, go with an 80's classic. The original Friday the 13th, The Outsiders, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure... All entertaining, but not too engaging, leaving enough room to converse.

    Serve up the fancy popcorn that comes in a little theater box. Have a few dollar boxes of her favorite candies. If you don't know what her favs are, they're a dollar. Buy an assortment within reason. A mix of chocolates & gummies, from sour to sweet.

  • Gifts

    While flowers are beautiful, and the best way to achieve her expectations, a plant might be the better choice. Something that will continue living on with minimal care. And the best part is, you can get something like this at your favorite florist.

    Do yourself a favor too, head the florists advice. They might ask about things like allergies, how responsible the recipient is, etc... so be honest. You don't want to blow money on something that's going to end up dying through neglect.

    Play the long con, and get something hearty. An inside, doesn't need sunshine or much water type of plant. A fern perhaps, or a cactus. There are entire online worlds devoted to succulents. Ask the questions, get the answers, and splurge on the card.

    Also, if you just have money burning a hole in your pocket, instead of spending it on a stuffed animal that is, well, creepy to have and keep around as an adult... Spend that money on an actual pillow. Go wild. The gift of a good nights sleep is priceless, unique, and will be appreciated eventually.

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