There's this misconception that whenever Valentine's Day rolls around, guys freak out or fake their own deaths just to get out of doing something even moderately romantic for their girlfriends (a person they're supposed to be romancing.) Guys aren't supposed to be romantic. They're supposed to be oblivious assholes who would rather watch NBA than go out on a nice date. Because apparently we draw all our stereotypes from sitcoms and cheesy rom-coms.
The truth is, guys don't really hate Valentine's Day. Sure, it's a made-up holiday and, depending on the expectations being set, it might mean we can't get away with using our secret stash of gift certificates that night. But it could also reasonably be called "National Sex Day." It's pretty minimal effort and a chance to be romantic. Even if a guy isn't into it, at worst, it's just a few steps out of his comfort zone.
And I know guys who straight-up love Valentine's Day. They go all out. They do the rose petals leading to the bedroom. They have eight different surprises and chocolate-enrobed strawberries. They say things like "chocolate-enrobed strawberries" and make any dude considering a table for two at Sofitel feel like a doofus. The unlucky rest of us who have no idea how to be romantic don't have it that bad though.
This stuff pretty much falls into our laps. Restaurants have pre-planned romantic menus. Most stores have what might as well be Valentine's survival kits and there are flowers stores everywhere. Hell, you could do most of this stuff online with one hand (I'm not telling you what you can do with the other.) Even if you're not a romantic guy, you've got the blueprint right in front of you. As long as you make a reservation somewhere a week in advance and live within 30 minutes of a bookstore that sells Hallmark cards, you're done. Get some nice jewelry too, just to be safe. You don't have to be good at picking it out. It's the thought that counts, etc., etc.
Even if your girlfriend is one of those people who "doesn't want to celebrate Valentine's Day because it's garbage," she'd still appreciate a nice dinner and a back rub or some small gesture of love, and guys love surprising their girlfriends. There is nothing we love more. Other than red meat.
Valentine's Day is the sassy, worldly, knowledgeable, advice-dispensing friend of holidays. We don't need to take the advice, but we know we should. We might be like, "Oh, hey, come on, man. Quit giving me such a hard time." But we really appreciate that it's reminded us we sometimes need to do a little more.
Also, you get chocolate and sex.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.