Valentine’s Day has befallen us once again. Whether you plan on spending the evening swiping left or swooning over your poster of Tom Cruise from Top Gun, swimming in a pool of your own tears is no longer an option.
1. Calm Yourself, Iago
“What does she think about when she’s staring off into space during Spanish? Should I ask her if she likes Chipotle? What if Chipotle is our first date—then I have to propose at Chipotle? What if she doesn’t like guac? What if she likes guac too much? What if she wants a giant bowl of guac instead of a wedding cake and we had our wedding at Chipotle and they still charged us extra for the guac-cake?” If you’ve ever crushed on someone, you’ll recognize this frantic lunacy known as “flipping out.” It’s a natural phenomena and an unavoidable one. The good news is that it’s curable. Crushes can suck at times, but they can also be hella fun. You like this person, right? She makes you feel nervous in a happy way and you love the way her hair catches the fluorescent lights in chem lab? If so, then she’s worth taking a shot for. Just relax and, for goodness’ sake, do not take her to Chipotle for an evening date.
2. Group it Up
#ForeverAlone? More like #ForNEVERAlone—you’ve got friends; use them. Valentine’s dates are a lot of pressure. The expectations are higher and that’s enough to crack even the most seasoned of serial daters. Rather than bucking up and jumping into that sort of commitment, relieve the pressure by turning the festivities into a group date. Or rather, a group hang. He might not be ready to move forward so fast. This way you can be sneaky, because is it really a date if you bring six of your closest buds, and he brings four of his, plus that one friend nobody really likes but overheard the conversation and received an invitation out of pity? This will offer plenty of chances to chill one-on-one without the weight of “dating on V-Day.”
3. The Double Take-out Fake-out
We live in a world of abundant technology, where Tinder is the screening process and “talking” is the new dating. Sure that guy might have biceps like a Michelangelo marble, but his bio says, “I’m DTF and game for getting weird. I’ll bring the candle wax if you bring your fine-ass self ;).” If you’re a guy on the prowl, the first step to getting your crush to notice you is to not be “That Guy.” Instead, take the honest approach. Girls dig it. After a long day of swiping left and feeling dejected, her standards will have dropped depressingly low—this is where you come in. Make a fake/temporary Tinder and fill it with photos of you doing your favorite activities, none of which will include shirtless mirror selfies. In your bio, write a cute message just for her. It’s original and super extra: two things she hasn’t seen in a long time. Trust me.
4. 50 Shades of Bae
One word: Movies. Nothing is more universal than a mutual love of cinema. This Valentine’s Day surprise him with a film you know he’ll actually enjoy. Forget the usual romcom/Nicolas Sparks catastrophe. Grab a raunchy comedy and laugh your asses off until your vocal chords go numb. If Will Ferrell’s over-the-top antics don’t do it for you, Tina Fey’s #relatable qualms just might. Besides, nothing says “compatible” like finding out you both have the same sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine and, baby, you’ve got crush fever. Grab that laptop, fire up Netflix and start chillin’ like the suave AF villain you are.
5. That’s All, Folks
Just tell her. This possibly may be the most wild and terrifying concept of them all, but cold, hard honesty is always the best policy. A simple, “Hey, I think you’re sweet and cool. Would you want to go out to dinner tomorrow night?” is the most direct approach there is. For one, she’ll notice you. How could she not? You literally just asked her out. And two, you were a f—king gentleman. Take note boys and girls, but there’s an absurd amount of nonsense out there. Playing mind games and being coy and sending texts filled with “haha, and then what ;),” are juvenile. And exhausting. If you’re tired of them, believe me, so is she. Man up. Tell her you like her. The worst anybody can say is no.