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How to Get Your Romance On

It's the thought that counts — and can lead to action

Cater to her whims. At least a few days before Feb. 14, contact a good restaurant that offers a catering service and order a meal to be picked up on Valentine's Night. Then enjoy an elegant dinner for two in your own home. (Just don't forget to put the candles in something secure!)

Exercise your recall. Think of your partner's favorite place (that you can afford) and book it. Again, you'll earn double Relationship Points for that most romantic act: remembering.

But what if you're the one with the impossibly inflated expectations for Valentine's Day? Turnabout is fair play here: That means you can show your love by making these plans yourself, then presenting them as a fait accompli to your not-always-forward-thinking partner. (Don't try this if there's the slightest danger of resentment, though.)

If you can't swing a getaway, consider these alternative ways of lavishing attention on your honey:

  • Send your partner to a local day spa.

  • Get a his-and-hers massage. Also known as a couples massage, this allows the two of you to hold hands as you both get worked on together. (Or, if you are saintlike, skip yours and give your honey a four-handed massage — ooh la la!)

  • Find a beautiful gift box and fill it with highly customized coupons for chores you know your partner especially loathes — or promise to provide something your partner would love: "Good for one sparkling-clean kitchen after dinner." "Good for one day of grumble-free shopping together at the store of your choice." "Good for one catered set of packed meals for your next hunting trip."

You get the idea: Give a gift so specialized it could only be inspired by love.

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