The most important Valentine’s Day rule, according to Patti Stanger, star of Bravo’s hit reality show Millionaire Matchmaker, is don’t ignore Valentine’s Day.
“If you’re a guy and you’re dating someone, you have to make an effort,” says Stanger, whose company, Millionaire's Club International, helps successful men (and some women) find their perfect match.
CNBC.com caught up with the third-generation matchmaker and asked her for Valentine’s Day dos and donts. Here are the highlights:
What shouldn’t someone do on Valentine’s Day?
A lot of people go, ‘You get really bad service on Valentine’s Day, and I’m not going to make a reservation,’ and ‘We’ll do it some other day,’ and then they forget about it.
I hear complaints all the time that he didn’t want to do anything, because everyone goes out that night and it’s a Hallmark holiday. It’s every girl’s dream to be taken out on Valentine’s Day. So men, don’t ignore it.
What are some Valentine’s Day best practices?
You’ve got to lead with flowers. Roses get the girl....The other thing is you should bring something. If you don’t know her very well, you can bring chocolates or a candle. You can buy her bath products, but you have to bring something to the table....If you know her well….girls love jewelry, and I hear that all the time. You want to give her something that has a memory to it. If you’ve got it, spend it.
Is there such a thing as spending too much on Valentine’s Day?
You can go overboard when you don’t know the person. You’ve got to make sure you’re monogamous, having been dating at least six months and then you can pull out all the stops. If you do it on a first date, and you don’t know someone…you’ll scare them away.
What happens if your budget is not as big this year as it was last year?
You’ve got to be creative. For instance, if you live in a beach town, you can go to the beach, do a champagne picnic…girls are always cooking, maybe the guy cooks the meal instead, he’s giving his heart and soul. Maybe he wrote her a poem, he took a picture of them together and he framed it. There’s lots of different creative ways to do it.
What can women do for their Valentine?
I like when the men lead on Valentine’s Day. I’m not a fan of, unless you’re gay…when the women lead on Valentine’s Day. I feel like it’s our holiday and men should step up.
How can a couple that has been together for a long time make this holiday special?
Find out what your mate likes and then plan a weekend around it. It could be skiing; it could be going to…a bed and breakfast and waking up in a curly, warm, soft bed, taking baths. Baths are so awesome. If you have a Jacuzzi on your Valentine’s Day, hats off to you.
What is your advice to those without a Valentine this year?
If you’re a girl who hasn’t had a date in a while, that’s the night to go hunting and fishing…That night those men who are out are girlfriend patrolling…So they’re not involved with anyone else, unless their girlfriends are in Iraq in the Army. That is the night you will find a boyfriend, because every man goes out that night when they’re single. It’s the best-kept secret in the universe that night for women.