If you’re a guy reading this who still has a girlfriend, congratulations! You successfully managed to survive the male pitfall that is Valentine’s Day. But now is no time to get cocky and rest on your decidedly impressive feat. Others of us males were not lucky enough to remember why there were hearts and Cupids everywhere for the past month. Or we remembered the day, but then got her a bad gift, dead flowers or whatever. (Who knew that a rack of Natty wasn’t what she wanted?! Seriously, I’m not a mind-reader here.) Apart from actually remembering the holiday, the hardest part of Valentine’s Day for guys is figuring out what to get that special someone—and what a challenge that is. To help out my fellow fellows looking for Valentine’s Day redemption, here’s a list of food do’s and don’ts:

Do: Take her out to brunch

valentine's day

Photo by Jenny Lu

Let me tell you, girls love brunch. Like, they reaaaaaaaally love brunch. (Statistically, #brunch makes up 68% of all Instagram photos posted before 3 PM). So take her out to brunch at an awesome Philly spot like Sabrina’s, Marathon or Parc. Just be warned that these places are always packed, so make your reservations way in advance. (Note that if she’s a real keeper, she thinks a breakfast burrito from Honest Tom’s is better than any downtown brunch spot.)

Don’t: Take her to a dining hall for brunch

Just don’t do it. It would be akin to signing your own death certificate. No matter how free good you think Hill brunch is, I implore you to resist. You’re better than that (or at least pretend to be.)

Do: Make/Get her favorite sweets

valentine's day

Photo by Margaux Henderson

If you’re savvy in the kitchen (read: can follow basic baking instructions), making her favorite guilty pleasure is a power play, and she’ll love it for the effort (regardless of the potentially questionable taste.) If that’s too much for you, pick her up sweets from her favorite shop in Philly. And for the OCR folks with those much sought after NYC superdays, if you want to instantly ascend to alpha boyfriend status, stop by Ladurée on Madison Avenue. Scientific studies proved that there is literally no girl within a 10 mile radius of campus that won’t love you for getting her those. (I can personally attest to this claim.)

Don’t: Pick up FroGro cookies

It’s tempting, I know. But more so than tempting, it’s dangerous. Have you ever seen an angry girl throw FroGro cookies? She may as well be throwing a javelin at you with how much those are going to hurt. Steer clear.

Do: Pregame dinner with homemade Sangria

valentine's day

Photo byKirby Barth

Another well-known fact is girls’ love for wine. When it’s not being endlessly Insta-ed or tweeted about, girls pound the stuff. (But it’s classy because…wine.) And sangria is the biggest cause of those strange texts she sends you at 2 AM on her girls’ night out. A mix of wine, fruit and splashes of Sprite or brandy, it’s a drink that’s easy to make and sure to please. Whip up a batch before your romantic dinner in the city for an ideal dining experience.

Don’t: Pregame dinner with Banker’s


Now you’re on your way to earning some much needed redemption. If you follow these steps, get flowers and remember that it’s about the effort and time spent (not the money!), you’ll be invincible for at least a couple hours. At least until you invariably go and…eh, I’ll leave that one up to you. We don’t need any help on that front.