Handling Valentine’s Day With A Not-So-Serious Boyfriend

Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love (or crass commercialism, depending on whom you talk to). However, things can get a little bit awkward when Feb. 14 rolls around and you’ve been dating someone very casually. There’s a lot of pressure on V-Day to bring a relationship to the next level, but sometimes you’re just not ready for that.

Of course, you could fake your own death. However, you might not have access to a boat and enough dynamite to get the job done correctly. In these rare situations, you’ve got to do what you can to tone down the date itself, in order to avoid any awkwardness. Here are a few tips to help you out.Take Control Of The Date Itinerary. Chances are good that the guy’s actually on the same page as you. If you just started dating, he’s probably seeing Valentine’s Day as just another date, maybe a little bit more special. However, some guys will misread signals and try to set up an all-out Valentine’s Day date, which could lead to some problems. To avoid this, you’ve got to take control of the date. Suggest a few days in advance where you’d like to go. Keep the dinner and the activity simple, and avoid any fanciness. Tell the guy what you’re going to be wearing. This allows you to set the tone of the date, and stops him from showing up in a tux with a bunch of roses (which wouldn’t be great if you’re wearing jeans).

Use The Early Gift. Similarly, you should set the tone of the gift-giving. Get him something small, like a tie, a video game, or whatever he likes. Give it to him a few days early. If he’d misread the seriousness of the relationship, this will give him time to return any huge purchase that he’d picked up in anticipation of the big day (and to cry for a few hours). You may want to just pass up exchanging presents altogether, but be sure to actually tell him if this is what’s going on.

End It Early. Not the relationship, the date. Make sure it’s over at a reasonable hour, and the guy should understand what that implies. However, don’t fake an illness or something like that if you really like the guy. We’re not so dumb that we don’t know what’s going on, and you’ll seem like you don’t want to be with us. Just ask to be taken home at a logical point in the date, and no intelligent guy should question you.

Above all, you’ve just got to remember that most guys will pick up signals if you give us enough of them. If you’re with a guy who’s taking Valentine’s Day more seriously than you are, just stay relaxed and keep implying that you’re simply on a date, not a pre-engagement. And remember, if all else fails, you can simply fake an assassination attempt, change your name and escape to another country.

How do you deal with a Valentine’s Day date with a less-than-serious significant other? Tell us in the comments.