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Guys’ Take On: Valentine’s Day


Whether you’re in a relationship with a new guy or have been together for months, Valentine’s Day can be a fun way to show your love and appreciation for your significant other. But before you plan the elaborate V-Day gift and dinner, check out what these guys had to say about Valentine’s Day! Here’s a hint: they’re (almost) as sappy as we are!

On Valentine’s Day as a legitimate holiday

Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday—no doubt about it. But turns out guys aren’t as cynical as you’d expect. Some actually sort of like it!

“I think that it’s just another way for greeting card companies to benefit from couples spending money on gifts on each other. However, it’s kind of cool to have a special day for couples to celebrate (as long as they don’t overdo it with all the manufactured Valentine’s Day stuff.) – Ryan, a sophomore at University of Washington

“Why not have a day to celebrate love? I think the people who decry the commercial overtones are just miserable, even if they make good points. Let someone have a day to be extra happy.” – Luca, a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo

But then there are the cynics… So, collegiettes, when it comes to V-Day, guys are as across the board as we are.

“I’ve never really celebrated it so when that day comes, I don’t really care. So I guess to me, it’s not a holiday. Just like any other day.” – Morris, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University

“No, I think Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday by the chocolate/flower industries and restaurant owners to sell their products.” – Daniel, a senior at Columbia University

On giving and receiving gifts

Gift-giving for guys is rarely easy, especially on Valentine’s Day, since the typical fare (flower, chocolates, teddy bears) often seems cheesy and overly-sappy. The takeaway? Boys don’t necessarily expect gifts on this holiday, though most do plan on giving their significant others gifts. So don’t stress too much if you’re debating whether or not a gift is appropriate. Guys like effort (think homemade) and know money is often tight in college.

“I’d probably give her a gift. I don’t care that much. I’d prefer her gift to me to be not something tangible. I’d want my gift to be her to do something special. Something new in the sexual realm, for example.” – Morris

“No I really don't need a gift, I feel like this day is more about spending time with someone you love rather than gifts.” – Ryan

“Some couples like corny gifts. If that’s you, then sure, get a stuffed animal or some kind of trinket. Flowers are great, too. But, come on, expensive jewelry? I don’t know. Just because it’s Valentine’s Day? It seems more romantic to give a gift on a day that you find to be important as a couple.” – Andrew, a sophomore at Boston University

“I think it's best for you and him to set a monetary limit if you plan on exchanging V-Day gifts. This lessens the pressure on the guy especially, who is already probably dropping fat stacks on a fancy dinner. The gift should be tailored to what a guy is interested in or what his hobbies are. If he likes movies, buy him some DVDs or a subscription to Netflix. If he likes to party, pick out a nice bottle of liquor. If he follows sports, get him a jersey for his favorite team or tickets to a game. Try to pick out something that you can both enjoy and use to create a shared experience. Concert tickets for a musical artist you both enjoy, for example.” – Mike, a senior at Kent State University

On romantic dates

Most guys agree: going on a date seems to be the gold standard for Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s an intimate dinner, a classic dinner-and-a-movie or something a bit more unusual, guys typically like going on V-Day dates and will take the reins in planning them.

“If I went on a Valentine's date I would probably do something small, like go see a movie and probably have dinner afterwards. Also probably like a walk afterwards too.” – Ryan

“Despite knowing that Valentine's Day is a big scam, I still enjoy using it as an opportunity to show my significant other that I love her and bring some excitement into our love life. A romantic dinner is a must. However, if we were to watch a movie it would probably be at home rather than a theater. Would want to spend as much ‘alone time’ with my significant other as possible.” – Daniel

“I’d want something very causal for Valentine’s Day. We’d spend the afternoon taking a walk somewhere if the weather’s not too bad, maybe catch a movie, and then grab dinner at a place that both of us would be excited to eat at before we spend the night at whichever dorm/apartment/house is more comfortable.” – Andrew

“If you're in a relationship with someone you should want to go on a romantic date on Valentine's Day and treat your woman right. While plans should be more aimed toward what the female would want to do, there should be some compromise. Dinner and a movie seems like a win-win for all involved.” – Mike

“Last year I made dinner and we danced to a mix CD. In general, I’d probably want to do something weird, something different, not usually considered a date. Or, I’d be more than happy holing ourselves up and watching movies while cuddling the entire day.” - Luca

On spending V-Day single

Like us, single guys also tend to get a little envious on Valentine’s Day. But most don’t care. So if you’re single, take a cue from these guys and ignore the handholding on the quad! Check out these tips for having a great V-Day regardless of your relationship status!

“It doesn't really sadden me too much because I am not actively looking for a girlfriend but it kind of makes me jealous seeing all the couples out and about.” – Ryan

“I’ve done it, and it’s fine. It doesn’t suck. Yes, I’d rather be with someone, but if you remember that it’s just February 14, it helps to go through the day like any other one. Maybe I’d watch a romantic comedy on TV if I were really bummed out. But hopefully I’ll have something more to do this year than that. “ – Andrew

“When you're single on Valentine's Day, you often feel like you're the only one without a date. That's so far from the truth! In college, there's definitely more people single than in a relationship. This fact should give you comfort. It's not a big deal if you don't have an official girlfriend or boyfriend. If you're afraid of being lonely, you can go out with a group of single friends... or even just talk to your mom or dad on the phone. Single or not, there's still plenty of ways to feel the love on Valentine's Day. Couples aren't the only ones who get to have fun.” – Mike

On their ideal Valentine’s Day

Now here’s the fun stuff: we asked guys across the country to describe their ideal V-Day—the who, what, where and when. Here’s what they had to say.

“Probably with somebody I love dearly and we would go away from all the other Valentine’s Day stuff and spend time just together. But in a very romantic setting. Like a waterfall or something exotic.” – Morris

“I would like to do a morning hike here in Washington. Maybe go to Gasworks Park afterwards and have a little picnic. After that we go see a movie afterwards and it wouldn't be like a rom com but I would like to see Zero Dark Thirty! Maybe a dinner somewhere and then we go walk around, enjoying the night and looking at stars. With who? No one in particular, but Anne Hathaway would be nice!” – Ryan

“Take a day off from work, perfect weather, tropical island, beach, beach view suite with Jacuzzi, meal from Michelin starred restaurant (as well as being lactose free), with the love of my life. Hey, it never hurts to think big right?” – Daniel

“Somewhere offbeat: we visit every coffee shop within an X mile radius and try their espresso shots. Then we get lost in the woods somewhere. Perhaps go shopping with the express goal of buying one thing for the other that they wouldn't wear otherwise. Then make dinner together, something big and involved. Finish with a movie, or maybe instead finish with learning a song together.” – Luca

“Flirtatious texts throughout the day. Dinner at an upscale restaurant in the evening. Next, a movie (either at the theaters or at home). Perhaps some drinks. And then after that, hopefully we just get it on.” – Mike


So there you have it, collegiettes! Don’t stress on this romantic holiday. Ask your guy about date ideas, plan something fun together and just enjoy the day!

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