As Feb. 14 draws near, here are some tips for how to treat those special guys and girls in your life.
For the clueless boys:
OK, guys, so maybe Valentines' Day isn't exactly the manliest holiday ever, and maybe you just aren't feeling the mushy lovey-dovey concept, but making your valentine happy is pleasure in itself, right?
Honestly, if you just pay attention to your valentine (if she hasn't already started dropping hints), you will know what she likes and doesn't like and will have a fairly general idea of what will make her feel special.
But here are a few tips for those of you feeling distant and unsure of your gifts or maybe need some ideas.
* Most girls do enjoy romantic gestures, but that doesn't mean you have to go over the top and hold up a boom box like John Cusack in "Say Anything" or climb up a Ferris wheel to get her attention like Noah in "The Notebook." Save those scenes for the actors.
* Try not to be cliche. Don't just buy her some roses or a heart-shaped box of chocolates (even if they are from some fancy designer candy store.) Sure, most girls love a good box of chocolates and some beautiful flowers, but mix up the usual and give her something that she will be excited to brag to her friends about.
* Pick out something special to her, maybe something she loves or an item that represents a story she might have told you before, and incorporate it into her present. It really is the thought that counts, and although simple at times, the little things truly do matter.
* Make it a surprise. A lot of times guys turn to their girlfriends' friends for advice on presents and the word gets back to the girlfriend. Try to make sure she is unaware of what you are getting her; it will make it that much more exciting when you finally see the look of happiness on her face.
A definite "do" for the boys: Think of something unique that will make her feel like you put a lot of thought and effort into it.
A serious "don't": Try not to go over the top and embarrass her or make her feel uncomfortable on a day when she wants to feel special and loved.
For the baffled girls:
Alright, I get it girls. Shopping for a guy isn't really the easiest thing ever, but it can be really fun if you get creative with it.
Guys normally appreciate any gesture of a present, but when it is too soppy or emotional it could be more of a turnoff than an exciting gift. Here are a few tips for those of you who are just lost on ideas or undecided on a chosen present.
* Base his present on something that interests him. For example, if he loves football and is a huge fan of a certain team, go to a sports store and look for something having to do with his team that you could incorporate into his present.
* Casually take note of certain things he might enjoy or need, like if he's almost out of his favorite cologne, or really wants to attend an upcoming concert.
* Try to step away from the meaningful cards with tacky quotes on them and instead look for something to make him laugh. A singing card usually does the trick, and will make him smile.
* If you two have an inside joke together, it's always fun to play on that and bring it into his present to give that extra little happiness.
* Ask his friends. Usually girls overlook the idea of turning to his friends for advice, but in some cases, his friends might just know a perfect idea. If you aren't close with his friends, then it might be a good idea to confide in one of your own good guy friends. A male opinion of what your guy would want is a great way to figure out a likable present.
A certain "do" for the girls: Get creative with his gift and think of things that he would enjoy or get a laugh out of.
A sure "don't": Go all emotional and sappy; sometimes this just creates awkwardness rather than giving affection.
Danielle Collier is a junior at Northridge High. She enjoys being with friends, volleyball, shopping, writing and traveling. Contact her at email@example.com.