How to romance him this Valentine's Day
It seems like Valentine's Day is all about the ladies. This year, choose one of these date-night packages and turn the tables by planning a special evening that's all about him.
The thing to remember about planning a special Valentine's Day date for your man is that usually they think of different things as romantic. It's not that they don't want any romance. They probably wouldn't even mind chocolates (but they won't complain if you skip them in favor of a beer, either). You have to tailor your date to the man. We've come up with a few ideas to get you started. Mix and match or create your own!
The armchair quarterback
If your man's into sports, he'll love this sports package, which you can customize for any game.
The treat: Young's Double Chocolate Stout
He'll likely roll his eyes if you hand him a fancy box of truffles. Skip the candies and go straight to the beer with the malty, dark-chocolaty goodness of Young's Double Chocolate Stout (various retailers, $10).
The gift: Full-sized dual-tap Kegerator
You'll never tire of hearing him brag to his friends about this dual-tap Kegerator his awesome girlfriend bought for his man cave (Kegerator, $570).
The meal: Smoky paprika pork calzones
Special enough for Valentine's Day, but easy enough to eat while you're watching the game with your arm around your best girl, these calzones are the way to his heart (get the recipe).
The Jedi Knight
Your BF can quote any episode of Firefly, including the Mandarin — he's a nerd and proud of it. This is an evening he'll never forget!
The treat: Nerd Beer
There are plenty of nerdy beers on the market, from blue Romulan Ale to Star Wars Imperial Stout Trooper, but he'll love the scientifically brewed concoctions from Nerd Beer, the only brewery with nerd in the name (various retailers, prices vary).
The gift: Polk Audio Blackstone TL 1600 home theater speaker system
Whether he's watching the latest installment of Star Trek or playing Ghost Recon, he'll enjoy a more immersive viewing and playing experience with this home audio system (Crutchfield, $400).
The meal: Ultimate nacho grilled cheese
This clever sandwich combines two things nerds love: nachos and creativity. He'll appreciate this clever sammie much more than a fancy steak dinner (get the recipe).
The hopeless romantic
We said boys don't usually think of romance the same way we do. Some like it just as much. But that doesn't mean a box of Godiva's and long-stemmed roses, either. He's a man of sophisticated tastes who doesn't shy away from candlelight serenades.
The treat: 2009 Morse Code shiraz
This affordable, masculine selection offers a healthy dose of black licorice, spice and blackberry for the more discerning tastes of the true romantic. Enjoy it fireside or by candlelight (Artisan Vineyards, $14).
The gift: David Yurman men's black onyx chevron ring
This stunning onyx ring from the David Yurman Chevron collection is set in sterling silver and doesn't rely on flash or bling. The understated chevron design along the side sets off a masculine black onyx. It's equally appropriate at the office or a black-tie affair (David Yurman, $495).
The meal: Tomatoes caprese, peppercorn-encrusted steak, ricotta mashed potatoes and crème de menthe mousse
The centerpiece of this easy and delicious meal is a perfectly cooked filet mignon topped with fried onions over a bed of ricotta mashed potatoes (get the recipe).
Love is in the air
It's hard to know what to do on Valentine's Day when you're in a new relationship. You want to give him something special that doesn't say, "So when do I get the ring?"
The treat: Chimay
No matter which Chimay you choose, you'll show him you're thinking of him by gifting this sought-after Trappist monk-brewed beer. Bonus: All the revenue the monastery makes from this brew is devoted to social service, so even if the relationship doesn't last, you'll always have that (various retailers, $11).
The gift: Fandango gift card
You want to give a gift that has the potential to be romantic, but remain nonthreatening. Give him a Fandango gift card with a fun Valentine's Day card that simply reads: "Free pass to make your girlfriend watch a movie she doesn't want to see." That lets him know the intent is that you watch the movie together, but because he gets to choose the flick, it's still about him.
The meal: Basic pasta with meatballs
For a meal that feels special in a nonthreatening way, stick with plain old spaghetti and meatballs. This basic recipe is easy for a novice cook who wants to impress (get the recipe).