The unofficial Goldman Sachs guide to surviving Valentine's Day

I won’t lie. I love Valentine’s Day.

It’s not because I am some hopeless romantic or benevolent lover who finds pleasure in making other people happy. In fact, the day itself can be pretty tedious, and certainly the commercial aspects are rather tacky and vulgar. But Valentine’s Day is a game. And like all things in life, I don't want to lose. So here are some fairly simple, yet definitive and strong words of advice on ensuring a victorious Valentine’s Day.


Prix fixe menus are bulls**t. If I wanted a complimentary glass of champagne, I'd board my Virgin Atlantic flights 5 minutes earlier. Besides, her menu won't have any prices on it.  How's she going to know how much she's supposed to appreciate the evening? Instead, line up a thoughtfully prepared home-cooked meal at your place. Focus on the booze, a meal within your culinary comfort zone, and a classic romantic movie. Don’t bother with Out of Africa. Although it's the manliest chick flick of all time, it'll also put her to sleep. Go for Coming to America if she's in her 30s, and 50 First Dates if she’s in her 20s, and only has two stamps in her passport, both of which say “Cancun.”


It's less crowded; you won't get price-gouged; you get to avoid the 3,000-calorie, 8-course prix fixe meal that ruins your night when she falls asleep too soon; and you can probably expense it.


Under normal circumstances, sending flowers to the office is a terrible idea. It's like a giant neon sign that tells all of her colleagues, "Hey everybody, my banker boyfriend is an a**ehole and this is his lazy way of apologizing for something." But on Valentine's Day, girls are hyper-competitive. Make sure it's either alive, or comes in a decent vase. Nothing is worse than forcing her to awkwardly lug home some thirsty bouquet on the tube when she’s already in a hurry to get dressed up for you.

Have the flowers delivered before lunchtime, just so you don’t have to deal with a barrage of inquisitive (irritating) mid-day calls and texts. Send her something she can keep in the office for a few days (or longer) to show it off. I’d recommend orchids. That way, she can rub it in her coworkers’ faces for months to come, and it’ll help ward off that piece of s**t, David Lindhagen.

While you're at it, send the two hottest chicks in your office flowers from the biggest douchebag in the office.  Address them both, “My Rosebud.”


First of all, that’s what poor people do. Secondly, it’s not-at-all thoughtful. Going to the spa shouldn’t be treated like some special occasion. She should be making spa visits on a regular basis, mostly for herself, but also for your benefit.


Don’t get me wrong – jewellery is great. But save that for Christmas, birthdays, and for when you really screw up. A vacation is a gift that you get to enjoy too.

Instead of just giving her a printed out itinerary and e-ticket, go all out, and present it in something thoughtful like the perfect weekend travel bag (Valextra) or a sexy leather passport cover (Aspinal of London). Mix it up; things can get tricky on a repeat visit to the same go-to spot. It’s unnecessarily stressful when you’re with a new girl and you have to constantly pretend it’s your first time there.


Finally, always remember, your performance on Valentine’s Day will be seen by other women. Use this stage as an opportunity to line up other prospects.

GSElevator writes for Follow him on Twitter at @GSElevator.


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