Let’s have a frank conversation.

You may know me as an adorable under-dressed baby with an inexplicable talent for archery, but the truth is, I wasn’t born yesterday. In fact, I’ve been around since people had to chisel their valentines into rocks (the postage was ridiculous!). So I know a thing or two about romance.

“Cupid,” you ask, “What’s the best way to express my love for my significant other this Valentine’s Day?” Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for a romantic February 14th:

  1. Listen. It’s been my experience that you humans yammer on all the time about what you want. “I wish I had a warmer coat.” “We should get a bigger TV.” “I could really go for a cheeseburger.” All you have to do is pay attention and you’ll get all kinds of clues for the perfect gift. (If anyone’s listening, I would really like a shirt.)
  2. Avoid the mundane. Unless your S.O. has expressed, in no uncertain terms, a burning desire for a Magic Mop, just don’t go there. Any gift that appears to say, “Get off your lazy butt and clean/repair/remodel something,” is a bad bet.
  3. Compromise. Nothing says, “I love you” better than putting yourself through personal torture for your loved one’s benefit. Grit your teeth and attend the ballet. Or take one for the team and watch a basketball game. The event will be over in a few hours, but the gratitude will linger on.
  4. Buy life insurance. This may sound like an odd gift, but think about it: When you buy or increase life insurance on yourself with your S.O. as the beneficiary, you are saying, “I love you so much I want to take care of you even when I’m gone and no longer get to enjoy your company.” It’s a completely selfless act, and take it from someone who’s flown around the block a few times, selfless acts are few and far between. Of course, a legal document isn’t a real show-stopper from a visual standpoint, so tuck that policy into a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates.
  5. Say nice things. Some of us are better at expressing ourselves than others, but if you can’t at least say, “I’m glad you exist” to the person who makes existence worthwhile, you don’t deserve them. Say “I love you.” Say “You rock my world.” Say “Have you lost weight?” Just say something.
  6. Go big. If you have the money, go for the big romantic gesture (I have no money – there’s no room in my diaper for a wallet). A new car loaded with high-tech safety features not only says “I love you and I want to protect you,” it can actually lower your auto insurance rates.

Follow my advice, and you won’t need my arrows – you’ll have your S.O. swooning all by yourself. One last tip: Don’t wait until the last minute. No one wants a gas station corn dog for Valentine’s Day.