Valentine's Day is a week away and love is in the air. So for this list, I'm going to give you some sneaky tips to help you surprise you loved ones. These tips work for girlfriends, boyfriends, spouse and even close friends.
#5 - Sneaky sizing
This works especially well for new couples. If you want to surprise someone you have to use a little misdirection. For example, to get my wife's shoe size I simply slid my foot next to her's and commented on the difference in size. From there the conversation could be led to "Well what size are they?" I had the size and she was none the wiser till she opened her present. Ring sizing, requires a little more tact. If your partner is a heavy sleeper all you need is some thread tied into a slipknot. Once you get it on their finger, you tighten the loop until it is snug enough to hold yet can still get past the knuckle without loosening. If they aren't a heavy sleeper you'll have to employ some mind tricks. The easiest way is to use the old "I've got this...friend routine" Your hypothetical friend is shopping for their sweetheart who just so happens to be the same size as your sweetheart. You ask for their ring size to give your buddy a good idea of what size to shop for. You could also enlist some outside help to get it in the same way to decrease the suspicion. Clothes sizing can either be the easiest or the most difficult. If you already go shopping with better half then you should have a pretty good idea of their size. If you don't, however, you're going to have to play detective a little. You need to get a hold of some of their newer clothes that are not too baggy but also not form fitting. This is mainly for dress shopping, as formal wear for men carries the same sizing for the most part. My wife were's a T-shirt and Khaki's for work so the fit of those makes it easy to get a base line. Get the size to a clothing store employee and they should be able to help you the rest of the way. Note that while I do like Wal-Mart and Target, the clothing departments there are all mashed together so the employees may have less input if you only have general info like that.
#4 - Survey Says...
If you remember MySpace, then I'm sure you also remember all those chain mail surveys as well. I found out how to make them useful right as Facebook was taking over. Find a survey that has a lot of "what's your favorite..." questions. Complete it and then have your partner do it to "see if your answers are the same." Watch as they fill it out and you'll have the cheat sheet to reading their mind. Favorite colors, types of food, movies, books and more can be revealed through these surveys. Best of all, they're so focused on putting the answers in they don't think about the fact that you're gleaming all this info. This could help you not only pick a gift that's just right, you could wow them with a great restaurant by searching the menu and picking one that has your Valentine's favorite dish. If you want to go the extra mile, you can actually create a custom survey on some sites to get you the specific answers you want. Just be sure to throw in some filler questions too.
#3 - Timing
Now because Valentine's Day is on a weekday, a lot of us are having some scheduling conflicts but fear not life lovers. This may yet be a blessing in disguise. If you and your Valentine are working opposite one another, sending or delivering a gift to their work place is a very nice surprise. Flowers, candy and some novelty gifts are available for scheduled delivery. One Valentine's Day I was stuck at work while my lady was off. Since I knew ahead of time that I wouldn't be able to take off I ordered flowers to the house and asked her to bake cookies that day to make sure she was home. Please keep in mind that flower deliveries are a little more expensive on Valentine's Day, but the good services like From You Flowers are still reasonably priced. Another good thing about Valentine's Day being in the middle of the week is that you can set up a big date night on either weekend and keep your boo off guard.
#2 - Something New
This one may involve a bit of travel but it's worth it. For those of us who don't get to go to fancy restaurants on a regular basis, here's an opportunity to really wow that special somebody. There is at least one upscale restaurant near just about every major body of water, state capitol and airport around the world. Searching travel and vacation sites is a good place to start even if you don't live near any of those. I personally prefer Trip Advisor but you can also use the city's website if they have one (usually a .gov site). The main thing to look for is a place that they've never been too or haven't been to in a really long time. Often times these places have smaller crowds so you won't end up having a long wait time before being seated. You can also get a good idea of how much it'll cost you by previewing the menu online. If you can try to call in your reservation no less than 5 days in advance. This tactic also works for more than just restaurants. Finding a date activity that you both can enjoy will also make the date more memorable as it breaks up the monotony of the dinner and a movie date. This goes back to the survey trick. Add a few questions about activities they have or haven't tried and you'll be able to architect a unique and fun experience that'll love to brag about.
#1 - Pop goes the question!
Regardless of how many times it's been done in the past, a Valentine's Day proposal is still considered an incredibly romantic gesture. While the concept isn't all that original, the execution still can be. Having a plan for the proposal will make it memorable and shows your dedication. The arts and craft store is a great place to go for finding a unique way of presenting the ring. For example I used a steampunk pocket watch that was essentially hollowed out. When the day of my proposal came, I had already discussed my plan with the restaurant and had a server bring out the watch on a platter. The main goal is to catch them off guard and leave them speechless. I would advise against putting it in food or drink as that can turn south relatively quickly if you aren't careful. Another idea is to slip the ring in with another gift inside a gift bag, wrap the ring box in tissue paper and place a layer of paper over it before putting in the decoy gift. After they take out the decoy, pick up the bag and give it a quick shake and note that there's still something in there. Act like you didn't put it there and let them find the box on their own.
They key to any good surprise is go out of your way to throw them off. Make them think that nothing is happening and find a way to keep their attention on something else. Hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day. Be sure to subscribe here to stay up-to-date on our latest content.