Get the Valentine’s Day You Really Want

Hint, hint. Find out what it takes to get your spouse to pull off the V-Day you always dreamed of.

By now, you know at least this: None of us are mind readers. In fact, some of us aren’t even email readers, or text readers, or I-left-the-Post-it-right-next-to-your-freaking-toothbrush readers. So expecting your “better half” to magically pull off the ultimate Valentine’s Day might be a stretch (even though he or she’s done a fair share of romantic deeds) -- especially when you’ve got it pegged down to the color of flowers (purple), type of wine (pinot noir), and the restaurant (French bistro, downtown, table in the back far away from the bar). Here’s how to give your spouse the right signals -- and be sure they’re received.

What you want: A night out on the town
How to get it: When many women think of Valentine’s Day, the following images come to mind: red roses, dinner for two at a fancy restaurant, and a box of chocolates. But if what you’re looking for is drinks at a swank lounge and a night of sexy dancing, you’re going to have to drop a few hints. Casually mention the place you’re hoping to go in a conversation with your wife at least two weeks before V-Day, and then go out of your way to mention how hot she looked in that cocktail dress she wore to your friend’s wedding -- and that you’d love to see it on her again (now if only there were an occasion…). Hey, why hunker down at a table all night when you can break a sweat on the dance floor (and then, ahem, later again at home)?

What you want: Something sparkly
How to get it: Okay, let’s start by defining sparkly -- while diamonds are certainly great (girl’s best friend, right?), so are gemstones…and they’re often less than half the cost. In this economy, expecting your guy to throw down some major cash for a pair of diamond studs might not be the most realistic request. But then again, it’s also fun to return to work on Monday with a pretty little something. So here’s what you do: Bring up other gifts he’s gotten you -- and point out how much you just love that necklace he gave you while you were dating or the bracelet he surprised you with on your wedding day. Believe it or not, some guys actually think women get sick of receiving jewelry (We know: like, who put that in their heads?).

What you want: The ultimate adventure
How to get it: Oh, the Internet -- ain’t it grand? Send her a few links to activities you’ve been dying to try, whether it’s white water rafting, sky diving, kite surfing -- whatever. Feel out how into it she’ll be before getting your hopes up (if she’s afraid of heights, jumping out of a plane might not be her idea of a good time). If she’s game, ask her to choose your V-Day adventure. Afterward, put all that adrenaline to good use (we’re sure you can figure this part out)!

What you want: The best sex of your life
How to get it: Oh yeah, like he’s really going to fight you on this one. Here’s the key: foreplay. And not “cop a feel” foreplay, but days in advance, I’m-thinking-of-you-naked foreplay. Start by leaving a note in his car about a week before V-Day with a flirty message like “’Mornin’, Sexy!” and follow up a day or two later with text messages saying how you’ve been thinking of him – naked -- all day and can’t get him out of your mind. Have fun with it. Then, the morning of Valentine’s Day, whisper in his ear that you’re going to blow his mind later. Just thinking about all that sex -- and knowing how into it you are -- will set you up for the night of your life (literally). Another tip: Buy new lingerie, and leave it out on the bed the morning of V-Day. Trust us -- he’ll be leaving work early!

What you want: To feel like you’re on your first date
How to get it: Keeping things fresh is a challenge in any marriage. If you find yourself missing those “butterflies” you felt in the beginning, give yourself some space the week before V-Day. Spend a few more hours at the gym. Meet up with your guy friends for dinner after work. Then on Valentine’s Day, ask your wife to meet you at the place you had your first date -- and show up a couple minutes early so you can catch her eye as she walks in (just like you did the first time around!). Stay clear of topics like household repairs, finances, or work, and instead “get to know” each other again by playing a game of 20 questions (feel free to throw a few sexy ones in there!).

What you want: A cozy evening at home
How to get it: Tell him. Chances are, your guy’s going to assume you want to go out for V-Day…it’s pretty much what every book, movie, and episode of Sex and the City (you know you’ve made him watch the whole series) has told him. So be upfront, and follow through by suggesting cooking a meal together, snuggling by the fireplace, and watching that movie you’ve been talking about for weeks.

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Love & Sex , Valentine's Day