Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I have a girlfriend who I have been dating for a few months, and I am really trying to impress her. Since it is Valentine’s Day, I have a dinner reservation at a restaurant that she really wants to go to. The issue is that I cannot really afford it, and I am worried that she will be upset, or think less of me, if I tell her we are not going out. At this point it is too late to make another reservation at a restaurant that she would think was okay to go to. What should I do? I do not want her to think that she is not worth a nice restaurant, and I will be too embarrassed to tell her that I cannot afford much.
Do not feel bad if you cannot afford your girlfriend’s restaurant of choice for Valentine’s Day. I think you are smart to not spend money that you do not have. Even though it is the last minute, tell her that you started thinking about how crazy and crowded restaurants can get on Valentine’s Day, and that you want to spend a romantic evening with just the two of you. Dress up, cook her a really nice dinner, set a formal table, have at least one or two roses for her, and get out the candles. If you cannot cook, go to a grocery store that has good food already prepared, and heat it up. If she likes wine, get a nice bottle, a romantic card, a meaningful gift (does not have to cost a lot), and be a perfect gentleman all night. All the thought and attention that you are giving her will make her forget that you had a dinner reservation out. Also, don’t forget to call the restaurant to cancel your reservation.