The Introverted Gent – Wine and Dine Her For Valentine


As the lovers’ week races towards its end, don’t be fooled into thinking that because Valentine’s day fell on a Tuesday you got away with this one.

Tuesday is not one of the most romantic days (any day just after Monday has to be in this bracket) I must say, so you could be forgiven if not much went down. However, here comes the weekend where all your excuses get thrown out the window. All but this one, ‘Valentine’s day done pass jo, don’t worry next year I’ll blow you away with a splendid surprise’. Good luck with that.

The weekend provides you an opportunity to put the ‘R’ in romance the way you best know how to. It doesn’t have to cost the earth though, if you know how, it’s easy to show your lover a good time without busting your budget – no worry, dem know say this recession is real. I think.

Here’s an idea for you, obvious but usually overlooked. Go for a high risk, high reward scenario: cook something. To do this, well you have to be able to use a cooker, and the meal has to be something that your partner actually likes, so try to remember what that is. Pick something with not many ingredients that take less than four hours and look up the recipe online. The beauty of cooking is that, short of actually poisoning your loved one, unintentionally, you’re allowed to make mistakes and a good woman will appreciate the thought and the effort.


Start cooking before she arrives oh, you don’t want to spend the whole time in the kitchen. Wear an apron, she’ll giggle if you’re wearing only an apron. Light a candle especially if light no dey. Play that music or album of hers that she knows you hate.

Valentine's John-Obi-Mikel

If you can’t use a cooker, biko book a restaurant or worst case scenario, order her favorite meal in. When booking (which I’m guessing you already have), don’t bother with the lovely affordable restaurants, it was probably fully booked 3 solid months or more ago. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to book a restaurant you can’t afford because you dropped the ball and the sharp guys have booked all the affordable ones. Silly you.

Valentine's Day

If it happens to be a first date or a semblance of a first official date like they refer to it, then first date rules apply. You know, show gentleman-ners, be polite, have something interesting to say, remember it’s not just about you, don’t expect sex because you bought her dinner, don’t bring up your ex or other stories of people you fancy, focus on her. Sounds cliché doesn’t it?

You’d be surprised how many guys overlook the basics – myself included. We sometimes assume money will cover for everything . For some women, this will suffice, definitely not for all women. You have to wine and dine them but if your pocket no reach then do what I like to call ‘roast and toast’. I like to think it has the same effect. I could be wrong. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.

As you make the final plans for your lover this weekend, I’ll leave you with these entertaining questions:

  • In your opinion the formula for the perfect gift involves:

a) Nakedness and beer. In either order

b) a film, great meal and an invitation for drinks and ‘the other room’ activities

c) a surprise trip to Paris (or whichever destination you find most romantic), champagne, and a suite at a 5-star hotel.

  • You’re in a smart restaurant and she expects you to choose the wine, do you:

a)without looking at the menu ask if they have your favorite St. Emilion. I think he’s related to Carlo Rossi

b) pick the one right in the middle of the price range as a ‘guyman’

c) look for one with a familiar noun in the name

  • She turns to you and asks how you see ‘our’ future; do you:

a) hold her in a strong but tender embrace, look intently into her face and say that for you she is the future

b) try manfully to suppress panic visions of children and a mother in-law

c) reply with something witty and charming, just so you can divert the topic.

As always, stay fresh!






Okeluem Felix Onatu trained as a men’s image consultant in London. He buys into the idea of minimalism or ‘less is more’. His style is simple and classy with a bit of originality. Felix runs a menswear line offering men’s casual and formal shirts on He blogs at and can be reached via Instagram on @Qollars


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