Walking through any store in late January to early February is a nightmare. Every aisle is strewn with ribbons and hearts all pink, red, floral, and chocolate. It’s inevitable: Valentine’s Day is upon us. Look, we all know it’s a capitalist greeting card holiday, but trust me, your girlfriend (or boyfriend) wants you to give a shit.

1. Acknowledge that it’s happening.

It’s happening whether or not you celebrate it, but if you’re in a relationship, it’s wise to accept it as a thing you need to celebrate. As a girl, I wield a lot of knowledge about the female psyche. We are going to tell you we hate Valentine’s Day because it’s a contrived, forced celebration of love. And although the sensible parts of us know this is true, when we say it to you, it is most definitely a lie. We know you hate it, but we’re irrational. Just play it safe and assume we want a Valentine’s Day celebration of some sort. Also, for you women reading this, men like chocolate too. This shit goes both ways.

2. Order the flowers ASAP. Don’t wait until Feb. 14 and end up with the shitty leftovers.

Buy your flowers early. Or chocolates. Or that six-foot-tall Teddy Bear stuffed with 10 million rose petals that sings “My Funny Valentine.” But really, if you are doing long distance and plan to send something to your girlfriend, account for shipping time. If you try to hit up 12 hours before Valentine’s Day, you’re going to fail at getting flowers at all. That, or you’re going to end up sending a $90 bouquet of orange striped carnations, and she’ll hate it.

3. Make a reservation for a restaurant. A good one.

If you are home or on leave to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make a reservation. It’s is a huge day for dinner dates. Do not assume that you will be able to just wander into a restaurant with your significant other. Valentine’s Day is not about spontaneity. It’s about strategery, tactical strategery. Don’t know where to go? This is not the day to ask your single buddies for recommendations. There’s a reason they are single. Try Yelp, or ask someone who is in some semblance of a grown-up relationship.

4. Don’t like these tips? Then you should probably just break up with your significant other.

Being single is perhaps the most obvious way to avoid fucking up Valentine’s Day. That way there is no one to disappoint but yourself. But let’s be real, there is nothing sadder than crushing eight Miller Lites alone while watching Wedding Crashers for the 157th time all while wondering, “Goddamn, what is wrong with Owen Wilson’s nose?” Or, maybe that’s just a Saturday for you.