Valentine's advice from relationship coaches, reality stars and self-help gurus

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follow it up with a face-to-face “I love you.” You can’t ONLY say it over SMS.

2. Send your Valentine a photo of you blowing a kiss or making a heart shape with your hands – visuals can be sweet

3. Surprise your significant other by texting “open the door” or “look outside” and be ready and waiting with a bouquet of flowers

4. Long distance? Use tech tools like textPlus Face Text to hold a real-time text conversation with photos

5. No Valentine this year? Group texting and communities of single friends are the perfect place to commiserate together

Tips for texting love letters from "relationship coach" Michael Fiore:  "Fiore, creator of the site, said, 'In some ways, electronic love mail is more romantic than love letters of the past because the contact is much more frequent..."

-Your man’s cell phone is the closest thing to “telepathy” that you can get... texting him lets you do a little bit of “relationship judo” and get him to do what you really want him to do without ever coming across as nagging or unreasonable at all.

-Your woman’s cell phone is a 'magic portal' to her deepest, most intimate mind...

-7 easy ways to please your man this V-Day (so he stays) according to the "Simon Cowell of the self-help genre": "HuffPo Blogger and author of The Real Secrets Women Only WhisperThe 21st Century Woman’s Guide to Success and Survival – not to mention the woman Larry King calls 'The Simon Cowell of the self-help genre,' Estes Antebi has saved countless high-profile celebrity marriages from behind the scenes with shockingly unconventional tips."

1.Drop it like it’s hot (the extra pounds, that is) – He may never admit your butt looks big, but he notices, and his baby’s got back.

2. Just say yes! Yes! Yes! – Don’t make being too tired a habit, unless you want him to get tired of you. Just do it!

3. Size him up – It’s ok to exaggerate a tad and tell him he’s larger than life. Oh, baby; oh, baby.

4. Myth-ter perfect – Accept that there’s no such thing as the perfect man. At least you have one to complain about!

5. Know when to zip it (and when not to) – He wants to talk about him, too.

6. Don't be a bitch – It takes under 30 seconds to pick his socks up off the floor and much, much longer to find someone new again.

7. Plan a staycation – get away by getting in bed!

-V-Day advice from Bachelorette & Bachelor Pad reality TV star: David Good is constantly being asked by his fans advice on relationships at book signings... So what does this Bachelorette star & Bachelor Pad winner have to say on how you should spend the holiday?

Step 1. Head to your local mall and pick up some sexy lingerie. Nothing too crazy. You don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. You should know her limit or close to it. The point is to make her feel sexy not slutty. Hide this somewhere outside the bedroom in the house with a note that reads (put this on… I'll be waiting)

Step 2. Make dinner reservations at a local favorite spot. Make it close to home.

Step 3. A few drinks (bottle of wine at dinner or whatever she likes) The point here is to have some fun, not to get wasted (not sexy).

Step 4. At dinner hand her a little note that says your present is at the house (disclose location)

Step 5. When you get home and she is changing make a few drinks maybe some champagne light some candles so its kind of dark but you can still see each other and wait for her.

Step 6. Compliments when she walks in! Lots of them. Hand her her drink and cheers to a happy valentines day. The rest is up to you, but I would suggest some extra mirrors in “strategic” places and whatever else you might be into.

Ladies. Get your guy a card and his favorite bottle of scotch or alcohol. Simple

Advice about shopping for a matchmaker from experts at a rival dating site: Experts at advise hopeful hearts to consider the following before enlisting the services of a matchmaker:

1. Do a background check: Inquire with the Better Business Bureau if any lawsuits or claims have been filed against the matchmaker, and secure references from former clients by doing your own due diligence or online investigation.

2. Be clear about what’s being promised: Your goals, expectations and candidate selection criteria as well as the matchmaker’s performance objectives must be defined upfront and should be clear, specific and recorded to avoid any conflicts down the road.

3. Get a glimpse of the sample pool: A good matchmaker will not hide anything. Ask for statistics about the candidates in their database or to see some sample members to make sure the professional you choose has the right members in mind for you.

4. Hire an attorney to read between the lines: Many matchmakers use canned contracts, so add in your own terms, deliverables and amendments to the agreement where appropriate. And make sure an attorney reviews each and every contract or appended document you sign, before you sign, for hidden clauses and obligations.

Advice on how not to drop the L-bomb prematurely from the psychotherapists who created The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life:

1. Are you in love with love? The best kind of love spreads around to others also – if the love is possessive and makes you less secure and even jealous, that’s a telltale sign that that is more infatuation than mature love.

2. Does love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Au contraire – that’s actually a sign of immature love, as being able to take responsibility and not project blame on others is an important ingredient of a healthy relationship. Struggling with apologies makes the love more about you and less about them.

3. How can you tell if it is "real love" or "infatuation?" Infatuation can be one of the elements of "real love" but once times are tough and the going gets rough, infatuation will not provide the glue to keep you together. Developing a deeper commitment and connection of a more mature and less self-centered love will.

4. Those butterflies. In mature love, you can still have the "butterflies," but when the butterflies land, they go through another transformation to signify the growth, change and beauty of deeper love.

5. A healthy relationship brings out the best in us and is synonymous with growth and change. One of the telltale signs of healthy love is having the ability and support to evolve independently as well as with the other person.

6. Me, me, me: Infatuation is more about you, whereas real love is more about the other person. People who are needy and love someone for what that person can do for them see their mate as more of an extension of themselves, making their love more narcissistic. Those who have a more mature and deeper love will want what is best for the other person and if the going gets rough, they will not turn on the other person.

11 anti-rules of love from the author of The Case for Falling in Love: Are you sick of the idea that men and women live in separate emotional universes? The Case for Falling in Love is aimed at women who are tired of hearing that they need to learn to read “the male psyche” in order to have successful relationships. Through pop culture examples, Dr. Ruti shows that television shows—yes, Gossip Girl—and movies offer us much better models for gender and romantic behavior than most self-help guides. The Case for Falling in Love is meant to liberate those frustrated by the idea that they just need to learn the right strategies to find love, and rather offers 12 anti-rules of love:

1. Stop trying so hard

2. Stop being so cautious

3. Stop analyzing your every move

4. Stop expecting your guy to act like a caveman

5. Stop apologizing for being strong

6. Stop being afraid to have needs and vulnerabilities

7. Stop running after guys that don’t want you

8. Stop looking for a guy without issues

9. Stop manipulating the guy you love

10. Stop regretting every false step you ever took

11. Stop thinking of loss as a pure loss

4 Ways to Take Back Valentine’s Day, from the girls of

1. Indulge in your independence: Being single has plenty of little benefits. What better day than February 14 to indulge in every one of them? Do each and every one of the following things without apology: Don’t bother shaving. Take the cheesiest junk in your music library, turn it all the way up and sing along. Loudly. Order extra pickles, onions, garlic or whatever else you might typically avoid on a date, and make no apologies about it. Because let’s face it: freedom isn’t free, but it sure does have its hidden perks.

2. Buy yourself the damn flowers. Who says you need a man to pamper you? Create your own happiness. We started after Ellie bought herself flowers (realizing her ex wouldn’t) and got inspired to create a service to help women push through heartache and move on to something better...

3. Celebrate your freedom with single friends. Chances are, you’re not the only one of your friends flying solo. Valentine’s Day is a great time to be a support system for someone else who’s having a tough time being unattached. Get together with other unattached ladies and create a night to remember that has nothing to do with the hype. Host a wig party, create a scavenger hunt, or dance the night away to 80’s music. Take back the night and have a blast doing it.

4. Get real. In the end, February 14th really is just another day. And in some cases, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. For some couples, that oh-so-intimate dinner will end in tears. Perception is everything, and the day is whatever you make of it. You can choose to appreciate not being a part of the ritual, and even make a list of the reasons you’re happy to be on your own at the moment. Go fall in love with yourself and your amazing little life, and if it isn’t amazing yet, make it so, and start right now with something that makes you infinitely happy. Isn’t that romantic?'s "The Man’s Guide to Dating After 50":

-Some things don’t change. Classic dating strategies such as blind dates and introductions through friends still work. Get involved in activities you enjoy and you’ll probably meet women who also enjoy them and eventually, you.

-The numbers are on your side. By age 50, women outnumber men 954 to 920; by age 65, it’s 871 to 791. As the decades pass, women increasingly outnumber men.

-Dating sites have advantages. Try uploading smiling photos. Photos increase men’s response rate 40 percent— for women, photos triple it. Online profiles also provide conversation topics by listing common interests.

-Dating sites have disadvantages. Some members can be flaky or lie on their profiles. On average, people claim to be an inch taller and women say they weigh 20 lbs less.

-Dress for success. Consider getting a manicure and pedicure. Plan to spend a day— and one to two weeks’ income on a makeover.

-Dating isn’t mating. Don’t waste time on a budding relationship that has no future. You’ll probably have to date dozens of women before you find Ms. Right.

How to think of a good V-Day gift with Brainsteering:

Having trouble thinking of the perfect present for your Valentine this year? According to the authors of Brainsteering, the reason why you can never think of the perfect present is because you’re approaching the problem all wrong. Simply sitting around trying to come up with an “outside the box” idea won’t get you anywhere, says the Coyne brothers. You need to start asking yourself the Right Questions. Instead of asking yourself, “what does my sweetheart want for Valentine’s Day?”, the Coynes suggest asking, “what is the perfect gift that your Valentine could only give you – and what does that tell you about the perfect gift that you could give them?”

The Real key to the ultimate in romance and relationships: It’s so sad. Each year you can see untold millions of men scrambling at the last minute to do something romantic – a bouquet of obligatory roses, a box of heart shaped chocolates or reservations at one of the popular, but invariably, hectic local restaurants. “It’s like the lemmings jumping off the cliff into the sea,” says New York Times bestselling author world-renowned performance expert Tom Connellan. His new book, The 1% Solution for Work and Life, explains why the exact same skills and actions that create Olympic gold medal winners are what create exceptional relationships, the most memorable experiences, and the ecstasy that can only be found in love:

• Ask your partner. If you want to really hit the mark, ask. Simply say, “What can I do today to help you, at least once a day.

• Pick one thing that your partner wants you to change and stick with that change for 30 days.

• Take the first step right away. Whatever it is, start it immediately.

• Apologize more often. This is tough. Say the following words at least once a day “I’m sorry. You are right. I was wrong.” Then when it’s time to say them to her, you’ll be ready.

• Change just a little every day. Stop when you find yourself doing some negative behavior, expressing too much intense emotion, poor facial expression, or expressing your opinion in a loud or angry voice.

• Show more consideration. Use the magic words “How can I help you?” If you’re asked to do something, smile, say “Yes dear” or “I’m on it”, and then do it.

• Be more helpful today than you were yesterday. From now on, if you see something that needs doing, jump on it and say out loud, “It’s okay. I got it.”

• Accept help and advice when it’s offered. Practice saying, “OK, let’s stop and ask for direction on how to get where we are going.”

• Get out of the way and give her space. Say, “Oh OK, will it help if I leave you alone right now?”

• Be more open and listen more carefully. Even ask for an opinion. Say, “Will you look at this please? I’m interested in what you have to say.” Then keep your mouth shut for at least ten minutes.

• Use more compliments. Say “You are wonderful. You are really good at this and I don’t know what I would do without you.” Then when she asks “What’s up?”, simply say, “I know I haven’t been as good at this as I should be in the past and I’m just working to get better at it because you’re important to me and I love you.

• Express more appreciation for who she is. Say out loud, “Thank you. Really! You are amazing. You are understanding, kind, and compassionate.”

• Acknowledge your shortcomings openly and with good humor. Say, “You are the primary source of my inspiration. I am the primary source of your perspiration.”

• Entice more often. Say, “I’ve planned a wild night, a fantastic meal, I’ve got a bottle of wine, superb dessert, music, and oh yeah, I hope you have a good time, too.”

-Advice from The Man Whisperers on ultimatums: "Never give a man a marriage ultimatum, as there's a hidden price of threatening demands, according to Donna Sozio and Samantha Brett, relationship experts and authors of THE MAN WHISPERER... Usually women give ultimatums when they are in so much pain in a relationship that they finally 'stick up for themselves' and communicate their needs to their man, but this ultimatum calls him into action by pain and infers a demand that he responds to you in the gun-to-the-head sort of way. When a man gives into an ultimatum, moreover, there is a hidden price: deep resentment. So what's a woman to do? 'Whisper' to him, say Sozio and Brett.

-Advice from The Man Whisperers on how to make this Valentine's Day Special:

-Build anticipation. Leave a note on your sweetheart's car, write "I Love You" in the steam on the bathroom mirror, or text him sweet nothings for at least a week in advance... just because.

-Don't give to get. Give for the pleasure of giving, without an expectation of anything in return. And whatever he does give you on V-day, even if it's a plastic rose, show appreciation to invest in the relationship.

-Have a sense of humor about the commercial aspects of Valentine's Day. Make it fun. For example, spark a contest who can give each other the cheesiest Valentine's present for under $10 and the winner gets a massage.

-Renew your commitment to each other. Just the two of you or with family and a few friends. And set a goal to achieve together in the New Year.

-Make more time for each other - most often all your loved one wants is more of YOU!

Follow Alfie on Twitter or Facebook,

and email him if interested in writing about Sex and Love.

Hearts, flowers, chocolate; it’s hard not to be reminded that Valentine’s Day is approaching. This year instead of the usual dozen roses, I want to share an idea for both singles and couples for Valentine’s Day, for editorial inclusion.

Athena’s Home Novelties, one of the country’s premier adult novelty companies, is introducing over 20 new products in time for Valentine’s Day. The Athena in-home party is designed to empower both men and women down the path to sexual education in a safe, comfortable environment by offering only the highest quality products presented by a trained Athena’s Goddess.

Athena’s is also the organization behind Athena’s Cup, a national breast cancer campaign that seeks to collect 169,000 donated bras in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness and funding, and attempt to break the current bra-chain Guinness World Record. During this season of love, hosts can encourage their guests to bring bras, along with a $5.00 donation. It’s never too early to ‘think pink,’ especially when a group of girlfriends get-together for a night of fun with a Goddess.

Are you interested in an editorial that’s different than roses and chocolate this year? Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about Athena’s or would like to schedule an interview with Jennifer Jolicoeur, president of Athena’s Home Novelties.

Every year near the end of January my inbox explodes with press releases from PR reps plugging clients who have the secrets to unlocking Valentine's Day. The advice covers everything from "how not to drop the L-bomb prematurely" to "tips for texting love letters." These "sexperts" include authors of self-help books, life coaches, and even a reality star who "wrote" a book on love (maybe it's just me but the only advice I want from a reality show winner is how to manipulate someone into believing that you love them). I genuinely feel bad for some of these PR reps who have the difficult job of trying to make some of their unqualified clients seem relevant or even interesting.

Advice for texting "I <3 u" from a "textpert" Drew Olanoff:

1. Saying “I love you” over text is perfectly fine – as long as you

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