Valentine's Day for a guy is what I like to call a trap holiday. Sure, you're special someone will tell you, "Don't worry about me, I don't want anything;" but that's a gigantic lie. The statement really means, "I'm testing you and you had better not screw up."

Here are 10 things you can do right now to make sure you stay out of the dog house this Valentine's Day.

First, make dinner and room reservations now. If you wait, everything will be booked up and you'll be forced to celebrate days later. Trust me, that won't go over very well, even if you try to sell to her that you were trying to save her from the huge holiday crowds.

Second, this is indeed the greeting card holiday, and you really are expected to buy a thoughtful, romantic Valentine's Day card. The big lesson here which has been learned over and over again by well intentioned men, is to make sure you actually read the card -front to back. I promise you, there is a quiz at the end and she'll definitely be watching your answers like a hawk.

Third on my list is - you must know what's written in the card and the saying should probably in some way represent your beliefs. For example. if you're not religious, and your card has God blessing the two of you and your relationship, she'll immediately know you didn't read it.

Another greeting card rule, don't just gloss over the card and speed read the saying. Look at it carefully, studying the front, middle and back. Don't make the mistake I made in 2000 by giving her a card for the wrong holiday. I focused on the colorful front that said in big cursive letters, I Love You Honey. She loved that part, but wasn't amused when inside it read, Happy First Anniversary!

Oh, and one more thing to remember is that if you do make a mistake, just fess up and apologize. Don't try to pull a rabbit out of your hat by saying, what I meant was this is our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. That might have worked if it were true, but for us, we were married in September of 1998, so this particular year just so happened to be our second Valentine's Day. Oops.

Another lesson to learn is you really should know if a gift is appropriate for Valentine's Day. To this day. I still feel that because we had just purchased a new home, the kitchen faucet I bought her was the perfect gift. Yet, even though this "Cadillac of faucets" was the touch operated, high-end Delta that she said she always wanted, I agree, it probably was a bad choice for Valentine's Day.

The seventh thing to do, is no matter how much you think she's going to love the gift, be sure to save the receipt. We never were able to return that faucet and it forever served as a point of reference for my wife whenever I tried to convince her, I wasn't actually an idiot.

The eighth tip that will keep you in your partner's good grace this V-day, is to remember that most women love flowers, especially roses. You should also remember women love roses from a FLORIST, not necessarily from a convenience store. I don't know how, but women can always tell the difference.

Tip number 9 is a tough one to swallow, but it's a fool-proof tip I always follow. She'll appreciate the gift more, if it isn't a gift that you love more than she does. An example of a bad move would be taking her out to dinner at your favorite sports bar, timed perfectly with the big game you wanted to watch. She'll see right through it and realize, this gift is really for you.

Finally, here's the 10th and final thing you can do right now to stay out of the dog house on Valentine's Day. If you buy early and you hide away the gift and card for the 14th... make sure you put both gift and card in a very safe place that you will absolutely remember. I can't tell you the number of safe places I've found in my house, that are so safe - I'm still searching for them.

I hope these missteps I've made over the years will help make your day of romance error-free and joyous. Happy Valentine's Day and Good Luck. If you're like me, you'll need it.

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