04/14/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

"How Do I Celebrate Valentine's Day With My New Beau?"

Q: I have been going out with this new guy for about two weeks, and lo and behold, Valentine's Day looms ahead. I'm kind of freaking out. I'm not sure what to do (if anything). Help!

A: What do you do for Valentine's Day when you've only been dating for a short time? Many of my friends in the early stages of relationships have been vexed by this dilemma over the years. You don't want to let the holiday slip by unnoticed (as if that were possible in this culture), but you don't want to do "too much" in case that shows you're more invested than your new flame. On the other hand, maybe you're just having fun and sex and that's your end game -- and love's got nothing to do with it.

First of all, stop the mind games. Ask yourself how you feel about your new beau. How would you like to express those sentiments? Then follow your intuition. Another option is to talk with him before the 14th and say something like, "I know we've only been dating for a little while, but do you think we should celebrate Valentine's Day?"

If you're still not sure how to handle the big day, under-do it rather than over-do it. Buy or make a card and write something authentic, like: "I'm really glad we're getting to know each other." Or if you're feeling that this is more of a sexual tryst, "You're so hot!" When all else fails, there's the stalwart: "Happy Valentine's Day."

By the way, if you haven't said, "I love you" in real life yet, don't sign your card, "Love, John." Other options are: "XO" (for hugs and kisses) or "Fondly," or just your name if you can't decide what suits your current emotional state.

To ask Steven Petrow a queery of your own, email him at or visit