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A man's guide to "romantic short breaks

By Robin Richmond

Valentines day has always been a bit of a double edged sword for the male population. While many despise the commercialisation of the day and the thought of fussing over your partner with roses, champagne and chocolate - they also realise that is preferable to the mental torture that will be dished out should you forget to do anything about it.

I recently discovered the website "Anti Valentine over at This includes cards that contain loving messages such as; "Happy unimaginative consumerist-orientated and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day". If that proves to be a mouthful then the simple "You'll Do card may provide a more poignant message to your loved one. To be honest though, while this site is undoubtedly hilarious, repercussions of sending such a card are akin to overdosing on paracetamol - if you do it your dead.

So it would appear that once again the male population is left with the stark choice - buy lots of flowers and pretty presents and soak up the abuse from your friends or grow old and lonely in front of a single bar fire, in your one bedroom flat. Yes you better believe it...Valentines day is make or break.

However, there might just be a solution out there to this problem. A solution that keeps your partner happy without stripping you of your carefully crafted "mans man persona. A solution that you may even enjoy. That's right, fun on Valentines day...rather than mild to extreme embarrassment. The solution like all great ideas is simple. Take your partner on holiday.

A short break over the valentine period really is a wonderful concept. Just by going online to a travel site such as one can book a trip to some of the most romantic destinations in the world such as Paris, Venice or Rome. That's all that needs done! The simple act of one online purchase and your partner will be on cloud nine! Meanwhile, you get a fantastic break (despite the company) and get to explore an exciting new destination. Your romance work is done - no need for gushy poetry or candlelit dinners, your in Paris for goodness sake, what more could she possibly want? Even if you do have to buy her a gift and spend a evening whispering sweet nothings you will be far away from mocking friends thus keeping your image firmly in check.

In fact you can even lie about the motives of your short break. Why tell your friends that you are taking your wife to a romantic holiday in Rome when you can tell them you are going to the Rome derby football match and she is just tagging along? Suddenly you become somewhat of a legend and your friends can only dream about the fun you are having at the football while they are stuck in a Pizza Express with an ungrateful girlfriend who is flirting with all the waiters. Yes life really can be this sweet with a little forward planning on Valentines Day.

January is an excellent time to look for some special deals before the last minute rush and most of the discount airlines offer superb prices to some of Europe's best destinations. Just hand her the tickets and you are bound to be elevated straight into the good books. So what you waiting for? Make that selfless, romantic decision that will leave your partner in no doubt that you are the one she wants to marry.

On second thoughts...

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