Guys, you are in luck. You need not rush out and buy diamonds. Nor do you need to waste your hard-earned cash on roses, or worse, their cheap, very distant cousins, carnations. It turns out that what women really want for Valentine’s Day is time. Time with you. Specifically, they want time with you on the ski slopes.

In over twenty responses from friends and relatives, the response was overwhelmingly similar. Women want powder, preferably on a bluebird day, and at the end of it, they’d like a drink. Some said a bottle of wine, some said champagne, some said a beer.

One local friend, Corie Chandler, was very clear in her vision: “My dream V-Day would be a bluebird day with me and my hubby skiing the afternoon together. Maybe a Palmyra hike or some chutes, concluded with a romantic and private picnic with wine at the Revvy Deck. I have NEVER relaxed on the Revvy Deck and have always wanted to check it out.”

Other friends decided they would be excited about any outdoor adventure whether they were making a heart with their snowshoes in the snow or drinking wine on a beach somewhere in the tropics. Carbondale friend, Molly Jacober, decided that the best thing would be to have the adventure all planned out, and as she says “Kids taken care of.  A full day of something athletic, nice place to stay, dinner…. no dishes. Romance.”

My parents, who’ve been married for close to 50 years, both independently wrote to say they’d like the same thing: dinner at a bistro in Paris, followed by a walk along the Seine. My dad only varied in his response in saying that he’d like Angelina’s hot chocolate after the bistro.

But, men, you need not despair if you can’t get the weather to work out or afford the time skiing. (Or afford a trip to Paris.) Another popular request? Dinner made by you. New York friend, Nicole Klimt, writes about a favorite Valentine’s memory when her husband grilled her a steak and made her an amazing guacomole: “Most importantly – it was obvious that he spent time figuring out how to make me feel special. When he does something that he spent time planning and targets the sentimental, I go weak in the knees. He’s given me much more expensive gifts since then, but they haven’t topped that inexpensive but direct path to the sweet spot in my heart.”

So save the diamonds. Grab your pack and head outside with your love. Have some good food prepared for when you return.  Time, real time with you, is what women want most from that day and from this life.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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