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It's all too easy to make a complete hash of Valentine's. Getting it right calls for a modicum of intelligent thought and a touch of realism. Thing is, you've got to size up your lady love. And yes, I do mean knowing her approximate dress size and how she likes her clothes to fit ... that's if we're talking clothes of course.

More importantly, 'sizing her up' means discovering how she feels about how you feel about Valentine's Day. First of all, it's not simply about saying 'I love you' in the hope she will bestow worthwhile favours on you. Handle things this way and you'll end up revealing a lot about yourself - things that would be better left hidden, unseen and unheard. Terrible experiences await anyone who imagines a statement of love is all that's needed.

My second tip is: don’t be too flash. Spending ludicrous amounts of your hard earned will not necessarily impress. Women are practical creatures. They know the value of money. What will count more with them is that you devote time and thought to making Valentine’s memorable. Cash alone isn’t going to do the trick.

My next thought centres on the girl herself and maybe only you can judge. What am I talking about? Getting the balance right between love and lust. They are both necessary ingredients. Go for love pure and simple and, however deeply felt, she’ll likely wander off, somewhat perplexed as to what your next move might be. Go for total lust and you’ll frighten her off. You mustn’t scare the pants off her – well, not yet! Valentine’s Day is your chance to declare your love, but with just a touch of sauce added to the mix.

However, it’s vital not to overdo the sauciness. Keep it powerful and determined but avoid whatever’s cheap and tabloid. This recommendation is tied up with the thought that any declaration of love must be genuine. You must mean what you say and say what you mean.

Don’t shower your address book and contacts list with endearments in the wild hope that if you cast your net wide enough some poor girl will have neither the wit or wisdom to turn you down.

Above all, don’t buy a vast and cushiony crimson card with more hearts than you’ll find in a cardiac ward. Even worse, don’t accompany said card with a dodgy bottle of discount supermarket fizz.

What’s called for is a gift with real thought behind it, something of quality but not so embarrassingly costly it’ll frighten her off. Take a look at the range of knickers, including our new Red Devil edition, shown here. Scrumpies of Mayfair have designed knickers for real men to give real women. Follow this advice and enjoy the results with the love of your life.

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