Valentine's Day can be a wonderful experience - or it can turn out to be  a total nightmare. To avoid the nightmare, here's a dummy's guide to Valentine's Day in Grand Junction - five fatal mistakes to avoid.

When it comes to Valentine's Day, it seems to be a no-brainer - do something  nice for your sweetheart - dinner, candy, maybe a gift, maybe flowers. They say, "it's the thought that counts", but I'm here to tell you when it comes to Valentine's Day, that just isn't true.

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    Jewelry always seems to be a big hit with the ladies on Valentine's Day, although, their reaction may depend on exactly where it came from. A box of Cracker Jacks, a vending machine, and the "everything's a dollar" store probably aren't the best places to be shopping for jewelry that will melt her heart. It doesn't have to be a one hundred dollar or more purchase to be meaningful, but she needs to feel like she's worth more than $1.99.

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    Life is like a box of chocolates - and so is love. It can get very sticky and gooey if you don't choose your candy wisely. For starters, if your sweetheart is on a diet, for heaven's sake, don't get her candy. And, if you do go the candy route, a Snickers bar probably isn't going to score you any points. Oh, and you should probably consider her peanut allergy. A Snickers bar could go from a bad idea, to a REALLY bad idea.

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    Ah, yes, nothing like a romantic dinner with the one  you love, but  your choice of restaurant could determine the future fate of your relationship. Sure, she loves tacos -- and maybe she even likes Taco Bell -- but, Valentine's Day is one of the days you don't want your food to be fast. If you are dining at Taco Bell for Valentine's Day, your lover had better be finding a two--carat diamond ring in her chili-cheese burrito.

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    Zane Mathews

    A picnic can be a very romantic encounter, however, Valentine's Day in Western Colorado tends to be a bit on the chilly side, so you better check the weather forecast before you  make plans. Besides that, when choosing a location, remember, a picnic in the park sounds romantic, but depending on which park it is, it could end up being a bit "crowded" rather than romantic. In other words, for those that may be slower than others, Grand Junction's Whitman Park may not be the best choice for a romantic picnic in the park.

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    Perhaps a card is the most important part of the Valentine experience for a woman, so guys, this is your chance to shine. You'll want to get a card that looks nice - and expresses in very sweet words how you feel about her. But, the fact is, she doesn't really care what Hallmark has to say.Guys, don't just sign your name at the bottom of the card and call it good. At least write two or three lines straight from your heart that let her know how you feel. If you don't at least do this, you're probably better off not giving her a card at all, because this will just tick her off. You don't have to be Robert Louis Stevenson here, just let her know how much she means to you -- and by all means include the words I LOVE YOU.