IT may have been a man who first discovered America and a man who first landed on the moon. But men haven't got a clue when it comes to things that matter like keeping the girl in their life happy on Valentine's Day.

It all comes down to expectations, of course. Her expectation? Something utterly romantic. The more romantic, the more it proves he loves me.

His expectation? It's all going to be horribly, horribly embarrassing. And tacky. If I get it wrong, I'll never hear the last of it. If I get it right, she'll tell all her friends how soppy I am and it'll get back to my mates and then what?

Yet woe betide the man who cops out and decides to skip Valentine's Day.

It's simply not worth it.

So first the card. There must be a card, though perhaps a beautifully wrapped single rose might just do instead. Strangely enough, women are more likely to choose funny cards while men choose romantic verse.

What about a gift? Whatever it is, this is not the time for bargain-hunting. Better a single super orchid than a big bunch of cut-price blooms that suggest your love is as wilting as the flowers. It's the same with chocs. This is not the time for a "30 per cent extra free" pack.

Underwear is tricky. She might love it but some women interpret undies as a hint to strip off for his benefit. And there's a good chance it won't fit.

Perfume, remember, is a personal thing. Notice her favourites and which bottle is the emptiest and buy that one.

How about chillies as a gift for your lover?

Chillies and chocs do for food lovers what George Clooney and Cheryl Cole do to some human heartrates.

Fresh chillies contain capsaicin, a substance that causes the brain to release endorphins providing a natural buzz.

That's why it's possible to become almost addicted to very spicy foods as well as falling for chocoholism. So tuck a few chillies in with those roses and that box of chocs.