DEAR HARRIETTE: About three months ago, I met this nice young woman, and I've been spending quite some time with her recently. My generation of millennials operates much differently than our parents did at our age. I can't say that we've been technically dating, but we are involved with each other as more than friends. We both agreed that we wouldn't pressure the other for a relationship or anything more, but I've been on this earth long enough to know women don't always mean what they say.
Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and I am contemplating if I am supposed to plan anything. I'm confused for multiple reasons: She is a good girl, funds are tight at this time and I know both of us aren't ready for a relationship because we are focused on our careers. Should I still plan something? If so, what are some affordable options? -- The Right Thing, Washington, D.C.
DEAR THE RIGHT THING: While you may not be in a committed relationship with your friend as of yet, it sounds like you two care about each other and choose to spend time together. For this reason, I definitely would acknowledge Valentine's Day. This doesn't mean you need to take her to an expensive dinner or buy a gift. It does mean that you should do something.
What can that be for someone who's on a budget and not even close to popping the question? Start the day by calling her and wishing her a happy Valentine's Day. This will make her smile. You can buy her a card that you personalize, and maybe take her out for a drink in the evening. More affordable, you can buy a bottle of wine and share it at home. If the weather is mild, invite her on a romantic walk in the city. Visit a museum -- many of which are free in your town. Think of what she may like to do that can be fun, light-hearted and potentially free. This will show her that you like her and appreciate the time you spend together.