One of my five brothers, the oldest one, just started dating someone. I think it's his first, so he asked me if he was supposed to do something on Valentine's. The answer is: Yes! The real two questions are what to give and what to do. Here are my tips:
Doing something "special" or "original" is great, as long as you know the other person well enough to know they will like it. Something too extravagant (like covering your Valentine's room with rose petals, or serenading them) might be just a little too cheesy for some people. You might want to ask your Valentine what they find romantic before doing something that could make him or her feel uncomfortable.
Go for the classics.
Chocolate, flowers and cards are the way to go. Unless the person is trying to be on a diet, chocolate is a good Valentine's choice. There are only a few people on this planet that don't like chocolate. Flowers only for girls, please! I've asked guys if they like to receive flowers, and no, they prefer something they can eat. What are they supposed to do with flowers? Decorate their room? I don't think so. The most classic Valentine flower is the rose. Everyone likes them , so no one will get mad or disappointed if you give them a rose. Cards are important too, especially from a guy. Girls love to receive letters. It's great if you TELL them you love them, but nothing compares to how special it is to see your guy's handwriting expressing romantic words. Girls like to go back and read their letters later over and over again. It's breathtaking.
What to do is not so important.
The important thing is to show the other person that you love them. This may sound like a cliche, but it's true! I don't mean it's not awesome to go see a romantic movie or dine at a fine restaurant. But it will be packed, because that's what most people do. You might not really get a chance to spend quality time with your date or might not be so comfortable crowded with everyone else. Try something like making a romantic candle dinner at home, go for a nice scenic walk (if it's not too cold), or watch movies together. Another good idea is to talk about how you met or why you love each other. This will be much more personal, unique, romantic, and not so expensive.
Candy is allowed, but it's OK if you're NOT that SWEET.
I always get a bunch of candy and I don't eat a twentieth of it. If I can't get rid of it by giving it to someone else (they probably don't want it either) I'll end up throwing it away most of the times. Personally, I prefer 100 times better to receive a card. When I'm through reading it, I can choose to recycle it or keep it. And if you want to be greener or not spend money on cards, there are always e-cards available.
What if you don't have a date?
Just hang out with your friends! Do something you like in common and remember to keep away from restaurants and cinemas. Something as simple as playing video games or board games works. Even if you don't actually buy your friends something, remember to give them a letter, card, or e-mail saying how much their friendship means to you. Appreciation and sincerity is far better than too much sugar.
Have fun and Happy Valentine's!