Valentine’s Day …is it a fantastic chance to say I love you in an extraordinary way, or just a ploy for the Hallmark industry to cash in? Whether you are tickled pink by the 14th of February, or the overload of hearts and Cupids have you reaching for your Pepto, matchmaker and dating expert Amy Laurent has tips for the why and how you should celebrate…no matter what your Facebook relationship status reads!
TBB: In your opinion, should those in long term relationships celebrate Valentine’s Day?
AL: Yes, definitely! Valentine’s Day is the one day out of the year where everyone is reminded to focus on their partner and try to shut out the noise of the daily grind. You don’t necessarily have to engage in traditional Valentine’s Day rituals like a super fancy dinner or roses, but everyone in a relationship should put their iPhones down and and spend some quality time with their partner.
TBB: What are some suggestions for those in long term relationships who want to do something special for the holiday?
AL: If you both have a bit of flexibility in your schedules, schedule a mini vacation or weekend away at a bed and breakfast. A change of scenery is always good for amping up the romance. Can’t get away from work? Take a staycation at a hotel in your city. Pretend you’re tourists and pop some champagne! Another option is to plan a fun couples activity that you wouldn’t normally do. A couples’ cooking class, a wine tasting, a helicopter ride, or a ballroom dancing class are all great ideas for those looking to get out of their Valentine’s Day comfort zone. For the ultimate in relaxation, I love a hot stone massage for two at a spa. Afterwards, you can have a romantic night in or perhaps head out to your preplanned dinner reservations.
TBB: How about those in new relationships? What can they do to acknowledge the day without it getting awkward?
AL: For couples who’ve been dating for a little while but who haven’t had the exclusivity conversation yet, the man should still be sending her something thoughtful on that day – be it flowers, chocolates, or something else. If you’ve only been on 1-4 dates, you should skip going out on Valentine’s Day as it is really more of a holiday for those in exclusive or serious relationships. However, make sure that you wish her a “Happy Valentine’s Day”, and send something small and thoughtful, to show her that you are still interested and serious about your relationship with her.
TBB: What’s your advice for singles to embrace, even enjoy the Valentine’s Day?
AL: One of my favorite ideas is to have a singles Valentine’s Day party – invite all your single friends, male and female, and have them bring some single friends as well. You never know who might hit it off! A party like that is also great because it reminds you you’re not the only one who’s single on Valentine’s Day. Girls night out is also a great option – nothing like a fun night out with the girls to keep your spirits up. Add a gift exchange too for added festivity. Remember – Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate all relationships, including friends and family. Write cute cards to your family on why they mean so much to you, and don’t forget to call those who love you most.
TBB: We all hear that restaurants are busy for Valentine’s Day which can often result in a less than stellar experience. What are some alternative date ideas to make the evening special?
AL: Anything I mentioned in my suggestions for couples! Get away from it all, take a class together, pamper yourselves together… Try having breakfast in bed that morning and play hooky from work for a few hours. Another option that requires no reservations is to order in or cook for each other – but dress up like you’re going to the fanciest restaurant in town!
Amy Laurent is a matchmaker, dating expert, and published author. Laurent has been featured on the Today Show, Fox News, CBS News, as well as the star of the Bravo reality show Miss Advised. Her book 8 Weeks to Everlasting is printed by St. Martin’s Press.