Valentine’s Day 2019 is fast approaching.

It’s the day of love, romance, friendship; the day for showing someone how you feel about them. But it can be as overwhelming as all get out, especially if you’re a newcomer to the whole fandango. You can make it a special Valentine’s Day, on any budget and at any stage of the relationship.

Here are my quick tips for surviving it, and coming out relationship richer.

Keep it in Perspective

How long have you been together? What would make the day perfect for your beau? It’s not always about fireworks or Rolls Royces (although, yippee if it does for you!). Don’t go overboard, as your beau might not and that can be more than a bit awks.

If it’s new or you haven’t dated long before Valentine’s Day arrives, something small is good. In that instance, it’s about a gesture to mark the occasion. Something that says I like/ love you and would like to acknowledge this day by showing I’ve been listening. A cheeky reminder of something you’ve done together shows how you feel about them.

Take control

Make it easy and enjoyable for your beau. Don’t ask them what they want to do, step up and make plans. You’ve been spending time with them, so you should have an inkling about what would make them happy, make their juices flow, or on the flip side, blood boil.

It can be romantic or not, but make it simple for them by doing it all yourself. Book a restaurant that they love, even if you don’t. Organise a picnic, and I mean organise it all!! Blanket, food, drinks, location. Cook their fave meal at home so they can just sit back and enjoy watching you do it all! What a turn on that can be for most people, especially if they’re usually the one doing all of that.

Effort Goes a Long Way

No gift needs to be expensive to make an impact. Think about what your beau has been telling you, hints they’ve been giving, what they would never get for themselves that you can get them. Make them something! A card, a letter, a tacky Acrostic poem using his name would mean more than nothing at all. A picture in a frame from your fave recent occasion together. I know one guy who says why make something when you can buy it? So if your beau is more of a bought kinda beau than one who appreciates the creative, stick with that.

The longer (or more committed you are) you’ve been together the more effort or money you can put in. Why not go big if that’s your thing?

A restaurant dinner, picnic, home cooked meal can all be made that little more special by writing an invitation and leaving it somewhere they least expect it.

It’s not the 80s but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a CD of their fave songs. It’ll be even more special when used for the soundtrack for a weekend away, now, or later on.

Show Your Emotions Through Gifts

If you’re buying something, think about what they like, not what you like! Don’t buy lingerie and expect your belle to model it for you if she’s not usually comfy with that. That would be for you, and would ruin it for her!

Chocolates go over well with me, especially if they’re my faves, but not everyone is into them, so don’t listen to sales people, or people who don’t know your beau. Think about what they like and make the gift all about them, rather than something which will benefit you.

Another way to make them feel special is to appeal to their senses. Take them to hear a live band, or a film they’ve wanted to see. Get them a book to read, fill a room with candles, balloons, flowers. Make or buy their favourite dessert. Splash out on their favourite perfume, wine, or spirit.

Buy them a gorgeous blanket under which the two of you will cuddle in the dark of winter. Now that just screams romance, the thought of cuddling together, and not to mention that is shows you’re looking forward to more luscious times together.

Poker Face

And sure, you might not get something back and it might not be the same level as what you did/ gave but it’s about showing your beau what you think of them. Just as you shouldn’t say I love you to hear it back, you shouldn’t give something with a reciprocal expectation. Suck it up if you get crap, because that’s their idea of what they want to give you. Be appreciative.

And, it’s not just about romance. It’s traditionally been about friendship. I recommend thinking about how your friends feel about Valentine’s Day and being there for them, even if you’re in a relationship, and they’re not. Not all of them will relish being wished a Happy Valentine’s day, but don’t discount them just because they don’t have a beau/ belle to spend the day with. Include them in some way, if they’d like it.

Some of my friends have been single for so long that they don’t want to know about it, they just want the day to pass by ASAP and spend less time thinking about how alone they are. I know how they feel, and would love to have someone special with whom to share the day, but it’s not how the cards have fallen again this year.

My fave Valentine’s Day tradition ever was that my Pop used to post me a Valentine’s Day card. He also individually posted them to my mum, and two elder sisters, though we all lived in the same house. It made each of us feel special, and I always looked forward to it. What a memory to cherish forevermore.

Happy Valentine’s Day, one and all!!

p.s. Tell me your best Valentine’s Day experiences. What do you have planned this year?

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