The 14th of February is nearly here and with it comes the seasonal avalanche of chocolate, roses-by-the-dozen and price hikes in restaurants. If you’re single this can be somewhat terrifying, but even couples can’t escape the pressure! Indeed, celebrating Valentine’s Day the traditional way can be daunting at best.
Yet, it is possible to have fun on the 14th and find Valentine’s Day ideas that suit everyone: single, couple, and everyone in between! With help from EliteSingles’ Partner Psychologist, Sam Owen, we looked at a range of Valentine’s Day ideas that will appeal to you – no matter what your situation.
Valentine’s Day ideas for singles
There’s a pretty persistent trope that shows what it’s like to be single on Valentine’s Day and ‘bitter‘ would just about sum it up! According to countless films and television episodes, if you are single on the 14th, you had better be prepared to mope, curse all happy couples and drown your sorrows in either alcohol or ice-cream.
Yet, this absolutely doesn’t have to be the case. You can legitimately enjoy being single on Valentine’s Day. Ideas of how to do this vary, but one great idea is to stay in and indulge in the fact that, when you’re single, you’re in charge. In other words, be your own Valentine! You choose the menu, you choose the movie, you can even get yourself a gift that – surprise – is just what you wanted!
The important thing is to remember to treat yourself like you would a partner. After all, you deserve to be showered in love, even when you’re single. If you treat yourself right, then you are bound to have a great day: it’s that simple. As Sam Owen points out, ‘’Valentine’s Day is what you make of it…the choice is truly yours.’’ And yes, okay, treating yourself might involve a little ice-cream – your choice of flavour of course!
Valentine’s Day when you’re looking for love
If you’ve had enough self-indulgence and you’re looking for someone to share your life with, then, really, you couldn’t pick a more loved-up time than Valentine’s Day. However, wishing it doesn’t mean that romance will just fall into your lap. Indeed, if you’re serious about finding love, there are a couple of active steps you need to take to increase your chances of finding a Valentine’s Day date.
To begin with, you need to put yourself into the right frame of mind for dating – and this means dealing with any accumulated baggage. Sam Owen says that ‘’if you have a relationship that you’ve never gotten full closure over, do something to help bring that chapter to a close on Feb 13th or Feb 14th so that Valentine’s Day can be a celebration of a proper start to your new life where you are only looking forwards.’’
Once you have that fresh mindset, the fun can really begin. Owen points out that, single or couple, it is hard to escape the pervasiveness of Valentine’s Day – so why not use that fact to your advantage and bond with others in the same situation? She suggests that singles should ‘’log on to online dating more frequently and…have some fun banter with other daters about being single on Valentine’s Day.’’ She also points out that, ‘’whether you’re male or female, this time of year should make asking someone on a date much easier so if you can normally be shy about this, take advantage.’’
Valentine’s Day ideas for new couples
Valentine’s Day stress is not a trait that is exclusively felt by singles. Indeed couples can also feel the strain around this time of year, particularly if they are just beginning a relationship and aren’t sure what to expect. Owen suggests that the best way to proceed is gently and to remember that, when it comes to celebrations and gifts, ‘’it’s more important, for most, that it feel heart-felt than for it to be something expensive and extravagant.’’ She goes on to add that this is a great time to ‘’use your imagination! It’s often the small gestures that speak the loudest.’’
One such gesture is to embrace one of the all-time classic Valentine’s Day ideas and use the occasion to show off your cooking skills. Treating your new partner to a delicious DIY night in for two can help you avoid astronomical Valentine’s price increases at restaurants, but it has another bonus too – romance. Studies have shown that, with the right ingredients, cooking can be suggestive enough to be an aphrodisiac!1
If you need romantic inspiration, never fear – we have you covered. Our playlist of the 100 best love songs can set the mood perfectly, while our Pinterest board of the most Romantic Recipes (below) has menu ideas for two that should suit a huge range of diets (and degrees of cooking talent). Pour a glass of wine, pick a couple of gorgeous recipes and get planning – you’ll soon have all the ambience of a restaurant romance (with far more brownie points).
Whether you are single, looking for love or ready to explore a new relationship, EliteSingles can help you achieve your romantic goals this Valentine’s Day. Join us today!
All Sam Owen quotes from an exclusive EliteSingles interview, January 2015.
1 Helen Graves, writing for the Telegraph, 2014. Cook your date into bed: aphrodisiac recipes for Valentine’s Day. Found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/10620282/Cook-your-date-into-bed-aphrodisiac-recipes-for-Valentines-Day.html