You either love it or you hate it. It’s a day when you are encouraged to express your love in the form of premium-priced roses, chocolates, champagne and indulgent cards; when loved-up couples still in the first flushes of romance fill intimate, romantic restaurants; and when sexy, strong singles take a stand and head out into the night dressed to the nines.
But whether you buy into the traditional commemoration of romantic love, or prefer to see it as a modern-day commercial enterprise, there’s no denying Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to ask someone out on a first date, or simply spend some time with your loved one.
So, whatever you’re doing to honour the Christian martyr who goes by the name of Saint Valentine, here’s our rundown of our 6 best tips to get you in the romantic mood.
1. Make plans early!
Remember it’s next week, so if you haven’t already made a plan don’t wait until Tuesday morning to try and book a dinner reservation – it just won’t happen. Spontaneity sucks when it doesn’t work out and trying to plan a special night out for Valentine’s Day ON Valentine’s Day is generally a no-go.
2. Romantic dinner at home?
If you’re going to stay in and cook an amazing dinner for that special someone, plan it out and do the shopping early. There’s nothing worse than rushing around after work to get the ingredients and everything turns out pear-shaped. You’ll disappoint your partner/date, Jamie Oliver and yourself. If you plan ahead, you can think of some cheesy music and décor to make it obvious that you have put in a very special effort (because you have!) and make sure they know it’s not just another night at home watching Netflix.
3. Spend time alone together.
The night is about the two of you, and only the two of you, so don’t accept random invitations to do a double date with friends and have chocolate fondue. As harsh as it sounds, no matter how single your BFF is it’s not the night to include a third wheel – so don’t do that either.
4. Switch off!
Yep, switch off that phone. Save the selfies for another day – you don’t need to prove to the whole world that you’re doing something for Valentine’s Day. You’re out with that person and you’re all loved up, so that’s all the proof needed. Focus on each other and disengage from the world of social media for one night.
5. Don’t talk weddings.
Whatever you do, don’t go on about wedding proposals or the amazing gifts your other friends are receiving from their other halves. ESPECIALLY on a first date. While you may have something special coming, you may also not, so don’t make it awkward. Save the heavy conversations and deep relationship analysis for another time!
6. First date chemistry.
If this is your first date, it’s all about the chemistry! There’s actually some surprising and kind of crazy factors that come into play…
The glance – While looks aren’t everything, love is far from blind. There are a number of unique features that can attract us to a potential partner, including the symmetry of their face (weird!). However, while striking features may sometimes be drop-dead gorgeous, studies have shown that we are generally drawn to Mr or Ms Average, whatever our culture. According to scientists from the University of New Mexico, average features could be a sign of genetic diversity and good health.
The touch – If your date touches you 5 times in 15 minutes, you are totally in. Usually a man will find excuses to put his hands on you to see how you respond, such as touching your arm. If you tighten up and freeze, he’ll know to back off.
The banter – While talking a lot may point to a good date, studies have shown that it isn’t always the strongest factor. If you are on a date with somebody who is relatively quiet and maybe you are a relatively quiet person, too, that doesn’t matter as long as you are using similar speaking styles.
The use of function words such as personal pronouns, articles and conjunctions have been shown to indicate attraction. When two people are matching each other’s use of personal pronouns and articles, could mean that they’re on the same wavelength. So if your date is speaking in a detached fashion, using “the”, “it” and “that” often but you are throwing in plenty of “I” and “we”, then chances are it’s a no-go. Eek!
The moves – If your date is mirroring your moves, they are subconsciously telling you that they are interested in you. Sitting the same way as you, doing the same hand motions, and leaning the head in the same direction are all subtle cues of attraction.
The kiss – Ahh, the kiss! If the date has worked out and everyone’s happy/gushing, a kiss may be on the cards. And it’s such a crucial moment (sorry, try not to stress!). There’s apparently a whole load of studies on your sense of smell and taste in relation to genes and attractiveness, but let’s just keep it simple – if smooching this person gives you the creeps, cut your losses. But if the kiss makes you melt, second date it is!
Remember, it isn’t about the date – if you’re happy in a relationship with someone, every day is Valentine’s Day. Nawwwww.