How to Have a Great Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming!

Also known as Singles Awareness Day to many, this is one day of the year that can make your heart soar or drop you to new lows, depending on what your expectations are and what your frame of mind might be.

Image Sourced from michellecloud on Photobucket

So powerful are the clutches of Cupid on Valentine’s Day that many have taken to shunning it altogether. Ugly words like “commercialism” and “tacky” and “one-hundred-and-twenty-bucks-for-a-dozen-red-roses” are flung around by nay-sayers who have written off the day in favor of “doing nothing” to celebrate.

You know guys, when a woman tells you she doesn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day, it’s a trap!

Run! Run now and get a shovel to start digging your way out of the hole you’re about to fall into.

Hopefully you’re reading this post with a few days to spare, so you can turn this romantic almost-disaster around.

If you’ve already got Valentine’s Day planned, perhaps a few well-timed hints will help make the day extra-special.

Don’t make it expensive, make it thoughtful

Yes, the roses will be overpriced. Plus, anyone can think of giving red roses on Valentine’s Day. They’re classic and they’re beautiful, but they’re not very original.

Consider getting your partner something that is personalized just for them. It needn’t be a big gift … or even a gift at all!

You probably know your partner pretty well by now (here’s hoping!). What’s their love language?

Perhaps they’d like to spend some Quality Time with you (a picnic in the park or a trip to an art gallery) or they’re into Acts of Service (nothing says “I love you” like cleaning the house and then drawing them a hot bubble bath, complete with soft candlelight and a glass of champagne), or maybe they like Words of Affirmation (a handwritten love letter, a poem, or a beautiful card they can keep) … are you catching my drift?

It might be as small as bringing home their favorite brand of chocolate and a DVD they love. Or as grand as a three-course home-made dinner.

Put in some thought and some effort and they’ll melt to a puddle of goo right before your eyes.

Whatever you do, stay away from the crowds

If you’re not into Valentine’s Day, the last place you want to be is right in among the tables of two lined up in restaurants, striving to have a good Valentine’s Day. Find something quirky or off-beat to do that also affords you a bit of privacy. A stroll on the beach and a fish-and-chip picnic. A great ethnic restaurant. The drive-ins!

This goes for singles too. If you head out on Valentine’s Day, do it with other friends. And go to the least romantic place you can think of: the bowling alley, a skating rink … a horror movie!

Lower those expectations

Just reach above your head for a moment (you may need a ladder!) and grab hold of those Valentine’s Day expectations. Now wrench them back down to a reasonable level for me.

I once met a girl who—without fail—would scream, curse, and sob if her boyfriend-of-the-moment didn’t act “appropriately” on Valentine’s Day.

By “appropriately” she meant “Wake me up with breakfast in bed, then by the time I get to work there better be roses waiting on my desk with a lovely card. And then book an expensive romantic restaurant for dinner and present me with jewelery” (preferably a diamond ring in her champagne, I’m sure).

That’s an extreme example, but just ask yourself ahead of time what you are expecting for Valentine’s Day.

Some people will say “nothing” when they really meant “something”, and then you’ll spend the day asking them, “What’s wrong?” (They will probably sullenly repeat “nothing”—or, worse, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”)

If you are really attached to a certain something that might happen on Valentine’s Day, you need to speak up. Your partner isn’t a mind-reader. Either let them know what plans you’d like to make, or make the plans yourself for the two of you. That way you’re sure to have the Valentine’s Day you’re secretly dreaming of.

What are your Valentine’s or Singles Awareness Day plans?

About Emma

Emma Merkas is the co-creator of couples' inspiration website $30 Date Night and author of the 'How Was It For You?' relationships and dating column in Australian newspaper, mX. You can also find her at her own blog or on Twitter @30dollardate.


  1. I agree with the speak up if there is something you really want to do. Our spouses cannot read our minds and it just sets us up for a letdown if we don’t let them in on the secret!
    BTW- we’ve been marrried almost 30 years!
    The Gifts of Imperfection- A Giveaway!

    • Bernice, congratulations on your almost-30 years together! Do you and your spouse do anything to celebrate Valentine’s Day after all this time?

  2. I used to have something of a tradition of giving stolen gifts on St V Day (gasp!). Nothing too dramatic — just flowers swiped from a local park, for example. Maybe it’s time to revive the tradition…

  3. Very comforting thoughts for singles.

  4. I expect nothing for Valentines Day so I am always happy if I get something and just fine if I get nothing. Hopefully none of these “gifts” are enough to measure up to the love you feel. In these tough times be thankful for what you do have.

    • Thankful is a great word for it! I think it’s the thought that counts. Even if your sweetheart just gives you a kiss in the morning and thanks you for being you, that’s a lovely acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day.

  5. It’s amazing how people can make something so simple so complicated. I plan to have a wonderful day on Valentine’s Day. I am single, divorced, over 40 and none of that matters. I’m going to have a great latte, read a book and give myself some little luxuries I usually decide I can’t afford or don’t have time for. I don’t have a big plan for the day, I’m not a planner. But I am going to enjoy the day, just because I can!

  6. I think valentine day is grate day i really enjoy it with my girlfrend i love it…

  7. If my boyfriend put half as much effort in as this article suggests you should, I’d definately be a very happy bunny. But as it happens, last valentine’s day, he was WORKING. (so I don’t expect this years Valentine’s day to be any better)
    I’d be happy with a single red or white rose and a stroll on the beech, or taking our horses out to watch the sunset from horseback. He doesn’t really do all that “mushy stuff”. lol

  8. This is a very simple, to the point article. I just made, what feels like a mistake, by giving my boyfriend a List of what I would like for Valentine’s Day. I am 24, he’s 31 and we have 3 children at home. I constantly am pleading out for romance and “effort” on his behalf and feel like he just doesn’t get it or it is really hard for him to meet my expectations. I have been given the great advice of “when all else fails, lower your standards”, which is invaluable to me at this point. I haven’t really had a nice birthday, mother’s day, valentine’s day in a long time. I am usually disappointed if not completely let down. So I finally just thought about going ahead and Telling Him Exactly what I want. Now I feel awful that I even had to take any creativity or surprise from it. The List: (my favorite flowers) White Lilies and a few pink roses with a (badly NEEDED) new vase, perferably clear or frosted. Chocolate Covered Raspberries (raspberries are my favorite, and from our local candy store Valos, these are INCREDIBLE!). Some new candles (not expensive ones, but we’ve recently over used the ones I’ve had because of my pleas for More Romance). A “pretty house” which I will have cleaned and ready for him to decorate in some manner, cleaned out vehicles for going to dinner (3 children and winter are devastating to the interior), and a few weeks ago I purchased a new dress and shoes (both for under $50!) for going out to dinner. And my older brother is a Chef at a lovely restaurant that we enjoy, a 7 pm dinner resv. is very possible for The Addision House. Then I want to go some where after for a little while that’s “romantic” and that can be up to him. …. Too Much to ask for? or is just ASKING for it too much? :/

    • CrunchyMomma says:

      Addey… don’t give up. I highly recommend you read the book “The 5 Love Languages”. It has really helped us out tremendously. If your “love tank” is feeling empty, imagine your spouses is probably feeling the same or worse. After reading this book together my husband and I realized how completely different our love languages are from each others, and that is why we were feeling so “empty”, we had to realize we speak different languages, learn the others and then DO something to change it. Seriously… read the book. 🙂

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