Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means the price of red roses is rocketing, those of us who are in relationships are under pressure to get the scale of our romantic gesture right, and those of us who aren’t probably can’t bear the thought of one more sloppy playlist cropping up without invitation. While we all may be hoping to be swept off our feet this Valentine’s, it’s important not to be swept away, so here are our tips for enjoying Valentine’s to the full – no matter how you are celebrating the day.
Whether you’re a fan of the celebration or not, Valentine’s is going to be on everybody’s mind this month, so being prepared for what the day may offer can give you the edge – whether it’s planning a special moment with your partner or having a great time in or out (single and safe!)
Everyone has their own way of showing their affection for Valentine’s Day, from grand gestures to cosy nights with a card and a takeaway, so finding the balance that works for you could be what make this year’s red-letter day something to remember.
Staying safe in your relationship this Valentine’s Day
If you’re already in a relationship – lucky you! But that also may mean the pressure is on to create the perfect moment for yourself and your partner. However you’re planning to spend the day, here are our quick recommendations for being prepared:
- The big night out: Wanting to be wined and dined with a restaurant date? Check your preferred destination’s bookings in advance, as many other people could be having the same idea. With the lingering danger of coronavirus still with us, it’s also wise to make sure you bring a protective face mask and personal bottle of hand sanitizer, so you and your significant other can stay in control of your safety. Carex offers its Antibacterial Hand and Surface Spray in packs of six, keeping your protection pocket-sized and shareable – perfect for keeping in a bag or purse.
- The romantic night in: If you prefer to avoid the crowds, or are looking for something a little more intimate, consider having your Valentine’s at home! There are a number of great activities available that you and your partner can share, such as cooking a meal together, or watching a favourite romcom. Hello Fresh offers a range of quick and easy recipe boxes that can transform something even as simple as spaghetti into a dish that’s a little more impressively artisan. Or why not break out a traditional board game, to liven things up with some competitive fun? There are lots of board games that are designed for just two players, as well as a number that aim to help you and your partner understand one another better by providing great conversation starters, such as DiMoi and Our Moments, Couples Edition. Or you could take things to the next level with a game designed to spice up your relationship, such as Monogamy or Oh!.
- Setting comfortable boundaries: Whether you’re going out or staying in, make sure you feel secure in how you want the night to go. As Valentine’s is a day of romance, being clear with a new partner about your emotional and physical boundaries can help create a more comfortable evening and even strengthen your relationship. Mental Help has a great guide on the importance of setting boundaries in romantic relationships, to develop a better sense of trust and comfort. Besides, if something wouldn’t feel right if it weren’t for a grand romantic gesture on Valentine’s, it’s probably not right for you – yet!
Feeling secure on a Valentine’s first date
After a long period of coronavirus lockdown ups and downs, you may be itching to get back out on the dating scene! If you’re already discussing plans to meet up for Valentine’s with somebody you’ve been newly messaging on your phone, be aware that the big love feast may have catapulted your first IRL meeting sooner than you might usually feel comfortable with, which means it’s even more important to have the proper precautions in place.
- Keep a friend or family member informed: Meeting someone for the first time can carry a range of risks, so always make sure that someone you trust knows where you are. A good way to do this is by sharing a location pin with the Facebook messenger app on your mobile phone, or by sending regular updates through your preferred messaging platform.
- Follow first date rules: Although you and your date may be eager to meet properly for the first time, don’t let the excitement cloud your safety. The 10 golden rules for dating guide from dating experts eHarmony may have the advice you need, such as picking comfortable surroundings for your meeting – and laying off the booze!
- Try a virtual date: Worried about going out? Try having a virtual date instead! There’s a number of free-to-use video calling platforms available, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, that can let you get to know each other while still relaxing at home.
Having peace of mind for Galentine’s
For the singles out there, Valentine’s has a fun, younger sister: Galentine’s! Celebrated the day before the romantic holiday, it’s a way to shower your friends and fellow singles with love by getting glammed up and going out – or a quiet night in, if that’s what you prefer. But, whichever way you wish to spend it, keep calm and carry protection, so to speak…
If it’s a night out on the town you’ve been craving, it’s best to keep your wits about you. With increasing reports of drinks and needle spiking in the UK, make sure you’re always in clear sight or distance of a friend, who can warn you of any suspicious activity — especially if leaving your drink unattended. There are a number of pocketable products available for exactly this purpose, such as StopTopps, which create a foil barrier for your glass, or these bottle stoppers that are designed to prevent any invasive substances being added to a bottled drink.
At home, however, it can be a different story. Whether your friends have gone out but have returned with unknown guests, or you’d rather not see the whole night through and returned earlier than the rest, it can unsettling when you can’t have full confidence in the locks on your bedroom door. Having a portable door security device is a great solution, giving some precious, added protection when you’re at your most vulnerable! Some great examples of this are the Howsarlock, which fits simply over a door handle to prevent any unwanted entry, or the DoorJammer Portable, which has an award-winning, police-accredited design that stops almost any in-swinging door from impressive levels of impact. No bigger than an iPhone, the small but mighty tool can give you instant peace of mind overnight — just what you need to feel that little bit safer this Valentine’s!