Let’s start with a definition: “Valentine’s Day (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery.”
Wow – I can assure you that wasn’t what we were expecting! Although for a personal introduction agency, the concept that ancient Romans were pairing couples by lottery was fascinating. We’ve certainly come a long way since then. But for us, every day is Valentine’s Day, because we work in a world where we’re spending our time getting to know our members, using our experience and intuition to come up with dates that will be fulfilling and fun and might lead to a permanent relationship.
Of course not everybody loves Valentine’s Day, which is why we want to explore how we can make every day more romantic and fulfilling – not least because it takes the pressure off the one day of the year when we’re pretty well required to be romantic.
Valentine’s Day no-nos
There are some really strange suggestions out there about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day. When we were researching this blog post, we ended up shaking our heads at some of the whackier advice being offered. Let’s just round up a few things we wouldn’t suggest you do:
- “Kiss their forehead. Women and men find this loving and comforting so make them feel cherished” By all means kiss your date’s forehead if that seems natural to you, but seriously, don’t do it if it doesn’t … that’s going to come over as very ritualistic.
- “Take a long drive with no agenda and no destination in mind.” Don’ Just don’t. This is creepily, serial killer style behaviour. Even doing this with a long-term lover might be weird, but doing it with a new date – absolutely not.
- “Randomly text or tell them a joke. Write one on a slip of paper and tuck it in their briefcase, lunch, favourite book or wallet.” We have a whole blog on sense of humour – go and read it. Basically, joking by text or letter is high risk, unless you know the other person’s sense of humour really well.
Making Valentine’s Day work for you
If we start dating in December or January, February 14 looms large. We don’t know our date that well yet, but the pressure is on to ‘get it right’ on Valentine’s Day. At Select Personal Introductions we think discussing previous Valentine’s Days, Christmases and birthdays is a good ice-breaker. It allows you both to dig deep into your histories and tell some funny or sweet stories. You get to discover what the other person’s preferences and dislikes are, and that gives you a bit of planning time to design a date that you’ll both enjoy and feel comfortable with.
Somehow we come up with the idea that we’re supposed to know how to do things and that we’re going to be judged if we ask for help. Not true. Our matchmakers have loads of experience helping people create a fun, rewarding evening – given that in 2021 we’ll probably be doing a Lockdown Valentine’s Day they have also put thought into how to help our members have a memorable Valentines for all the right reasons, so why not check in with your matchmaker and see what they suggest?
Be genuine and personal
A gift that recognises and acknowledges who your date is will probably be better received than a classic red rose or bottle of wine. One of our couples had a fantastic Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago, when they’d only met a couple of times. He bought her sports socks which he’d wrapped in pink tissue paper, she paid for an indoor tennis court session for the two of them. They were both sporty and they still talk about how that date was what decided they were right for each other.
The greatest gift of all is to listen to the other person. It sounds so feeble, but it’s one of the strongest tools for developing a great relationship. Especially when you’ve only just met, being able to listen to your date without interruption or thinking about what you’re going to say to impress them is a powerful way to get to know them, and also to pay them the compliment of your complete attention.
The great thing about this advice is that it applies to every day. If you’re building a relationship with somebody, then treating every day like Valentine’s Day is a great idea, for them and also for you, because it gives you a chance to make love a priority in everything you do.