Valentine’s Day. There’s a fine line to tread between showing affection and going too over the top, go to far either way and you run the risk of a lifetime of teasing or leaving your date running for the hills. Well, I guess they say the path to true love never runs straight…
“My husband bought me a mop. In his defence I had commented that it looked good and I was going to get one I just didn’t realise he would think it was an appropriate gift!” – Sophie
I’ve had my fair share of ‘bad’ Valentine’s days. From the year that I spent it weeping in bed over an ex-boyfriend (ahhhh teenage years…) through to the year I got given a ‘horny devil’ stuffed toy to unwrap in front of my mum, it’s taken a while. And, whilst there have been no real disasters, there have been plenty of cringe worthy moments to help me remember exactly why it’s a day I love and loath in equal measure.
“One year I had flowers turn up at work – not from my boyfriend. Which was slightly embarrassing given that my boyfriend worked in the same place. But that was nothing as I then had a SECOND bunch appear. Also not from the boyfriend. It’s a miracle I married him given that he got me nothing!” – Laura
I firmly believe that we shouldn’t limit showing those we love how we feel to just one day. That it’s far more special to receive a bunch of flowers on a random Tuesday because they thought you deserved a treat than to have to be told to. That I’d rather my husband show his love for me by filling the car with diesel or picking up a takeaway to save us having to cook. That it’s the little things throughout the year that tell me he loves me.
“On my first valentines day with my ex husband, he turned up 3 hours late for our date to find I had drank half a bottle of vodka while waiting for him to show. We missed our meal reservation and when he handed me my present – a Piglet toy which giggled when you pressed it’s tummy – I almost threw it back in his face. I have no idea why I went on to marry him….!!!” – Laura
After years of dealing with dodgy gifts, scribbled cards and cringeworthy flower deliveries, I feel like we’ve found our happy place for Valentine’s Day. Minimalist. We’ve got a strict no gifts or flowers policy (let’s face it, the years of dodgy stuffed teddies are long gone) and instead just exchange cards, even if they are still hastily written in the toilet at 6am that morning.
“My husband forgot to buy me a card so had to buy a children’s birthday card and cross out birthday and write valentines… so romantic!” – Alex
One thing we do insist on is having a nice meal. We tried the fancy meals out but the combination of forced romance and heart shaped edibles left us both shaking with laughter. Instead, we make the effort to cook something special at home and apparently we’re not alone; seven out of ten Brits prefer to be cooked for on a date night than eat out according to recent research from the UK’s leading recipe box brand, Hello Fresh.
“My ex took me to a restaurant on Valentine’s, but didn’t check the menu and it was all seafood. I was a vegetarian!” – Victoria
They found that 35% of us lead with a steak dinner, just like we tend to, and that chocolate and champagne are the biggest foodie turn ons with nearly 70% of us choosing one of those as our favourite aphrodisiac. With champagne off the menu this year (the non-alcoholic version just isn’t the same!), I’m firmly in that chocolate camp! We’ve gone a little left field by planning to have a duck recipe that my husband’s been perfecting for months and even the non-romantic in me can’t wait for our Valentine’s night in. Oh and the winning card, we can eat in our pjs before passing out in a food coma on the sofa.
Valentine’s Day, I think I may have cracked you but for anyone who needs a little more of a helping hand, read on…