Valentine’s Day (or V-Day, as it is becoming known) can be a nightmare; I get it. I do. Having been single for more years than I’ve been in a relationship, I know what it’s like to sit at home, alone, while the TV programming is saturated with vomit-inducing films as you imagine happy cooing couples spoon feed each other mouthfuls of meltingly gooey chocolate pudding.
But, then, on the other side, I’ve been sat at a restaurant dining table, opposite my partner, as we parry shy and heartfelt expressions of like or love, with a fresh bunch of flowers in a vase at home, a box of chocolates on a side table and a brand new set of lingerie digging into my ribcage and muffin top.
And then there’ve been times when, if allowed to, I’d happily ignore the day altogether; not due to my relationship status, but due to, well, not really caring at all.
Horse for courses, my friends. So here is how to do Valentine’s Day your way.
Romantic. For those in the first flush of love.
Film – The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, or anything with Meg Ryan in
Food – Coquille St Jacques, followed by venison haunch with fondant potatoes and that gooey chocolate pudding I mentioned above
Drink – Start with a Peach Bellini, move on to a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and finish up with a full-bodied Merlot
Outfit – For women, an elegant dress (think blush pink lace) with simple gold jewellery and black court shoes; for men, trousers with a shirt and silk tie, and brogues
Activity – A moonlit stroll (wrap up warm!), back massages and saying ‘yes’ if he gets down on one knee
Sexy. For those seeking a bit of spice.
Film – Might I be suggesting the obvious with the new release, Fifty Shades of Grey? For those that don’t fancy sharing the cinema with other (sweaty) couples, try 9½ Weeks or that one where Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs
Food – Oysters, a rare fillet steak with fries, and strawberries with chocolate sauce that can serve a multiple of purposes
Drink – Prosecco, Pinot Noir and a vodka shot for courage
Outfit – For women, a spritz of your muskiest perfume and a new set of lingerie (avoid red lace, unless it’s burgundy); for men, aftershave and a new pair of boxers
Activity – Do I need to spell it out? Perhaps, now is the time to try something new… role playing, dress up, toys
Girly. For those chilling with girlfriends.
Film – Sex And The City, Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion or anything with Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn
Food – Be a cliché: ice cream, chocolate, pizza, Nutella from the jar. Enjoy
Drink – Cosmopolitans and oreo milkshakes
Outfit – PJs and no bras (bliss)
Activity – Paint your nails and use a face mask or dress up to the nines, hit the town and enjoy a night out with all your favourite girl pals
Rebellious. For those wishing it was any other day.
Film – Salt, The Avengers, or any film with a strong female protagonist who leaves her male counterparts eating her dust
Food – Chilli and garlic prawns, spaghetti bolognaise, and Stinking Bishop with cheese biscuits
Drink – Beer or fizzy pop
Outfit – Yesterday’s clothes
Activity – Shaving your legs, squeezing those blackheads, taking the bins out
Carefree. For those who really don’t care.
Simple: as you were!