Valentine’s Day is approaching, so in this post, we’ve decided to cover a few basics on how to get ready for it—but not in the way you probably expected (though some examples of Valentine’s Day decor and Valentine’s Day gifts will be included).
Today, we’d like to introduce the “don’t do it” list and demonstrate how you can perfectly ruin the day—and why you shouldn’t probably attempt that. (Don’t tell us later we haven’t warned you!)
We’ll start with one of Valentine’s Day quotes:
“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”—George Sand
Oh, we know what you’re thinking. February 14th, huh? There’s so much fuss about it with its candlelight dinners and all-romantic Valentine’s Day images. Yet, if you look at the festive ambiance from a different perspective, the day gives you a brilliant chance to make a statement once and for all: “Oh, for God’s sake, I don’t care.” and sleep peacefully the following night…if you can.
Tip #1: What Day Is Valentine’s Day?
Let’s start with happy Valentine’s Day preparations. To thoughtfully and creatively ruin the entire thing, you should know when Valentine’s Day is in advance to understand what plans you can make—or in our case, what plans not to make.
If it’s a weekday and both of you are likely to be busy until the evening, the most natural solution is to go classic and meet for a romantic dinner. And the best way to make your partner utterly confused and disappointed is to ask them right at the beginning of Valentine’s night, “So, where do you want to go?”
“What? You haven’t made a reservation? Like, no reservation for today?” Bravo! Exactly, that’s the reaction you’ve been expecting. With Valentine’s Day being the second busiest day for restaurants during the year, not making a reservation is really a way to mount tension.
(Honestly, we don’t really recommend trying to pull this trick. Please make a reservation; after all, you’ll have to have this dinner anyway. So why not visit this fancy place you were discussing last month, right?)
In case Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, you can use the earlier question modification with pretty much the same effect, “So, what do you want to do today?” You make it perfectly clear that you haven’t even tried to consider how to spend quality time together and think of something unique (or even conventional) for a holiday (e.g., a weekend getaway).
(By the way, a getaway is a great idea.)
Tip #2: Valentine’s Day Dress Comment
If you want to screw everything up even more, pay close attention to what your partner is wearing on Valentine’s night. After a close inspection and a very long look, go with the following line, “Is that what you’re really going to wear tonight?” Perfect. After a proper moment of confusion and your partner’s attempt to understand what’s wrong with their outfit, proceed with, “Nothing, it’s fine.” Now, you’ve done it, you’re definitely leaving for a romantic dinner with mixed feelings of unease and mounting irritation on your partner’s side.
(Ok, your pride won’t be hurt if you give a compliment. Agree?)
Tip #3: Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas
This one is really easy. While others are browsing for cute Valentine’s Day decor ideas, do nothing. Better, don’t even pretend to clean up your place. Leave it as it is. In a restaurant, ask a waiter to remove all the glitter, candles, and heart-shaped elements from the table (it’s already small even for two, but you conveniently sit next to the bathroom, thanks to your thoughtful last-minute reservation).
(Alternatively, you can fill the house with candles. It’s easy, and it’s really beautiful.)
Tip #4: Valentine’s Day Cards
Your partner must be expecting a Valentine’s Day card, so you can disappoint them in the first place by 1) not sending them any happy Valentine’s Day message all day and 2) focusing on the menu straight on and having a nice long chat with a waiter as if your partner isn’t there. After all, cards are for birthdays, grandparents’ anniversaries, and friends’ weddings, right?
(Ok, it won’t hurt to put some effort into getting the card your partner will like. If a DIY Valentine’s Day card is too much for you, Hallmark, Etsy, and other stores have plenty of alternatives in all genres, and you can even go the extra mile and get a card that’ll turn into a flower. Rest assured, your partner or special someone won’t be able to forget this In Sympathy Watercolor card from Cute Rute in a hurry!)
Tip #4: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her and for Him
Here comes the next part: gift-giving. Guess what you need to do here? You’re right again—ignore the entire thing. Because there’s nothing more rewarding in this life than to see someone else’s expectations going down the drain slowly. Has your girlfriend been dreaming of a Winsor & Newton watercolor set? No way you’re spending a hundred bucks for this. Besides, Target has watercolors, right? Or maybe your boyfriend has been telling you that “Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Revolutionary Structure sounds like a fascinating read.” because he’s so much into the history of civil engineering? Ok, that’s affordable, but ordering it is too much effort (you’ve already made a reservation, so that’s enough for one night).
If your partner appears to be more thoughtful and comes with a present, and they’re not yet angry enough at you, it’s time to make them angry—accept their present with the utmost disinterest. Seriously, don’t take a second glance let alone unpack it. Whatever is in there, display the highest level of indifference. That’s right, passive aggression bordering on drowning self-esteem is what we’ve been aiming for.
(Ok, if in reality, you’ve been browsing for Valentine’s Day gifts for her and got stuck, you can always get a book. Yes, we know, it’s old-fashioned and classical, but it works. Just be careful: if your girlfriend is a philosophy major who’s mastered all levels of sarcasm, make sure you don’t wrap a Harlequin book to her, or reap the consequences.
Similarly, there’re plenty of ideas on Valentine’s Day gifts for him, but a book works perfectly well here, too. The longer you’ve been together, the easier it’ll be to find the book your partner would really like. By the way, at BooksRun, we have all sorts of books. Just saying…)
Tip #5: Valentine’s Day Movie
Finally, if your partner survives a disastrous romantic dinner next to the bathroom (with the drinks they hate and the food you’ve ordered for them), you can proceed to the final stage: a movie. To truly make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable for your partner, pick what they hate most. Use your logic here. The longer you know your partner, the better you can prepare. If horror stories terrify them (no matter how many times you tried to explain the fun of watching Stephen King’s adaptations late at night), suggest something exquisitely horrifying like Martyrs. This will guarantee them two hours of nervous suffering and a sleepless night. Alternatively, suggest watching a musical—this will work especially well if they repeatedly noted how they hated La La Land. All in all, if your tastes differ dramatically, don’t compromise; simply choose what you like (and pray that you stay alive at the end of the night). You can actually plan any pastime—not just Valentine’s Day movie—in the same manner: a concert, an exhibition, a dance party, etc.
(Oh rather, you shouldn’t. If you really want to watch a movie on Valentine’s Day, you should think about it in advance (and book the tickets if you want to go to the movies). If you’re really sick of romantic comedies, you don’t have to watch one. There’re plenty of movies to choose from. For a deeply thoughtful and delicate experience, try Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman. If you want a slightly erotic and deeply psychological experience with moments of poetry and emotional truth, we recommend Wim Wenders’s The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez. Alternatively, there’s emotionally resonant and visually stunning Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love, and so much more.)
Ok, let’s sum up. If you follow our advice (which we don’t recommend), chances are you won’t see your partner again. So unless that’s your intention, please don’t do anything that resembles the behavior in the tips we covered earlier. We all know that Valentine’s Day is probably overrated, but let us just stop right here and reconsider. Take it as a chance to be attentive to your loved ones—and give your relationship a spark. And even if you secretly hope that everyone around will completely forget February 14th, or if you’re completely clueless as to how to go about it, please don’t blow it off the calendar. Instead, use the recommendations we give in brackets to plan something special for your special someone.