It’s that time of year when all the high street shops are decked out with hearts, red roses and pictures of Cupid. Restaurants are advertising their candlelit three-course dinners and florists are gearing up for their busiest time of year. Whatever you think about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, it can be a timely reminder to drop the to-do list and prioritise our loved ones.
Valentine’s Day gift etiquette can be a minefield, especially if you are in a new relationship. Our advice would be to play it safe and don’t be tempted to go over the top if it does not feel right. And remember that Valentine’s Day is not just for couples – it is an opportunity to show all the important people in your life how much you care.
Married couples may prefer to stick to traditional gifts such as bouquets of red roses, diamond jewellery or luxury chocolates. Even if you have been together for many years, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to push the boat out and treat your loved one. Giving an experience is always a unique twist whether it is theatre tickets or a weekend away in city you both want to visit.
If you are in the early stages of dating someone, it is sensible to steer clear of gifts that are very personal or overly extravagant. Your date may feel embarrassed if his or her gift does not measure up to yours or pressurised if you try to force the development of intimacy too soon.
The most romantic day of the year can be difficult for people who are not in a relationship so spare a thought for your single friends. If you have time, take them out for coffee and cake or to see a movie – romantic or otherwise. Gifts such as a book or tickets to a concert are also a thoughtful gesture.
Those who have lost a spouse through bereavement or divorce can feel particularly lonely and desolate at this time of year. Inviting them over for a cup of tea or dropping them a personal note can go a long way towards alleviating their feelings of isolation.