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Valentine’s Day 101: A Guide for the Romantically Challenged

Valentine’s Day 101: A Guide for the Romantically Challenged
Written By
Photographs By
Nicki Sebastian for Parachute
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Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that feels kind of forced…but you’ve got to go for it anyways! If V-Day planning isn’t your strong suit, don’t feel badly. As always, we’re here to help. This guide covers everything from the best gifts to the worst flowers, so relax, shave and change your sheets for good measure.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

There is no place for skydiving on Valentine’s Day. No amount of creativity can touch the holy trinity of flowers, candy and dinner.

Dinner at Home

Planning to meet your date at 7:00pm on Valentine’s Day and then “grab a bite” somewhere? Sorry, but the only thing you’ll be “grabbing” is your rumbling stomach, when you realize every restaurant in town has been booked since January. Instead plan a romantic, candle-lit dinner at home – these fool-proof recipes are sure to impress.

Don’t Plan a First Date on Valentine’s Day, You Masochist

A first date on Valentine’s Day is way too much pressure. Even Notebook-era Gosling and McAdams could not have handled that. Go out another night. Literally any other night.

Flower Basics (Part I): What to Avoid

Everyone likes flowers. (Well, everyone except those who think flowers are pointless because “they’re just going to die in a week,” but you shouldn’t be with a downer like that anyway.) However, not all bouquets are created equal. So, for the botanically-challenged among you: avoid carnations and baby’s breath, which florists have been jamming into the bouquets of clueless but well-meaning lovers since the dawn of time.

Flower Basics (Part II): Are Red Roses Cheesy or Romantic?

Trick question! Red roses are cheesy AND romantic. Meaning, bring ‘em on. Nothing is corny on Valentine’s Day! One important caveat: Give your date either a single red rose (sexy) or a dozen red roses (decadent). Anything in between says, “I couldn’t afford a dozen.”

Beyond Chocolate

If you want to get your partner a present-present for Valentine’s Day, opt for something that arouses the senses, like jewelry, perfume oil, a super soft bathrobe – oh, wait! We’ve got that.

Bring it, Even if You Haven’t Brought it in Years

If you’ve been with your partner for years, Valentine’s Day may be less than bodice-ripping at this point. But how about, this year, getting a little bit romantic? Wash up, go out to dinner – and talk about happy things instead of work/politics!