Let's get straight to the point, if ever there was a time to celebrate relationships, now is it! Valentine's Day provides the perfect excuse to shut the rest of the world out and share some quality time. Put the children to bed, turn off your phones, clear your minds of the daily to do list and relax. If you've followed our guide to creating the perfect evening beforehand then you will have a lot to look forward to...
1. Make sure you have a card organised before the day. Using your organisational skills to plan ahead shows how thoughtful you can be and by adding a little message inside like "Only eight hours before I can see you..." will set the tone perfectly for the day and evening ahead.
Try a card site like moonpig.com to make life easy.
2. Flowers always win brownie points. Everyone likes to receive flowers, so a bouquet arriving at work or at home will certainly raise a smile. Plan in advance to make sure you get the delivery slot you need. If local florists aren't open, try an online florist such as Bloom & Wild.
3. Have a few love quotes up your sleeve. Dropping the odd cultural love quote into conversation will either enhance the love mood or make you laugh! Either way, it's a lovely moment to share. Swot up using handy sources of quotes such as GH's "75 Best Love Quotes That Will Make Anyone Believe in True Love"
4. Organise a romantic evening meal at home. Staying in is the new going out so trust us, sharing a meal together at home is definitely something to look forward to. Depending on how good you are in the kitchen or how adventurous you are feeling, you could cook a delicious meal for the two of you. Cook books or a wonderful source of inspiration, however, if there are none on your shelves, go online how to guides from places like BBC Good Food, Country Living or Bon Appetit.com. Don't forget candles for a bit of ambience too.
The meet in the middle option is to have a ready made kit arrive for you to cook. Worzels make a fantastic choice if you fancy cooking but none of the planning and shopping.
On the other hand, if cooking and doing the washing up doesn't grab you at all, then why not order in? Have someone else slave over the stove and deliver you a hot and ready to eat stunning three course meal for two. Local places such as Sweet Things Savoury are ideal for this.
5. Think outside the box. If an evening meal doesn't float your boat, or you're working in the evening or indeed have the family with you, why not go for a delicious afternoon tea instead? A special Valentine's afternoon tea that you can oooh and aaah over can make the day perfect. Try local again with Sweet Things Savoury.
6. Know your plonk from your Pinot! Not everyone is a wine connoisseur so to make sure your wine compliments the dishes you choose, try using the Hello Vino app which in their own words "is your virtual wine assistant. Buying wine is fun and easy with Hello Vino's recommendations for food and wine pairings, special occasions and personalized wine picks based on your taste preferences." Marvellous!
7. Think of conversation starters. Tumbleweed floating across the living room is not going to help the romantic mood, and whilst silence as you stare into each other eyes can be mood enhancing for a time, it can wear a bit thin if it lasts the length of dinner! So, what can you think of to start and keep the conversation flowing - nothing but positive topics so planning a holiday (even if it is for 2022), current affairs, how the family are doing, adding to your bucket list, latest movie, series or song releases that you might like to see/download... you get the idea. For inspiration try Mantelligence's top conversation topics for couples.
8. Set the mood with a romantic playlist. There is no doubting that the right music can have a positive effect on our mood and create real atmosphere. Just choose your favourite romantic songs and compile a playlist or if time is a little tight try Smooth FM.
9. Take a quick romantic walk before bed. Controversial I know however, bear with me... Having had a gorgeous meal, with stomach's full you'll be likely feeling a little drowsy or lethargic. Grab your winter woollies and pop out for a quick stroll to clear your heads and energise yourselves. Hand in hand of course!
10. And now the evening draws to a close. You've had an amazing evening together, shared a laugh and you can feel the love... you can see where we're going with this! Why not try something new in the bedroom to spice things up and keep the mood going? If you have planned some new moves in the bedroom, your partner will really appreciate the thought you have put into the evening and no doubt will reciprocate. You can get lost of ideas for new techniques and positions from the good old Kama Sutra or for a more modern take with a bit more commentary to guide you, you cannot beat Cosmopolitan's guide to Sex Positions and the Kama Sutra
So now you have it, a 10 step guide to planning your perfect Valentine's night. Whatever you do though, make it special and enjoy each other in the moment.