Whether Valentine’s Day is full of hearts, flowers and butterflies, as far as you are concerned, or a stressful, mushy (overrated & commercialized) nightmare, one cannot deny that Valentine’s Day is the most popular, if not the perfect day of the year to say (and show) your love to your soul mate. That being said, it is also the second most celebrated day in the States (right after Christmas). Whatever your opinion, this is as good a time as any to score some merit points with the person you care about… especially, if you are a prince charming.
So if you are intent on keeping you relationship (and well-being) intact, with a little advance planning, you can save yourself a lot of stress and ensure a fun and romantic Valentine's Day. Remember, for last-minute-rush delivery of flowers, one pays through the nose and restaurants are flooded with requests for reservations on February the 14th.
The Early Bird…
Book early at your favorite romantic spot, at that hot new bistro or choose from our finest: The French Laundry, in Yountville California, Per Se in New York, at the south-east corner of Central Park, Le Bernardin in New York city, Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Alinea in Chicago and Chez Panisse in Berkeley California, all made it to the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world. You may also want to check out the hottest guide for the place closest to you. Since you left yourself some extra time, you can add a more personal gift, such as cuff links or a diamond stud earring for him, a diamond pendant or a diamond ring engraved with your lover's initials or a special message for her.
It doesn't have to be about how much you spend: A little time and creativity can make a gift that is far more personal and meaningful than flowers, roses and candy. Consider framing a photograph of the two of you, writing a silly love poem or making a scrapbook of photos and mementos of your relationship. Or just plan to make dinner at home, complete with champagne and candlelight – no time like Valentine’s to propose with a magnificent diamond engagement ring… Finally, you don't have to wait for Valentine's Day to be romantic--give small gifts, flowers or leave notes in the days leading up to the romantic day and you'll distinguish yourself from all those bouquets sent to the office on the 14th (consider adding a little diamond to your most endearing note…)
For those with unlimited means -- A jet? A private island?-- Pick from this list of outrageously expensive Valentine's Day gifts. An unusual find, such as an antique piece of jewelry, a haut couture designer dress or jacket or a first-edition book, may be worth that extra money (and time) for the impact it makes. As for jewelry, round brilliant diamonds are always in style for women, even if they're not going on a certain finger. Garnish it with a long weekend away at a secluded country inn, or some fabulously exotic locale and you’re sure to be her Valentine!
If you hate all the buzz and pyrotechnics surrounding Valentine's Day, you're not alone. If you find yourself single on Valentine's Day, or if you're in a couple and still prefer to ignore the overzealous florists, jewelers, confectioners and card makers of the world, you can still make the most of the day--or at least get through it with minimal discomfort. Couples can take the low-key approach (maybe a quiet dinner at home, a movie or a concert) while like-minded single friends can organize an anti-Valentine's Day party or outing--no red hearts, pink petals or brown chocolates allowed. Some cities even hold a large-scale anti-Valentine's Day event (search your local listings for information). And by all means, if you're single, don't hesitate to treat yourself to a great meal, a warm bath, a funny movie or something else equally comforting and indulgent.
And finally, on your own or coupled, you can always quote Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet: “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite”.