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How to create a successful Valentine’s Day from a female perspective

Valentine’s Day can be tricky. The simple days of handing out cheesy cardstock valentines to everyone in the class are over.

For those in long-term relationships, new relationships or what I like to call the “what are we?” relationships, Valentine’s Day holds, in one way or another, some sort of importance.

Some couples like to go all out, while others like to keep the day simple and low-key.

With so much significance surrounding one single day, some people experience the inevitable anxiety about finding the “perfect” gift and planning the “perfect” date. And sometimes, Feb. 14 quietly sneaks up, leaving us to find a restaurant without a wait-list and a less-than-orig- inal present that hopefully arrives on time.

For all the bewildered people out there looking for something for their lady — do not fret. With a little creativity and obviously some love, a great Valentine’s Day is just a few ideas away.

The first step in any Valentine’s Day master plan is to actually make a plan. I don’t mean a vague “let’s do something on the 14th” sort of plan. I mean a real plan with the answers to who, what, when and where. Most women love plans, so a well thought out blueprint of the day’s festivities might just be a gift in itself.

There are countless ways to spend Valentine’s Day with that special someone, but it all depends on the couple.

Most women understand that elaborate plans do not always end up like they do in movies, so original, simple Valentine’s Day ideas are often the most successful.

A warm indoor picnic is a fun, easy way to spend the day at home, without spending too much. Order in favorite foods from restaurants around town, play a romantic comedy and snuggle up on the couch. A laid-back Valentine’s evening is as simple as that.

For the couple that wants to get out of the house on Valentine’s Day, there are still plenty of simple options. To make the day even more sentimental, pick a restaurant where you first went as a couple and ask for the same table or booth. To switch things up, look for local plays or concerts instead of a regular old movie.

If a couple wants to go all out for Valentine’s Day, it often takes more planning than a date at home or out on the town. The surprises that women actually love are those that involve getting away from everyday routines. A day trip to explore close by towns adds a little adventure to the day. It is fun to try something new together, on a day meant for togetherness.

While Valentine’s Day is about love and appreciation, it is OK to get material and buy something small.

In my experience, most women love original, but useful gifts. Chocolate and flowers are great, but eventually those dwindle away. A nice candle, a favorite book, new makeup, apartment accessories or kitchenware may all seem like practical presents, but they show that you know the taste and aesthetic of your significant other.

There really is no way to create a disappointing Valentine’s Day, as long as couples put in some extra effort and find something they can enjoy together.

Hailey Stewart can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu


Planning a manly Valentine’s Day is easier than it seems

For decades, the stereotypical image of Valentine’s Day has been of a frazzled husband running through the supermarket in search of a last-minute bouquet of roses.

As stores throughout the country decorate aisles with red and white decorations, people are provided with a constant reminder of the need to plan a special night for loved ones.

While the pressure lies primarily on men to deliver a memorable occasion, women in committed relationships also face a surprising conun-drum — what should they do for the man in their life?

Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration for men can be unquestionably difficult, since chocolate and teddy bears are not always likely to do the trick.

But those experiencing some uncertainty this holiday — worry no longer. There are a number of different options for Valentine’s Day depending on the budget.

If a man spends his free time glued to the television as he watches the big game, he will probably take his significant other up on an offer to spend an afternoon on the couch as he teaches them more about the sport.

For the partner who can’t seem to be peeled away from the gym, their significant other can’t go wrong with a couple’s day at the Student Recreation Center. Not only will the couple move closer toward personal fitness goals, but physical activity can actually help people in relationships feel more satisfied with their partner, according to Psychology Today.

Expensive champagne may be the go-to drink for Valentine’s Day, but your man will likely have just as much fun with a growler and two pint glasses. Breweries in the Moscow community, such as Rants & Raves, serve a wide variety of beers and ciders that are sure to delight the pickiest of taste buds.

Another affordable option to consider is the creation of a home-cooked meal. Even those lacking the culinary skills of Wolfgang Puck can earn appreciation from their significant other due to the sincerity of the gesture.

An old proverb states, “the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and very few will disagree with these words of wisdom.

To the many partners who find themselves in a last-minute panic this Valentine’s  Day: Take a deep breath and remember what the holiday really represents — an opportunity to show some affection and appreciation for the loved one in your life.

Josh Grissom can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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