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The Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

Posted at 8:00 am, February 14, 2013 in Fun London

Just in case you hadn’t noticed the abundance of hearts hitting London’s shop windows, the offensive amount of red and pink flooding your vision or the unnecessary amount of glitter floating in the air, we thought we’d state the obvious: it’s officially Valentine’s Day. Yes. The annual holiday that all cynics and singles dread every year is once again upon us and between the pressure of gift buying, accidentally organising a first date on the ‘most romantic day of the year’ and bumping into loved up couples all day long, Valentine’s Day can get pretty stressful. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate Valentine’s Day Survival Guide. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, just met that special someone or rolling solo, make the most of today by following these simple tips. Carly-Ann Clements

For couples

Today is for you. If you have someone special in your life, it’s time to celebrate your relationship… or just an excuse to do something really nice and slack off the rest of the year.

Last minute plans

If you are in a relationship you’re bound to be doing something today, right? What? You forgot? Not to worry, there are plenty of things you can do.

mean girls amber dalessio hotdog gif

Like heading to Herman ze German to pick up a couple of hotdogs and going for a walk along the river. As long as, you know, you don’t have a ‘special’ history with hotdogs.

Will and Grace gif

Want a sit down meal but everything’s full to capacity? Head to one of London’s no-bookings restaurant - but just make sure you don’t piss off any of the singles who might be nearby.

Quirky events to earn you serious brownie points

Fed up of the usual dinner and a show? Want to try something different? Then why not head to one of these alternative events:

Happy Endings scavenger hunt gif

What’s more romantic than team work? A scavenger hunt could make your relationship stronger (or crash and burn if you’re both terrible at directions) and with HiddenCity’s Cupid Conundrums you can explore London’s secret romantic locations with a few sweet nibbles along the way. Perfect.

swing dance gif

Want to hit the dancefloor but avoid pumping beats and sweaty bodies brushing against you? Head to the Valentine’s Tea Dance at East Wintergarden. There’s even a drop-in workshop beforehand to ensure you don’t try anything that you might regret in the morning.

Long distance relationships

For you unlucky souls away from their loved ones, there are plenty of ways you can spend time together today:

Quintana Skype

Like Skyping.

Or watching a movie together and discussing it over the phone.

But just make sure that you can have some proper alone time and that you’re the only one with access to the phone or, more importantly, the computer.

Don’t be a dick

Sorry guys, but sometimes loved up couples can be real dicks. Here’s a guide to make sure you don’t piss off all of those around you while you’re out and about tonight:

Keep the PDAs to a minimum please. Nobody wants to see your tongue, but keep your hands in full view, OK?!

public display of affection demotivational poster

I mean seriously… have some self respect!

Max, Happy Endings gif

And don’t yammer on and on about how wonderful your relationship is. Nobody cares! Don’t use cutesy voices on public transport. Don’t tell your colleagues about the a-mah-zing evening you have planned. Valentine’s Day is for you and your partner. Don’t get others involved. They will hate you for it.

Do not, we repeat, do not drag a load of your friends and/or strangers to a public place to put on a show so you can ask someone to marry you. It may seem romantic and a good idea but you’re going to piss off a lot of people, put a lot of pressure on your relationship and you’ll never know if they only said yes to avoid embarrassment. Think about that for a minute.

And whatever you do, don’t break up with your partner on Valentine’s Day. Everyone will find out and you will forever be known as ‘that heartless wanker’.

New couples and first dates

So, you’ve accidentally asked someone you barely know out for Valentine’s Day. What to do? We’ve got some tips on how to have a successful date.

Cougar Town gif Happy Endings Gif

Find some common ground. No matter what it is, avoid those awkward silences by talking about something you both love.

Don’t eat anything messy! What’s more embarrassing than getting sauce all over your face, spinach in your teeth or falafel down your shirt? So keep it clean people. Even if that rack of ribs does tick all the boxes.

Liz Lemon "no cake" gif

No matter what, make sure there’s something gooey for dessert. Whether you’re making a meal at home, taking them out, or you’ve done a Joey and eaten it while they went to the loo, the dessert is the most romantic course. Skip it at your peril! Use our guide to the London’s best ice cream parlours to ensure a sweet end to the evening.

If you’re trying to avoid the crowds and want to stay at home with your new potential lover, make sure you keep the food light to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.

And make sure to avoid all awkward, food related innuendos. There really is no going back from that.

Telling your crush you fancy them

There’s no better time to make your move than Valentine’s Day. Okay, that’s probably a lie. It probably should have been at the Christmas party when a whacking big bunch of mistletoe was going around and everyone was pissed. But bar waiting another ten months, it’s pretty much now or never. Just remember:

Don’t jump the gun! You can’t just run around kissing people. At least wait until they give you a sign.

But, you know, some people might need it spelt out to them.

And some might need it to be even clearer than that.

For singles

It’s tough being single on Valentine’s Day, especially if all your friends are loved up. But this isn’t a day to be down in the dumps! Turn that frown upside down and remember:

You’re a strong, independent person who has chosen to be single. Embrace it and count yourself lucky. You could be on a terrible date.

And on that note…

Don’t go on a date for the sake of going on a date. A last resort date is bound to be worse than no date at all. Wouldn’t you rather have some me time or spend the evening with your family? Unless Hawksmoor is on the cards, obvs.

Don’t wallow. There’s so much you can do! London doesn’t just stop because there is red branding all over the place. Unlike Christmas, normal service continues throughout Feb 14. You can just go about your business as normal.

Or invite all your single friends round to celebrate your freedom?

Or just head to Meat Liquor with a bunch of friends and stuff your faces? Any couple who wants to spend their romantic evening surrounded by burgers and booze is okay with us!

And if you hook up, high fives all round! You beat Valentine’s Day.

Just make sure it’s not with someone that’ll be really awkward to face in the morning.

And that you’re not so drunk that you’d make out with anyone or anything.

But most importantly, remember that couples are generally gross and that Valentine’s Day is actually incredibly lame.

If that didn’t put you off and you need more romantic ideas, see timeout.com.

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