Valentine’s Day is creeping closer and closer. Do you have a date?
More and more people are turning to technology to find true love…. And (spoiler alert!) it’s working. With dating tools like Tinder, we can find love, even from thousands of miles away. In fact, according to research from Tinder, the top three cities for matches were Provo, Utah, New York, New York and Austin, Texas. Utah was definitely a surprise, but it’s not as shocking that the city of romance, good old NYC managed to snag that #2 spot.
For all of you couples in long-distance relationships, you must be texting like crazy to set-up date plans for Valentine’s Day. Things like dinner reservations and ordering flowers require a lot of discussion for sure. Interestingly enough, couples don’t tend to fall victim to the stress of pre-V-Day planning and constant texting, as Tinder studies show that some of the most used emojis on Valentine’s day are the winking face and the monkey covering its eyes. Sadly, the magnificent peach and the subtle eggplant are nowhere to be found. Saving those for the big night?
Despite the fact that it’s a day all about love and celebration, the stress is multiplied tenfold for Valentine’s Day. There’s the expectation that everything has to go smoothly and that you have to make it memorable. At the very least you want to be able to brag about it to your nosy friends. If you’ve been out of the dating game you might not know how to plan a date without scaring them away.
It can be a lot of pressure to make sure the big day is nothing less than perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Tinder’s resident expert, sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino offers her advice on how to plan your date based on when your romance took a swipe right into happily ever after.
If you matched three months ago:
At this point, you should know a great deal about your partner. Dr. Jess states, “Couples in relationships three months or longer typically feel comfortable having a formal Valentine’s Day, complete with date night and gifts.” When thinking of a gift you should know a bit more about their quirks, including both their likes and dislikes. Pull out all of the all romantic stops and make it a night to remember. Paint the town red, prepare a special gift for them and you can consider it a perfect Valentine’s Day.
Date idea: The classic dinner date night, gift exchange and a romantic post-dinner activity. Think fancy restaurant with roses and candles, dessert in a quirky and cute pastry shop or bakery, followed by a romantic look at the stars.
If you matched two months ago:
You’ve been dating for a while but you don’t have to break the bank yet. A simple gift will do and you can never go wrong with chocolates or flowers. Surprise your partner with notes when they wake up or get them some treats from their favorite bakery. Dr. Jess suggests, “If you want to make a statement, leave a sweet surprise on their doorstep or have flowers delivered to their office. It’s the little things that will make their day.” Let them keep guessing what’s in store for them. Small gestures like leaving a card for them or making dinner together will go a long way for cultivating your relationship further.
Date idea: Small gestures, culminating in a more low-key date night and gift exchange. Hit up a casual burger joint and feel free to trade chocolates and flowers.
If you matched one month ago:
If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably only met this person a few times. At this point in the relationship, just try to set up some quality time together and get to know each other more. Play a game of 20 Questions with dorky penalties. Make it fun and light. Keep it simple and avoid coming on too strong. The first month is all about getting to know one another now that you’ve established that the attraction is mutual.
Date idea: Stay casual. Grab drinks and keep up the flirtation. A single rose or a small chocolate gift will totally suffice. No matching tattoos, PLEASE.
If you matched two weeks ago:
If you only matched fairly recently, you’re probably stressing yourself out by trying to plan a perfect date for someone you haven’t known for too long. Just take a deep breath and keep things simple and sweet. Maybe go out for a movie or go ice skating for some lighthearted fun. According to Dr. Jess, “Whether you’ve had that first date already or not, Valentine’s Day gives you the perfect set-up to plan a cheesy outing or date night.”
Beware: The more intimate dates are better left saved for later months. If you or your date feels pressured to have a perfect Valentine’s Day, try to schedule your date for February 13 or 15 in order to make for a more casual outing. Nothing is more awkward than a silent dinner on Valentine’s Day. Yikes.
Date idea: SIMPLIFY. Ice skating, a movie or an arcade will all make for easy, guaranteed fun.
Whether it’s been five days, five months, or five years, we hope your Valentine’s Day is perfect. And if you don’t think it will be, you can always swipe right.