A Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is a day celebrated by lovers all over the world. Although,  Valentine’s Day was named after St. Valentine, a philanthropist who spent his life in the service of humanity. The date later metamorphosed to a day specially adopted for celebration of passion by lovers. Therefore, Valentine’s day isn’t Christmas day neither is it a world gift sharing day. Only lovers may have expectations of each other on St. Valentine’s day.

That’s not to say that one may not carry out a charitable act or special act of kindness on Valentine’s Day. This is accepted. The emphasis though, is that only lovers who care about Valentine’s day have expectations of each other, not friends, families, co-workers, etc.

Now that we’re clear on the idea behind St. Valentine’s day celebration, let’s look at a few guiding principles that can help make the day both seamless and memorable.

  • Discuss the day in advance.  I know this might sound as a spoiler for those who like to plan surprises, but many people have also ruined their Valentine’s days just because they had no idea what their partners had planned out.

  • Personalize your invitation. Personal invitations are the most effective kinds of invitation. When planning to ask your date out, make it either a face to face invitation or a phone call. Don’t be too formal by sending an email, memo or a third party invite. Keep it personal.

  • Make a reservation . Preparation is key! Whether you’re planning a trip, a night out, a dinner at a restaurant or you’re ordering something in, understand that February 14th is a very busy day for the hospitality industry. Early reservations puts everyone at ease and makes executions seamless.

  • Flowers are special. The time honoured tradition of gifting a lover flowers remains a classic. Even if you can’t afford a full bouquet of flowers, a single rose is also a beautiful statement. On the flip side, if you receive flowers on Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter, do so graciously knowing that you are specially thought of. Also, take care of the flower you receive. Do not toss it aside. Fresh flowers are reserved in a flower vase with water and can last for about a week. For a longer preserve, you may wish to include three( 3) cubes of white sugar and two (2) table spoons of white vinegar. While the sugar nourishes the plants, the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth. This way, your flower flourishes . This is a floral trick.

  • Dress up. It’s Valentine’s Day. Put a little more effort into your appearance. Make sure that hair, manicure, pedicure are taken care of ahead of Valentine’s Day. No last minute rush! Don’t forget to wear a nice fragrance.

  • Be Punctual! Never keep your date waiting. It is very rude! If you happen to be running late, be sure to communicate effectively.

  • Be open minded. Yes, I earlier stated that Valentine’s Day is for lovers but that is not to say that single people don’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day. There are a good number of social events that are organised to celebrate Valentine’s Day and a prospective lover may invite you out to one of such. There are an array of events organised for singles to mingle and who knows, you just might get lucky. So,when invited for a Valentine’s Day event, if you’re comfortable going out with your invitee, dress the part and stay positive.

  • Remember your table manners.  Nothing is as awkward on a date as being with a person who lacks table manners. It is a turn-off that has ruined many chances. An in-depth examination of the topic “The Art of Fine Dining ” in the book My Etiquette and I, will definitely prepare you for an exquisite dining experience.

  • Create the ambience. If you decide to do something intimate, like hosting your partner to a dinner at home, set the table very nicely with scented candles, rose petals and lovely diffusers and music. If the bedroom is a part of the Valentine’s Day activities, do ensure sparkling bed linens, nice sleep wears and room fresheners are considered. These can be purchased at affordable rates in stores close to you.

  • A gift is a gift. I love the American saying “it’s the thought that counts”. When it comes to receiving gifts, there should be no explanations. This helps you to genuinely appreciate what is given to you. Be grateful for the fact that you were thought of in the first place. On the other hand, when you think of buying your partner a gift, be practical.
    By being practical, I mean think of something that will add value to them. No matter how small or big, it will be appreciated if it has value. For example, buying a man who has a fleet of exotic cars, a salon car to add to his fleet may not be as valued as buying the same man an exotic wallet  if you notice he doesn’t have one. The idea is to serve a need within your means.


    If you’re single and have no one to ask you out, be kind to yourself. If you really care about yourself, ask yourself out, take yourself out and treat yourself exactly as you would wish to be treated by someone else. By loving yourself, you teach others how to love you.

If you’re in a relationship of any kind, be a kind person, be truthful and loyal.

Live everyday like it’s Valentine’s Day.

Keep it classy always!


Etienying Akpanusong


Your Preffered Etiquette Coach

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