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  • Margaret Page

Valentine’s Day Etiquette Tips For Everyone

Two people toasting with red wine

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many of you are probably planning a romantic night for your loved one. Valentine’s Day means different things to different people – depending on how long you’ve been together and how serious the relationship is. Traditionally, it means chocolate, flowers or a romantic evening out at an upscale restaurant. This time-honoured tradition can usually fit into most budgets but planning a romantic evening can also be memorable if you consider what your partner really enjoys but does not get to do as often as they like.

Planning a personalized Valentine’s Day outing shows that you took the time to organize a day or night out that is meaningful to them. Cooking their favourite meal with soft music playing in the background is very romantic.  Make the evening special by getting dressed up, lighting some candles and setting the table with your best china. Perhaps a picnic in the park with their favourite dishes and a nice bottle of wine followed up by activity they enjoy like cycling or visiting an antique market nearby. Handmade cards and love letters tucked in the picnic basket would be a great hit! E-cards by Hallmark and Blue Mountain are also a good option. Just keep the presents like that new car battery for another occasion!

If you choose to go the traditional route of dining out, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Make reservations early: If you have a favourite restaurant that you would like to take your romantic partner to then don’t wait until the last minute to book that reservation. Chances are that if it’s your favourite, then it’s other peoples as well as you don’t want to be caught having nowhere to share your special evening.

  2. Be on time: Valentine’s Day is not the time to be late. Make sure you are on time to pick up your date or be on time at the restaurant.

  3. Turn your cell phones off: It goes without saying that you should always give your date your undivided attention, and most especially on such a romantic day as Valentine’s Day. Turn your cell phones off—and leave them off the table–so you’re not tempted to check sports scores during dinner or your favourite food blog!

  4. Mind your table manners: As with any time you’re sharing a meal with someone, be sure to bring along your best table manners. Chewing with your mouth open or shoveling food into your mouth is NOT romantic. Place your napkin with the fold towards your body and keep the used side between the fold.

  5. Fine Dining Knowledge: If you are at a five-star restaurant for the first time, perhaps check out the menu ahead of time. This is especially true if it’s a cuisine that you are unfamiliar with or the menu has items written in French! Not only will you learn about any signature dishes, but taking that extra step learning how to pronounce the menu items will earn you extra bonus points with your date and show that you took the time to do so.

  6. For the men: Remember the simple things, like opening the door for her, helping her with her coat, and pulling out her chair for her if the wait staff don’t do it for her.

  7. Who pays? Many women are still looking for that knight in shining armor–chivalry is desirable. However, modern etiquette dictates that whoever extended the invitation should be the one picking up the tab.

If there is not currently a romantic partner in your life, you can always participate in this year's Random Acts of Kindness Week, from Feb 11-17, 2024. There are various ways you can choose from to pass along kindness to others.

Wishing you all a very happy (and romantic) Valentine’s Day! Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day memory you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it!

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