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How to Plan A Romantic Valentine’s Day Date for Your Loved One

How to Plan A Romantic Valentine’s Day Date for Your Loved One

Here we are at that time of year again—romance is in the air, Valentine’s Day gifts and cards are all over stores and the online world is buzzing with search queries by nervous boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives looking to find the right way to show their significant other how much they care about them. No matter how much love they feel inside, some people just aren’t that romantic and don’t know how to show their feelings in a way that will impress their loved one and melt their hearts. There is no shame in looking for help when it comes to romance—we all have much to learn about love and the many different ways of expressing it.

Couple kissing during sunset

    In fact, those more experienced in the ways of love, veterans of 10+ years of marriage, will tell you that the more you get to know someone the more you are aware of the fact that there is a vast sea of things you don’t know about love and relationships, a sea that can easily drown those who are unprepared. Luckily, planning a great romantic Valentine’s Day date is something that you can research and prepare for, even if you are lacking in the romance department. Here are several somewhat generalized steps that work across the board and will help you create the perfect romantic experience for your loved one.

    1. Develop your strategy well in advance.

    The worst thing you can do is to wait until you only have a day or two until Valentine’s Day and then start frantically throwing together some sort of gift and trying to find a restaurant that isn’t booked solid. Give yourself enough time to plan the date and think about all the little details that make the difference between a pretty good date and a heart-melting super-date. Reservations need to be made pretty early on since good restaurants can be booked a month in advance and you’ll want to do some shopping at least a week earlier to avoid the holiday rush. If you already have a plan you will also be a lot less stressed out when the actual day comes.

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    2. Prepare all the little things first.

    Apart from making restaurant reservations or ordering a gift online pretty early on so everything is ready by Valentine’s Day, the most important thing you should focus on are the details or finishing touches. A card, or better yet, a fancy love letter is something you can work on for about 30 minutes a day in the week leading to V-day, and you can also start working early on things like:

    • Candles
    • Massage oil
    • A romantic music playlist
    • Cute boxes and gift wraps
    • Flowers and chocolate
    • Sexy lingerie or role-playing costumes
    • Small gift basket items like perfumes and soaps

    Romantic gift basket

      Having these important items ready a few days in advance will allow you to focus on more important things come Valentine’s Day, things like making sure your date is having fun and that everything is going smoothly and according plan.

      3. Craft the perfect gift for your loved one.

      There are a whole bunch of generic gifts out there, but try and avoid clichés and focus on something your significant other really cares about. You can use standard Valentine’s Day gifts like heart-shaped items, teddy bears, flowers and chocolate as part of gift basket, but be sure to include something related to the activities, ideals and concepts your partner holds dear.

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      4. Dining out vs. preparing a romantic dinner.

      Each of these two options has its strengths and weaknesses, so the right choice will depend on the person and the situation. Dining in a fancy restaurant will require you to make reservations well in advance and will cost you quite a bit, but the atmosphere and the meals are truly incredible. On the other hand, a home-cooked dinner is much more personal and allows you a lot of creative freedom, but unless you know your way around a kitchen, it can easily turn into a disaster. Whatever choice you make, you should give some thought to the choice of food and focus on dessert—all bad jokes and stupid comments about your partner being as sweet as chocolate aside, sugary snacks do actually cause hormones related to feeling pleasure to be released by the brain and will leave a wonderful taste in your mouth.

      5. Dress to impress.

      This point is very important. Whether you are a young couple just starting out your relationship or mature lovers who have gone through the good and the bad and stuck by each other for years, being presentable is a major part of showing that you care about another person.

      James Bond looking cool

        Although some may link this to basic primate grooming rituals, the fact is that trying to look your best shows the other person that you care about how they perceive you, which means that you are being emphatic and trying to please them. Of course, looking handsome as hell will also help ignite the passion between the two of you.

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        6. Make it a whole-day, multi-tiered experience rather than just dinner.

        Start off the romantic experience by meeting up a bit earlier in the day—for couples living together this means starting the day with a nice breakfast in bed—and going through a set of fun, romantic activities before eventually heading off to dinner and ending the day in the expertly decorated bedroom. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on hot air balloon rides across a valley, horseback riding or similar Hollywood clichés. It can be as simple as doing something you both enjoy, visiting a location where you first met or shared a special moment together or trying out some activities you always talked about, but never got the chance to do.

        7. Set up the perfect mood using correct lighting, decoration, music and scents.

        Chances are you are going to be ending the night somewhere quiet and private—back at your place or the hotel room if you’ve gone somewhere special for the occasion—so you are going to need to set the mood just right. You can use scented candles to provide romantic lighting and create a tantalizing aroma, or set up some beautiful decorations (think hearts, flowers, stuffed versions of her favorite animal, decorative pillows, etc). It’s best to set everything up early in the day so that it won’t take more than a few minutes get ready once the time comes (you should tell your date to wait a couple of minutes before coming up to the room so you can light the candles and make minor adjustments).

        8. Prepare a relaxing and exiting experience for your loved one back at the house.

        Once you have everything set up and ready, you will want to focus on making your partner feel good. This is where things like massage oils, wine, chocolate, fruit, music and comfortable clothes come into play. Have a romantic activity planed and give each other a few minutes to slip into more comfortable clothes before moving things to the next level. Slow dancing, followed by a glass or two of wine and some sweet snacks like cream-covered strawberries and chocolate-based desserts, then slowly transitioning into a massage on the bed seems to work wonders for just about anyone.

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        Setting the mood

          9. Have some fun in the bedroom and explore your erotic fantasies.

          This should be a very special night for the both of you, and after all the fun you had during your Valentine’s Day date, romantic gestures that brought you closer together and the gradual erotic build up in the privacy of your home, you will be eager to fall into each other’s arms and give in to your desires. Take this opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and explore your erotic fantasies. Be very open with one another and discuss your turn-ons. Don’t be afraid to engage in some role playing or other activities that your partner may enjoy, but take things slow and make sure you are both comfortable and happy with how things are going.

          10. Get up the next morning (or early afternoon), make breakfast and put on a romantic movie.

          Your Valentine’s Day date doesn’t end the moment you hit the hay after your romantic night. The morning after, or whichever part of the day you manage to get up at, should be a natural extension to the exiting romantic experience of the day before. Make a tasty breakfast, spend some time on presentation and serve it to your partner in bed. You can put on a romantic movie and enjoy it with your food and as you cuddle up together, forgetting about life’s woes for a few relaxing hours.

          There are certain things that can be applied to most people across the board when it comes to romance and great dates, but keep in mind that we are all different in some way and try to create the perfect Valentine’s Day experience based on your partner’s character, preferences and lifestyle. Use these tips as a good template, but be sure to customize some parts based on what you know about you significant other.

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          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Last Updated on May 21, 2019

          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

          For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

          If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

          Example 1

          You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

          You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

          In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

          Example 2

          You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

          People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

          You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

          Example 3

          You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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          The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

          Example 4

          You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

          Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

          If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

          Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

          • Understand your own communication style
          • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
          • Communicate with precision and care
          • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

          1. Understand Your Communication Style

          To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

          In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

          Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

          2. Learn Others Communication Styles

          Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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          If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

          “How do you prefer to receive information?”

          This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

          To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

          3. Exercise Precision and Care

          A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

          On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

          Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

          I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

          I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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          In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

          The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

          Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

          4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

          Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

          In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

          “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

          Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

          Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

          It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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          It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

          It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

          Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

          Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

          The Bottom Line

          When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

          I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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          Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

          Reference

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