Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Overwhelmed with love, not stress

The Emily Post Institute (www.emilypost.com) is my go-to source whenever I have an etiquette question. Its team of etiquette experts has never let me down over the years whenever I've had a question.

In anticipation of Valentine's Day, the Institute sent out some tips for ways to love your own Valentine's Day celebration with your sweetie and not give in to pressure or hype.

  • The first step is talk to your your Valentine and get a feel for what each of your expectations may be. Ask an open-ended question so your partner can express his or her feelings.

  • If you're hesitant about giving a gift, especially if you're in a new relationship, less is more. At the very least, give your sweetie a card. Flowers and chocolates are traditional options for a reason - they usually please the recipient. So does a nice, home-cooked dinner, and it saves the stress of trying to book a table on one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year. Taking the time to think about a gift your partner would genuinely enjoy often means more than the numbers on a price tag.

  • If you've just started dating someone, it's usually not appropriate to splurge on a significant piece of jewelry or lingerie. Think personal,, but not over the top. Does your love like to cook? Buy them a nice cookbook that focuses on a new type of cuisine to try. Are they an outdoor fanatic? Plan a date to go on a hike to a new spot together. The idea is to show you care without hinting towards anything too serious. You want to choose something thoughtful that doesn't imply a sense of obligation on the part of the recipient. 

  • If you're in a solid relationship, but it's still new and you're learning about the other person, introduce them to something you love in the form of a gift, like one of your favorite books with a letter about why you love it, or a specialty food item from a place that is important to you.

  • Many couples choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day in any special way, and that's okay, too! The day is meant to focus on love and caring for one another - it does not have to be governed by the giving and receiving of gifts. You can show you care by being particularly attentive to each other and being complimentary. Do a lot of the little things that let the other person know they are special to you. 

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