Valentine’s Day is here: a celebration of love and partnership, romance and togetherness. Could it be the perfect day to get down on one knee?
Yes! It’s wonderfully romantic
A whole day of love. What could be more appropriate for a proposal?
If you’re a traditionalist, you’ve probably already planned a romantic night out. Whether its a candlelit dinner for two in your favourite restaurant, or a stroll under the stars, the scene is set. You’re both primed to spend the evening gazing into one another’s eyes.
Traditions around the world vary, from the exact day of the celebration to which gifts you choose to show your love. If you’re an international couple, drawing on another tradition is a thoughtful way to acknowledge both your cultures. Or, if you love to travel, why not borrow a Valentine’s Day tradition from your favourite destination?
Recall a romantic Italian holiday together by giving the gift of ‘baci perugina’, hazelnut-filled chocolate kisses. Perhaps a ring might be in the box, too?
The Sisters’ Meal in Miao, South West China involves bowls of specially wrapped, colourful rice dishes which each hide a secret message for the diner. Two chopsticks hidden in the rice means true love; a clove of garlic the opposite. A ring hidden inside will be perfectly easy for your loved one to understand – though you might want to warn them before they tuck in.
You don’t even need a ring, in fact. In Taiwan, a gift of flowers on Valentine’s Day carries great significance, defined by the number and colour of the blooms. To propose, give a bouquet of exactly 108 red roses. (99 roses means ‘forever love’, so count carefully!)
No! Your proposal should be personal
Nothing kills romance quicker than insincerity. When you’re being given that teddy bear, or that discount bunch of red roses you both saw advertised on TV, do you trust that it really comes from the heart?
For every dreamy-eyed couple who loves Valentine’s Day, there are plenty more – in relationships as well as singles – who find the whole thing a bit much. The commercialisation of Valentine’s Day is a huge turn-off for a lot of younger couples.
In fact, Anti-Valentine’s ideas are plentiful. There’s Galentine’s Day: a day to show love to female friends, popularised by US comedy Parks & Recreation. Dating app Bumble have cleverly come up with a way to bring singles together at an Anti-Valentine’s party at ping-pong bar Bounce, complete with ‘Love Police’ to ensure no romance is allowed to sneak inside. February 14th has even been renamed Singles Awareness Day, to acknowledge how uncomfortable the celebration makes many people feel.
Most of us have been through break-ups and tough romantic times. If you’ve ever spent a gloomy February 14th alone, bombarded by love hearts at every turn, it may bring back unhappy memories. Adding a poorly-timed proposal to that? No thanks.
The most important question to ask yourself: would you be proposing now, today, this week, this month, if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day? If the answer’s no, your beloved’s will be too.
If you’re torn, you could always do it the Indian way. Valentine’s Day is still celebrated on the 14th February, in Nepal and Bangladesh too. But it arrives at the end of a week of romantic days for your loved one, invluding Chocolate Day, Promise Day – and Propose Day. You might need to turn the clock back to make use of this one, however: Propose Day is 8th February.
Next year, perhaps?