Becoming the Best U: Tips on navigating Valentine’s Day

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

Question: I’ve been dating this girl, and although I really like her, I don’t have the budget to take her out to a fancy restaurant for Valentine’s Day. Do you have any inexpensive ideas to let her know I care?

Jim – Exton

Answer: Good for you to not be pressured into spending money you don’t have at a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day! You’re correct, most restaurants, even ones that aren’t fancy, ratchet up their prices, realizing that many people are willing to spend the extra bucks on this romantic holiday. However, there are lots of inexpensive ways to show your romantic partner that you care, without breaking your budget. First, since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, it might behoove you to celebrate it on another day, which will certainly help the cost, especially if you choose the day before or after. Restaurants may still have higher prices than usual on the weekend before, so check to see if the weekend of the 17th is more affordable. Moreover, if you’re into cooking, a homemade meal is certainly a statement that says you care. I suggest that chocolate, the chosen sweet of this holiday, be part of the menu, even if it means just picking up a pint chocolate ice cream.

However, if you’re not inclined to cook for any reason or don’t have the time, how about trying something a little more adventurous? There are many groupons available in the city and suburbs that might speak to her. For instance, “Puzzling Adventures,” a team scavenger hunt in Philadelphia, starts at just $44.74 each. There’s also “Splitting Edge Axe Throwing,” in Malvern for $40 a person, or tickets for just $15 to see “The Brit Pack,” on February 25th at The Queen, in Wilmington, that will showcase the most popular British classics. Remember, these days, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about going out to a romantic dinner; it’s whatever you want it to be. Enjoy!

Question: I just broke up with my partner of fifteen years. We always did something fun on Valentine’s Day like going to the movies or going out to dinner. I don’t want to stay home by myself this year. Any thoughts?

Becky – Aston

Answer: Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day! In fact, thanks to the sit-com show “Parks and Recreation,” “Galentine’s Day” was introduced in 2010. Yes, it’s a portmanteau of “Gals” and Valentine’s” and makes for a great day to celebrate women friends. It’s meant to be celebrated on February 13th; yet, many single women are now celebrating on the 14th.  Depending on your budgets and time constraints, think about going out to dinner, a movie, or even just for drinks. Each of you can pay your own way.

Many forget that Valentine’s Day did not start out as a romantic holiday. In fact, no one can verify the real story. It is said that it originated as a Christian celebration to honor one of two men named Valentine that were both martyred on February 14th (different years) in the third century. Neither Valentine had anything to do with romance, and it wasn’t until the poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote Parlement of Foules in the late 14th century, that St. Valentine and love were fictionally intertwined. So, if you don’t want to celebrate romance, you can celebrate history instead.

Happy Galentine’s Day Becky!


Nancy is a survivor of stage 4 ovarian cancer, metastatic brain cancer, plus many other traumatic events. As a Wellness & Relationship Coach, she offers sage advice on ways to accept and navigate life’s challenges, and help you become the best you.

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