Column: Salty Sam’s Tips for a Better Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. For some, it is a chance to go out and spend way too much money on food and flowers. Others hide in their rooms with a box of tissues, ice cream and sappy Netflix titles.

For those participating this year, it can be a very stressful, high-pressure day. Whether you are having some anxiety or don’t know what you are doing yet, with these three tips, your day will run much smoother.

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1. Don’t be cliché

There is nothing wrong with sticking with the “traditional” flowers, chocolate and card combo. If you decide to go this route, do not show up with a box of Russell Stover chocolates in a heart, a bouquet of Kroger flowers and a store-made card with nothing but your signature. There are more creative and thoughtful ways to spice up the classics. Try hitting up For the Love of Chocolate in Carytown for a mix and match set of candy. It will taste better than massed produced grocery store candy, and you can say “I hand picked these out for you.” Also, visit a local flower shop like Pat’s Florist or Vogue Flowers and try something out other than red roses. Finally, make the card do-it-yourself style. Even if you aren’t crafty or artistic, an adorable handmade card is a great way to melt hearts.

В 2.В Cook at home

Some people will straight up demand to be taken out on the 14th. If you are in that situation, you might be stuck. If you are still up in the air about what to do for dinner, try cooking the meal at home. Foods like steak and salmon aren’t difficult to cook and online recipes and tutorials can help guide you if you need the help. Do not be afraid to try cooking, even if you aren’t confident in the kitchen, working together can be a great experience and a great way to bond.

3. Don’t get hung up on the element of surprise

Surprising your significant other is great. However, if you are worried about your choices do not be afraid to communicate and pick something that you know they will love. It is better to have a successful and “safe” evening than to hide your plans only to disappoint. Valentines Day should be about happiness and spending time together, not about stress and let down.

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