Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it comes the insurmountable pressure of doing something but not something that’s too something that would terrify someone so they run away screaming from you and then you die alone with a bunch of cats. That later eat your corpse. Just me then?
Like, obviously we all want to have some kind of plan for Valentine’s Day besides watching Bridget Jones’s Diary for the 40th time and eating all the chocolate your mom sent in one sitting. But depending on how long you’ve been dating, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. So what should you do with your significant other, or your not-yet-significant other, on Valentine’s Day? We figured it out. Here’s what you should do based on how long you’ve been seeing each other.
Less Than 1 Month
Congratulations, you met someone you really like recently and have been on a couple dates. Good for you! It’s exciting and you want to hang out with them more, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t know how to handle it. At this stage? Don’t. It’s way too much pressure to expect someone to come with a fun plan for this day when they barely even know you. Instead, tell them your availability that week and do not include Valentine’s Day at all. If they ask if you have plans that day, then you can figure out something to do, but don’t be the person to bring it up. Sorry, I know it’s 2019 and all, but asking to hang out on Valentine’s Day before you’ve even DTR’d is not going to help your cause of not appearing desperate.
“What are you getting for Valentine’s Day?”
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) January 28, 2019
Okay, so you’re a few months in, probably even dating exclusively by now if you’re really into each other. WTF do you do for Valentine’s Day? At this point it’s totally okay to mention that you’d like to do something casual for V Day. Suggest getting tacos or going to a bar that will definitely not have some kind of insane pre-set menu. Spending time together is expected, but you still don’t want to go over the top. If you exchange gifts, make sure they’re small and inexpensive, i.e., a cute baseball cap, not concert tickets for a show half a year away.
6 Months – 1 Year
Now we’re getting into “okay, if you forget V Day you’re dead to me” territory. It’s definitely expected that the ridiculous holiday is acknowledged, but make sure you actually tell the person you are dating that you’re interested in making plans. They may not know you even care about this stupid holiday (which like, I don’t care, but also, you have to celebrate with me). Plan something classic, like dinner at a moderately priced restaurant and maybe even a movie, or just Netflix & chill afterwards. You can also get real presents without fear of looking too invested.
View this post on Instagram
After a year, you’re fully committed, you hate the way they breathe sometimes, and you can do pretty much whatever you want for Valentine’s Day. This is when it’s appropriate to get nice gifts, flowers, the whole thing, if you’re into it. If you have the cash, it is totally fun to dress up and go to a nice restaurant with the prix fixe menu, especially if you never do that kind of thing. You can also do that whole “purchase sexy lingerie as an added present to keep the romance alive” thing. Literally, it’s whatever.
You’re basically married, you have done the pre-set menus, and let’s be honest: Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days of the year to go out. It’s like New Years Eve—days that are supposed to be fun but end up way too overpriced and crowded. Once you’re really settled in, forget the dinners and expensive menus, and do something casual at home together. Cook a nice dinner, have some wine, and save your cash that would be for presents on booking a trip together later in the year. Valentine’s Day is really so overrated, and once you’ve done it a few times, you guys have a right to be totally over going out.
You when you get the check for the pre-set menu:
If you’ve been dating for 3+ years, then the only thing you should be doing on Valentine’s Day is getting a ring. I’m (mostly) kidding, but you should know enough about your significant other at that point to not be scouring the internet for Valentine’s Day ideas. Just saying!
Images: Jakob Owens / Unsplash; Giphy (3); betches / Instagram
It’s finally that time of year to “fall” in love. Summer flings have ended and cuffing season is in full swing. Here are my top five “Brunch Boys approved” date recommendations. You’ll notice there is no apple picking on here, because I promise you nobody wants to see those Instagrams.
Rooftop Cinema Club
Instead of Netflix and chill, switch up your movie watching routine at Rooftop Cinema Club at the Skylawn Embassy (Hilton) Suites in midtown. Here’s the deal: $26 per ticket without popcorn, although you might opt to spend a few extra bucks for an unlimited bucket. Outside food and drinks are a no-no, but the Skylawn rooftop bar opens at 5pm daily, so definitely go early to get your food and drink on.
Watching movies outdoors is always a fun activity, but this particular venue provides wireless headphones to drown out the background noise. Hang out in your adjustable lawn chair (also provided) and remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as fall nights tend to get chilly, especially on rooftops. Come here for the iconic views—I’m talking about the classic films AND the NYC skyline backdrop. You can find the list of movie showings online, through October.
Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween decor are in all the storefronts setting the spooky mood. Time to have yourselves a Saturday date night scare! Located down on Varick St., Blood Manor is a haunted house that will have you gripping onto your partner for dear life as you move through the labyrinth of terror. Instead of the electronic vampires with red eyes and digital dead people, Blood Manor has real actors who read the room and jump out at you strategically to optimize the scare factor.
This would be a fun group date idea because you are guided through the maze in small groups of six. DON’T wear any clothing you might ruin, in case you back up against a wall and smudge the set. DO wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking through the corridors. Although it’s only a 15-minute affair, it’s worth the scare.
Breathtaking Breakneck Ridge is a challenging hike, comprised of both rock face and marked dirt paths. Now is the perfect time of year to peep the changing leaves with your partner! This particular destination is just 90 minutes north of Manhattan. Just hop on the MTA from Grand Central to Hudson State Park in Cold Spring, NY. The main loop is just under three miles and takes about four to six hours to complete, so be sure to wear comfortable and appropriate clothing—aka sneakers and layers.
There are multiple overlooks with awesome and unobstructed views of the Hudson. Make sure you stop at the lookout points for epic couple shots—totally Insta-worthy. There’s no race to the top, but it’s definitely a workout, so bring snacks and plenty of hydration. DON’T go on this trip with someone you are just getting to know unless you’re totally comfortable. It’s not like you can cut the date short and bounce…the trail itself is a few hours, tacked on to a total of three hours of travel.
SoJo Day Spa
If you’re in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC and hang out somewhere more peaceful, check out SoJo Day Spa with your partner. If you ventured on the hike suggested above, maybe you can spend your next day off recovering and relaxing at SoJo Spa in Clearwater, NJ. There’s a shuttle bus from Hell’s Kitchen/Port Authority in NYC that takes you directly to the facility. Enjoy all the amenities, including different pools and saunas, with your day pass, which are relatively inexpensive for a spa. $50 for weekdays and $65 for holidays and weekends! You’ll have to pay for any other treatments you might want to add.
View this post on Instagram
The lovely @misspinno enjoying those beautiful rooftop views ☀ We’re so happy we could treat you… come back soon! ❤ . . . #sojo #sojospaclub #nyc #manhattan #skyline #Hudson #nj #infinitypool #views #travel #wanderlust #spa #spaday #pool #swimming #poolside #poolsideviews #rooftopviews #nycskyline #mysojospaday #sojospaday #koreanspa #spacation #spalife #selflove #treatyoself #bliss #getaway #staycation #energizedlife
Upon arrival, you put your belongings in your locker and proceed to the bathhouse: clothing is optional indoors. The fall special currently being offered is the “Pink Champagne Couples Massage”. Here’s the deal: a one-hour couples massage, pink champagne toast, chocolate truffles, and complimentary admission for two ($395). Note: you can only book this deal through 10/31. Spend the entire day feeling fancy AF in your robes. You can’t bring your own snacks to the spa, but they do have a stocked cafeteria with Korean-inspired dishes and other healthy options.
Fall is a time to hibernate and be cozy. Bikini season is over, so no need to feel bad about indulging in a cooking class with your SO. Instead of your nightly routine of going out or ordering in, mix it up by playing house with your partner and learning how to cook a gourmet meal. There are many options of cooking classes available in NYC, but two of my favorites are Sushi by Simon and Sur La Table.
Learn the Japanese culinary art at Sushi By Simon. All classes include two drinks and a sushi mat you can take home with you to rice roll on your own. $110 per person for the fall special, running now through the end of October. Sur La Table has a bit more variety in food options. Each night offers a different cuisine, and the chance to make everything from scratch! The chef gives you plenty of tips along the way, so it’s a great start for beginners. It’s also a great refresher for those of you who are already cooking-inclined. Whichever one you choose, you’re in for a night of delicious food and drinks and an intimate few hours with bae.
Images: Alora Griffiths / Unsplash; skylawnnyc, sojospaclub / Instagram
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which can mean any of the following: it’s time to frantically Hinge your way to a date by February 14th, you’re dropping not-so-subtle hints to your bf about what he should get you, or you are just really excited about the availability of heart shaped Reese’s at CVS. But for those that are in a relationship or just started dating someone, it also means that you are stressed af about what is a great way to celebrate vs. what is entirely unrealistic to expect out of a Wednesday night.
<pWondering what to get him for v-day based on how long you’ve been dating? We got you, fam.</p
If you are hoping to avoid another night of Netflix and Chill (I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to spend a Wednesday on your couch but whatevs), I have some ideas on how you should spend V-day with your beau based on how long you have been together. Because fuck gender stereotypes, if you want to plan a date, you should plan a fucking date (unless you just met, then don’t—see below).
Less Than A Few Months
Look, I’m really glad you met someone and dating is going well. Like, maybe you have already hung out three whole times, but you should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT, necessarily plan spending the most “romantic” day of the year with your new fling. I’m not saying there isn’t potential, there totally could be—there’s a difference between dating a guy for two weeks and being a couple for two months, after all. But if you plan a Valentine’s Date for the two of you, you might just be ruining those chances. So my advice: grab your girls instead, because you don’t need a man to have a good night (not yet, at least).
Three To Six Months
I hope one of you is a good cook, because nothing says “this is an appropriate way to spend Valentine’s Day with someone I just DTR’ed with” like a home cooked meal. But if you both consider grilled cheese a culinary masterpiece, perhaps consider a cooking class (with wine).
Six Months To One Year
If you’ve been together for over six months, you have my permission to get fancy: Pick a few romantic wine spots and go on a city “wine tour”, and top it off with a nice dinner. But don’t drink too much wine, because it’s still too early to end the night without sex. You should also expect flowers, candy (I hear those heart shaped Reese’s are delicious), or both.
One To Two Years
By years 1-2 you should step up your expectations game and go straight for the romantic getaway. I know Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday this year, but that’s what sick days weekends are for. Find a cute Airbnb with a hot tub and get out of town for a night—because by year two, you’re probably tired of all the local date spots anyway.
Over Two Years
First of all: congratulations, you’ve made it. Secondly, this Valentine’s Day would be a great time to revisit one of your favorite relationship memories. Go to the place where you first said I love you, or the restaurant where you first kissed. Or you could go all-out cheese and make one of those Shutterfly memory books. Oh god, I went too far. Anyway, it’s been a minute—so go back in time and bring back the butterflies of an early relationship. And if you still have the butterflies, then again: congrats.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, for betches, fall is one of the best times of the year. (And if you call it “autumn” you’re tacky and I hate you.) I mean, it’s the return of pumpkin-flavored everything, wearing leggings everyday, and sweaters and jackets that still look cute as they hide your taco/tequila food baby. Not to mention, no one gives a fuck anymore if you shave your legs. It’s glorious.
But sometimes, those bastards we meet on Tinder or at the bar try to take the glory of fall and turn it from a magical time to one of dread by asking you on dates that sound good on paper, but are actually really shitty and should be avoided at all costs. Here are the fall dates you should never agree to go on.
1. Corn Mazes
You can ask anyone I know, I basically fucking love corn mazes. Wait, no I don’t. I love the idea of corn mazes. It seems like a good idea to wear an adorable outfit to traipse around one of these manufactured death traps, but you are definitely wrong. Your shoes will get ruined because, guess what bitches? Corn grows in the dirt and that’s what you’ll be surrounded by on this date: corn and dirt. You think you can sneak into the corn for a quick fall-themed makeout sesh? Not so. You’ll have a million idiot kids interrupting you as they try to hide from their parents in the stalks. You can’t just make out in front of a bunch of kids, ya pervert. Plus, you know what’s not fun? Getting lost, i.e., the entire point of a corn maze. It sounds like a great way to realize your man has poor navigational skills, and it’s basically an argument waiting to happen. Waze does not work in the corn maze. You’ve been warned.
2. Apple Picking
Like most activities that revolve around gathering your own food, apple picking can also be the worse. It’s weird that you can go to the grocery store and get an apple for like, what, 50 cents? Yet, if you do the work to pick your own and ruin a pair of Frye boots while you’re at it, the apples cost roughly five hundred dollars a bushel. IDK if they actual charge by the bushel, but that seems like an apple picking term to me. If you do so happen agree to go on the apple picking date, remember the Fireball so you can appropriately spike your cider.
3. Haunted House
Ohhh stupid-ass dating experts will for sure tell you a haunted house would be a good idea for a date, because then your man can step up to protect you from the spooky scary goings-on. Not so, bitches. Three things could happen on this date. 1) It’s not that scary and your date gets pissed he spent 40 bucks to walk you around some weird warehouse, 2) Your date is more afraid than you are and you find out the “love of your life” is a pansy-ass bitch, or 3) You get too freaked out and pee your pants and embarrass yourself out of another date. If those are risks you’re willing to take so theater kids can jump out in front of you in full gore makeup, be my guest.
4. Fall Foliage Hike
If your dude happens to be a little bit granola, he might ask you to step out into nature and observe God’s glory by going on a fall hike. Leaves are pretty, yes. And I’m sure the fall hike will open you up to a plethora of Instagram opportunities. But do you really want to be out with a guy who would ever suggest going on a hike? Fucking gross. Like, does he even know you at all? Plus, this is practically the least amount of effort you could put into going on a date. Homeboy just invited you to walk around outside. Is he totally poor and/or so boring that he can’t come up with another option? You know, an option that doesn’t include dying from exposure? Ugh. Men these days.
5. Pumpkin Patch
Let’s go pick out a motherfucking pumpkin so we can carve it as a date! Um, right, dude. If your man asks you on this date and it’s not you who suggests the pumpkin patch, you might want to look into how much time this guy spends on Pinterest, if you know what I mean. Like corn mazes and apple picking, this food-related date doesn’t even provide you with actual food. Have you ever tasted pumpkin? It’s fucking gross and does not remotely taste like pumpkin spice. So, you’ll be exposed to the elements and don’t even get a meal out of it. Great. Also, there will be about a million families with babies taking pictures and crying their fat little heads off out there. Not really the ideal situation for a budding romance.
Every once in a while, when something horrible and unexpected happens like you end up catching feelings or your boyfriend suddenly “has a birthday,” you may be required to plan a date. And while you are very specific in the types of dates you will accept from men, when it comes to planning dates of your own you’re like “…idk…do you like shots?” And look, caring about what is going on with other people has never been your strong suit, but if you’re planning a date you must actually like this person (insane but okay), so it is worth not fucking up. As a woman living in a world of fuckboys, you know what a bad date looks like—too long, too involved, and not enough alcohol. But what does a good date actually look like? I mean, as far as likelihoods go, having an enjoyable date with another man is right up there with seeing Kylie Jenner with a newspaper. So how does one end up enjoying a date? Well, alcohol, mostly. But you already know that. Here are five tips for ensuring that the first date you plan is not also the last thing you do before he ghosts you forever.
Don’t Get Too Fancy
Not only will this save you money, it’ll also keep things chill and relaxed. Like, sure, you want to go to NYC’s hottest restaurant in theory, but once you show up for your reservation and realize that your table is sandwiched between some sports guy you vaguely recognize and Ivanka Trump, you’ll be second guessing your choice of crop top, and your date will def wish he’d left his RompHim at home. (Sidebar: If your date shows up wearing a RompHim, call the police.) Try going to a place that everybody likes, but is also chill, like Roberta’s Pizza in Brooklyn. It makes the top 10 of every Brooklyn eatery list, but it’s still pizza, aka the chillest of all foods.
Group Activities Are For Children
As tempting as an adult trampolining class may seem, avoid group activities like the plague. Getting to know one person is difficult enough without adding a gaggle of randos whose chill level you cannot vouch for into the picture. Just think about how many strangers you develop an intense hatred for on a daily basis. Chances are, at least one of these will be in your group, and then you’ll be faced with a very difficult decision. Do you roast this person and show your potential bae your bitchy side before it’s time? Or do you stand there with a smile pretend you give a fuck about Kyle from Wisconsin’s Grandmother’s Cheese Soda recipe? Both seem unbearable.
Screw Being Original
Look, I’ve seen rom coms. I know that “magical” dates are supposed to be original and personal and involve flower petals. But honestly, fuck all that noise. If you know of a date that sounds good or works, do that. Like, if your best friend and her fiancé sealed the deal on one of those NYC hour-long wine cruises, why reinvent the wheel? I mean, realistically your entire personal style, Instagram captions, and political views are all stolen from somewhere, so why not also steal your date ideas? At least this low level thievery might get you laid.
Or at least, keep it indoor/outdoor. IDK if you’ve seen the sorry excuse for summer we’ve been having lately, but you should always account for the fact that it may start raining and suddenly your very sweet Prospect Park picnic has turned into a backyard mud wrestling event, and it’s not even the sexy kind that guys like. Obviously rooftop bars and the aforementioned hour-long booze cruises are all good, but maybe save the hiking for your third or fourth date. Or never. Never is also a really good option.
If All Else Fails, Groupon
Listen, when it comes to planning a good date, you’re going to have to relinquish some of your pride (I know it’s hard, and you have a lot, but hear me out) and just get a fucking Groupon for something cool. Whatever. You don’t have time to be original. Honestly, this dude is lucky that you’re even planning a date for him in the first place, given how many Netflix and Chills you’ve dealt with in your life. The fact that you just dropped $29 on a hookah/drinks/appetizer package (a legit deal that I just found) should honestly make you wife material instantly.