Legend has it that Valentine, was a Roman Catholic priest who secretly married young couples when a medieval emperor banned marriage, due to the belief that single men produced the best soldiers. Arrested for treason, he signed a letter to his lover that visited him in prison “From your Valentine” which would become the modern day phrase for the day of of love.
Coupled, Married or Single – we asked for tips from some of the pros in the spaces of Entertainment, Fitness, Music, Food & Lifestyle as they gave us their insight into the ultimate Valentine’s Day, relationship, dating and gift advice.
Special thanks to the contributions from our influencers in this piece, click through on their profile and follow their socials to keep up to date with their latest news.
DATING DO’s & DONT’s:
Jordy Shears (Film Producer, Last Seen) – Instagram | Indiegogo
“It’s bloody hot on Valentine’s Day in Australia, so I make sure I take my date somewhere refreshing, like the beach.” says film producer, Jordan Shears of upcoming feature film, Last Seen. ” Coogee is only half an hour out of the CBD and the headland is the perfect spot for an intimate picnic. If you’re up for a splash, getting (most of) your kit off before dinner is a great way to show that you’re comfortable in your own skin and ready to take things to the next level.”
“Plan ahead!” he says, “Rocking up to that busy restaurant without a reservation may land you at McDonald’s on the big day. Not the best story to tell your grandkids…
– Stalk their Instagram! Know how they like to unwind, what they like to eat and how to spoil them rotten. A bit of research goes a long way and your date will be blown away by your psychic abilities.” And its true, stalking in modern times isn’t as creepy as it use to be, since we put out there what we want people to know on our socials, so take the hints, follow the cues.”
– “Never talk about your ex. If there’s one thing that kills romance, it’s comparing someone you barely know to the former love of your life. Keep things light and ask plenty of questions. Keep the baggage for your shrink and make the day all about them.
– Don’t be rude and order the most expensive thing on the menu if they offer to pay. There is such a thing as a free lunch, but it may also be your last if you go for the half dozen oysters.”
Christopher Haggarty – (Socialite): Instagram
First impressions and the perfect look on your first date is everything. So we asked Sydney socialite and red carpet professional, Christopher to weigh in on his ultimate fashion tip for Valnetine’s Day. “Avoid red. Let the idiots dress in theme. Just wear something you’re comfortable and confident in!”
So where would he go we asked? “Somewhere for an epic meal. AND drinks! Plenty of drinks!! My favourite place to eat and drink is Icebergs. Best food. Best view.
Favorite Gift to give or receive on Valentine’s Day?
“I would prefer to receive Fragrance. You can’t go wrong. Flowers, chocolates etc are a yawn.”
DATE NIGHTS OUT:
Casey Costello – (Model): Instagram | Facebook
For Casey Costelloe, globetrotting on exotic modelling shoots and tours she says, “There’s no place like Sydney and there are so many iconic places for that memorable moment with someone special for a nice dinner. A picnic that has some serious thought and planning in it goes a long way too”.
Favorite Gift to give or receive on Valentine’s Day?
“I definitely like chocolates – Ferrero Rafaello or Ferraro Rocher chocolates are awesome! Flowers are nice, but they are kind of overpriced on the day and just die.”
Jill Wright – (Real Estate Agent / Lifestyle Influencer)
Instagram | Real Estate Advice | I am Jill Wright
For Real Estate Agent and Sunshine State socialite, Jill Wright, her favorite place for a Valentine’s day date is “the park for a picnic!”. And where she’s from, there’s no shortage of them. Many up north boast panoramic views of the coastline providing unbeatable settings for lovers this Valentine’s Day.
“If I have time, I’ll go shopping and put together a hamper with champas, cheese, chocolate, etc. but if not, I’m a big fan of the pre made hampers Pop Up Picnic. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fancy dinner and cocktails but there is something special and romantic about eating outside in the sun or under the evening sky”
Pop Up Picnic hampers are pre-configured for individuals, couples and groups.
Erik Lee – (Model / Actor): Instagram | Netflix
Fresh off the set of Back with the Ex and working the Sydney social scene, Erik Lee recommends “Restaurant Alum“. It has the perfect balance of romance and action and carefully construction Modern Australian menu.
“The Ferris Wheel dinner (inside the cabin) at Luna Park would be the ideal place to take a girl I’m looking to get to know better.” he says, “It’s fun, different, but make sure you go to the toilet before hand [laughs].”
The Cinderella carriage of the ferris wheel is dressed with fairy lights with pre-dinner drinks and amuse bouche at The Deck.
Matt Hines – (Fitness Influencer): Instagram
Nothing says I love you more or could be sweeter for a fitness influencer than fast digesting carbs, healthy anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, low fat protein, and if there’s seaweed, a great source of iodine!
“For me, the perfect Valentine’s Day date is going to the gym with my girl and then having sushi after”. A great post workout meal while spending good quality one-on-one time with your boo. Nawww!
Henrik Nordhus – (Model): Instagram | Central News
Norwegian model, now based in Sydney prefers to celebrate in extravagance since the day is only once a year. “The best place I’ve been to on Valentine’s Day is Chedi hotel in Muscat, Oman. It’s one of the most romantic places I have ever been.”
We can see why, if you’re looking for something really out of the box and want to really make an impression by sweeping your special someone on a secret getaway, Chedi offers 8 restaurants, Dolphin watching and one of the largest spas in the whole of the city.
DATE NIGHTS IN:
Suzka Rose (Model) – Instagram | Facebook
If you’ve opted to avoid the crowded restaurants and movie theatres, there are tonnes of things to do at home with your special someone and all that’s required from you is a little creativity. From breakfasts in bed, to homemade cards, a few choice decorations showing your affection or a drinking game – this date night in will be just as memorable!
“If I’m having a night in watching movies, I make sure I have white wine, a delicious antipesto platter with cheese and other delights. Movies I love and could never get sick of would be Dirty dancing, Sleepless in Seattle, and any episode of Sex and the City!”
At Moonlight Cinemas, audiences can watch the hilarious arcade adventure sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet (February 2) with FREE entertainment, face-painting and giveaways; discover a dragon utopia in How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World (February 9) and join the enigmatic nanny on a whimsical new adventure in the hit film Mary Poppins Returns (February 16 and 23).
Breakfast at Tiffany’s will screen on Valentine’s Day Sunday. Presented by Lindeman’s, everyone will receive a free glass of sparkling on arrival.
A DOSE OF REALITY – THE PRACTICALITIES OF LOVE
with Reece from Ramsden Family Law:
It’s easy to get whisked away by the fantasy and promise of the day, but Valentine’s Day often calls for some serious evaluation in your relationships as some of you take that next step, and it’s possibly not all roses and peaches for some people as the day might mark some harsh reminders. After all, the vows you have professed or are thinking of professing dictate sticking it out “For better or worse “. At the end of the day, when you take that Disney lense off, there’s a practicality to any relationship that doesn’t always have to be thorny. Like health insurance, car insurance, purchasing your first home and any forward thinking when entering any serious partnership or agreement, it’s important to cover all bases in due dilligence right?
“As much as you may think this love may last for ever, unfortunately and statistically, separations are more prevalent than not.” says Senior Partner, Reece Ramsden of Ramsden Family Law. ” I hate to be the bad guy, and I hope that you won’t need me one day, but separations can get messy and that’s why it’s wise to think about how to protect yourself during the relationship.”
From a legal perspective, things are cut and dry, and though it might be uncomfortable trying to muster up a delicate approach to the subject, if it were anything else but love, rationally and practically this makes sense. It doesn’t necessarily represent an underestimation of the relationship. So we let the expert, Reece just spell it out based on what he’s seen in his years mediating situations like these”
1. Keep your finances separate where you can . “When finances get intermingled during a relationship, it can cause a lot of drama for lawyers to forensically identify what transactions occurred, who contributed what and who is responsible to now support the other. If finances and transactions are kept neat, clean and separate, this makes our job much easier.”
2. Supporting your partner financially can help them seek spousal maintenance in the future “If you show you have a capacity to support your partner financially and have a proven track record of previously supporting them, they are going to have a strong argument to seek spousal maintenance off you once the relationship ends.
3. Remember everything can be evidence. “Be very careful what you put in writing, in a photo or video. We regularly use text messages as evidence in a case to prove something and the Family Court’s will generally accept it. Even if you think your relationship is perfect right now, we often will go back through text messages months to years earlier to find that golden text that proves our case.”
4. If you want to protect your assets, you can. “Ever heard of the term ‘pre nup’? Here in Australia it is called a Financial Agreement but before you get serious or whilst the relationship is serious lawyers can draft a document setting out who keeps what in the unfortunate breakdown of the relationship. I know it’s not nice to think about the end of something when you love someone, but trust me – this will be your life saver. Also, it doesn’t have to all be bad, sometimes we draft them in a very fair way that says – what each party brought into the relationship they keep and what is accrued together during the relationship is divided based on a parties contribution to it.”
5. Domestic violence is not just physical. “These days the local Courts are handing out Protection Orders quite easily with a low standard of proof. Domestic violence is verbal, in writing, financial and psychological. As emphasised in point 3, everything can be evidence against you so be very careful what you do or say.”
6. Property settlements aren’t just for long-term relationships. “De facto relationships are generally when a couple have lived together for 2 years and this is treated identically to marriage under the Family Law Act. Be careful though, people can seek a property settlement before 2 years for a number of reasons such as helping you paint your house only 6 months into the relationship.”
“Hopefully your valentine stays your valentine forever, but it won’t hurt to remember these small tips to understand the law in relationships and what can happen. Every relationship is unique so please seek formal legal advice if you have any serious concerns.”
THE CHANGING DEFINITION OF VALENTINE’S DAY – LOVING YOURSELF ENABLES YOU TO LOVE SOMEONE ELSE!
There’s a tonne of polls and peer review research with leanings that question the relevance of the day in modern society. The exchange of gifts and treats are supposed to symbolize emotions of the heart and there’s much room to debate the pressure placed on the quality of emotion dependent on how much money you spend as a result of commodification. This affects the way we collectively celebrate the ritual of love and its expanding definition for everyone to participate.
Kat Stavrou – (YouTube Host / Food & Lifestyle Influencer): YouTube | Instagram
Single on Valentines Day?
“I know I usually am. I’ll tell you what though, this is the perfect chance to show YOURSELF how much you love you.
Go for a bottomless brunch with the girls, take yourself out to a spa, eat that whole damn tub of ice cream because you are a queen and you deserve it! Self love is the most important love.
And this year, I’m buying myself a rose. Because nobody loves me more than I love me, and baby you’re worth it too. “
Zain Mitchlan – (Solo Music Artist): Instagram | Spotify | YouTube
People are enjoying being single in comparison to previous generations with the marriage rate actually in decline as the median age for couples increases. So perhaps Kat and Zain are on to something here with their modern take on Valentine’s Day as a celebration of self love and loved ones in your orbit.
“My favourite Valentine’s Day experience was in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens having a picnic and getting to watch the stars slowly appear in the sky. The best part about it was I with all my amazing friends, because I see it as a day to celebrate the love for everyone I find special in my life.”
IS THIS THE VALENTINE’S DAY YOU PLAN TO PROPOSE?
Louis Elias (Food & Lifestyle Influencer – Foodblogger Australia): Instagram | Facebook
With more importance on career and changing perceptions in marriage, many are waiting much longer than they use to before taking the plunge. 4 things you should know about someone before making that commitment:
– Learn and define each other’s core values
– Get to know each other’s friends
– Get to Know each other’s family
– Experience stressful situations together
If that basic checklist is done than congratulations to you if this is the Valentine’s Day when you pop the big question or are about to be proposed to – you’re all set!
There’s no better expert on love than food and lifestyle King, Lou who many industry insiders have dubbed ‘The Godfather of Food’. “The secret to a happy marriage is communication. Through good and bad times, communication and listening to each other helps. Diane and I have been together for 31 years and married for 24 years.”
Maya Haoushar (Food Influencer – Spoon of Bliss): Instagram | Spoon of Bliss
“MARRIAGE – A word you would think that is so bitter sweet.” says food influencer, Maya. “When I think about what a marriage consists of, it is about truth, honesty and loyalty. Not everything is butterflies and fairies, it’s hard work. But it all comes down to making it work and loving each other through the ups and downs and respecting each other. Yes marriage will consist of many arguments, some that are petty and some that you strongly agree to disagree but in the end (The women always wins) haha.”
When balancing a social life, family life and career she says like many others living in bliss, “communication is key, making it work takes both sides , and giving each other space to do what each other dreams of doing. Sometimes you will feel your in a routine and it’s working 9-5 coming home cooking cleaning but when both of you are happy it means your content. Wait till kids are involved. You will feel a whole lot of feeling like you have lost a part of you but in the end it’s all so worth it and you pick yourself up and get moving along to aspire what you set out to achieve.”
WE’VE COME A LONG WAY: FUN FACTS & MYTHS ABOUT VALENTINES DAY:
Trina Singh, (Lifestyle Influencer): Instagram
There’s no shortage of medieval anecdotes and poll statistics that show the fun and quirky side of Valentines Day. Some highlights from a quick scour:
- The first box of Cadbury produced for Valentine’s Day was made in the 1800s
- The red rose was the most cherished flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of love
- 3% of all Australian pet owners will give their pet a Valentine’s Day gift
- If you see a squirrel run past you on Valentine’s Day, it means you’ll end up marrying a cheapskate who will hoard all your moolah!
- Cut an apple in half on Valentine’s Day and the number of seeds at the centre will reveal the number of offspring you are destined to have
- A poll by the UK Daily Mail revealed 70% of women do not want to be proposed to on Valentine’s Day – we wonder how similar an Australian poll would fair
“I’ve been friends with my husband for 6 years. The only advice I can give is.. make sure you have a sense of humour. Be silly, keep it light and don’t take everything so seriously. The sweetest thing you can do this Valentine’s Day is to make them laugh! Trust me.. I’ve been married for 6 months haha”
Newlywed, Trina may be on to something, as scientific research has been published on the health benefits of laughter reducing blood pressure, boosting immune function, reduces stress, relieves pain and bruns calories!
Inspiration for cute gifts from the heart doesn’t always have to break the bank.
VALENTINE’S DAY IN AUSTRALIA:
In a survey of 1500 Australians by Brewquet, they found:
– Most Australian couples (77%) will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. 64% will be doing something special on the day, with 43% exchanging gifts.
– While Valentine’s Day is great for expressions of love, it doesn’t automatically mean things are going to heat up in the bedroom. Just 24% say they expect to have sex on the day.
– Australians are tipped to spend $377 million dollars on gifts this Valentine’s Day.
– Average spend for Valentine’s Day gifts is significant. Consumers will spend on average $90 buying gifts for their partner.
– While flowers are the number one gift for females, for males it is alcohol.
– Valentine’s Day is great for online retailers. Almost half of all shoppers will use both online and offline channels for buying their Valentine’s gifts, with a further 19% using online only.
Different dating stages, different dates, whatever your situation, we hope you get the most of Valentine’s Day and are immersed in the good-time feels you deserve!