Column: Valentine’s Day ideas for couples and singles

Mallory Pace, Reporter

Valentine’s Day is a day seemingly reserved for couples to have an extra day to be gushy and loving, but it can be stressful. There seems to be so much pressure on having the perfect day with your perfect partner and perfect chocolate-covered strawberries, but the pressure ruins it all. Here are some ways to make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable yet, without breaking the bank or going into a stress-induced heart attack. 

Ideas for Couples

Plan a picnic

If weather permits, planning a romantic picnic is a great way to spend the day. Make a trip to the grocery store together and pick out a few of your favorite snacks and desserts. You could even split up and pick a few out for each other, testing how well you know their favorite snacks. Then find an isolated spot, ideally a field of sunflowers and roses, but more realistically, a quiet park with at least one patch of green grass. Spend your day playing card games, feeding each other pieces of cake, and just enjoying each other’s company. Colin Neely, a freshman majoring in social studies education proposed his idea of the perfect way to spend the day: “Spend time without distractions,” he said. No matter how you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, the best thing you can do is be present in the time you spend together.

Have a dinner date 

Especially for off-campus students living in an apartment, cooking dinner at home can be a fun way to spend a cozy night with your partner while saving money at the same time. Spend some time researching fun and intriguing recipe online you both would like to try:

  1. Taste of Home offers a variety of easy dinner recipes.
  2. Work together as a team to navigate the stovetop you’ve never touched and create a masterpiece of delicacy.
  3. Don’t forget to split the dishes! 

If you live in a dorm and your kitchen setup is limited, find a local restaurant you both have never tried. It doesn’t have to be expensive or glamorous. Just dress up in your favorite and most fashionable fits and enjoy a night out.  

Game night 

Gather up your favorite childhood games like Monopoly, Twister, and Guess Who and spend a chill night playing games that release your inner child. It’s a fun and therapeutic way to go back in time and forget about your responsibilities and that test you have on Monday and have some good old-fashioned fun. If you’re a competitive couple, you could even invite over another couple and play games to test your relationship skills. 

Ideas For Singles 

Even though Valentine’s Day is traditionally reserved for couples, there’s also a substitute holiday anyone can celebrate: Galentine’s Day… or Brolentine’s Day? Either way, being single doesn’t mean you can’t utilize this day to have some fun with your friends. 

Charcuterie board night

Invite all your best friends over and assign them a charcuterie board to assemble and bring. Examples are ice cream, pizza, wings, desserts, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables. Pick your favorite movie; I might suggest avoiding the romantic genre, but whatever the consensus is, and enjoy your night surrounded by the friends who would never break your heart. 

Go out on the town 

Both Jacksonville and St. Augustine have a plethora of restaurants, cafés, and attractions. Put on a Valentine’s Day-themed outfit and own the town for the night. In Jacksonville Beach, you’ll find delicious restaurants like Flying Iguana, Coop 303, Poe’s Tavern and plenty more. More in the Riverside area, you could book a reservation at some of the finest dining Jacksonville has to offer. River & Post, The Mossfire Grill and Hawkers Asian Street Food are all rated four and a half stars. Celebrate the day of love with good friends and even better food. 

Who said you can’t buy yourself flowers and chocolate? 

Spend the day of love loving yourself. Pick out your favorite flowers, something a boyfriend probably wouldn’t even be able to do, and be your own valentine. If you want to be a little more extra than that, you could even send yourself flowers to your work, just remember to sign it from a secret admirer. Chocolate is also a great way to show yourself some love. 

A first-year studying marketing, Victoria Fernandez has her plans set: “Listen to Olivia Rodrigo while eating chocolate,” she said. There is nothing wrong with blasting your favorite sad songs in the car while enjoying some delicious chocolate. Sounds like a regular Friday night to me.  

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, Valentine’s Day is just time to share the love with your friends and family, but don’t forget candy prices are way better if you wait until the next day. Happy Valentine’s Day!


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