Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is almost here. Retailers are in a pink-tinged lather, and shoppers are paying their annual homage to Hallmark, Godiva, People’s and the like.

Some of us would prefer to forget the holiday even exists, but the rest dutifully open our wallets in preparation for cupid’s big day, choosing to forget those as-yet-unpaid Christmas credit card bills.

Dating coach Patti Feinstein says that, in her experience, people who tend to go overboard for Valentine’s Day are the ones who are still in the honeymoon phase of their romance, which is generally the first couple months of a relationship. “That’s the period where you want to please someone and can’t do enough for them,” says Feistein.


Including buying them expensive gifts you can’t afford.

But celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to plunge us into debt, no matter what phase of a relationship we’re in. This Feb. 14, Feinstein suggests strapping on a pair of skates and getting to an ice rink with your darling.

“It allows you to interact by holding hands, which creates chemistry,” she notes. Plus most outdoor rinks are usually gratis, yet the open air and star-lit sky ... er, lights from the city’s office towers ... add a semblance of twinkling romance.

Afterwards, she suggests heating things up by heading indoors, stripping off that winter wear and getting a hot chocolate or dessert.

If you have two left feet and adding ice to the equation simply seems like courting disaster, pull out a toboggan and head for the snow covered hills instead. “Again the idea is to create that chemistry by having to hold onto each other,” says Feinstein. And chemistry, not gifts, is what will make the date special.

For those with a four legged friend, Feinstein suggests grabbing your pooch and your partner and heading to an indoor dog park for Valentine’s Day.

Because nothing says love like a big, sloppy doggie kiss.

Kasia Iglinski is a journalist who enjoys her work and her dating life. Armed with a notepad and a curious mind, she’s always on the prowl for a good story and a good date.

Latest From ...