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How to Have a Stress-free, Val Date Night at Home

Most celebrations are incomplete without food. So, it’s hardly surprising that a fine dining experience is a tradition for most couples on Valentine’s Day. I find their efforts in this regard beautiful and incredibly sweet.

However, one major obstacle to dining out on this day is traffic. Many people are always in a hurry and on special days like this, when it seems like everyone is on the road, the gridlock is crazy with the result that couples either spend the day in traffic or arrive their date looking tired after spending hours in the gridlock. I have had this experience and I’m pretty sure that others who have had same will agree that it is not a pleasant experience. Due to this experience, I prefer to spend Val in the comfort of my home.

While romantic celebrations like this one is not easy with children underfoot, I prefer it to spending hours in traffic. Besides, your attitude matters in all that you do. Therefore, if you want a stress free and funfilled Val, you can have it with or without the kids. The following tips will help you.

Preorder Food

This year’s Val falls on a Sunday. Weekend Val dates should mean more time to spend with that special someone but working couples push most of their cleaning and cooking chores to weekend. As a result, most are almost as exhausted on weekends as they are on weekdays. My advice? Make an exception for Val’s Day so you don’t come to the dinner table looking haggard and stressed out. Delegate all the cooking you planned for the day so that you can rest your feet and relax. Don’t roll your eyes at me oh! There’s no award for sufferhead. Therefore, check the restaurants that offer home delivery services and make your life easier by placing your order in time.

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Make Dinner More Interesting than Usual

Dinner at home will be boring if you serve the typical Nigerian fare of main dish and water. Thus, you need to spice things up and fortunately, you won’t have to break the bank to do this. A small glass of fresh juice can serve as appetiser. After the main dish, a slice of cake, some yoghurt parfait or chocolate can serve as dessert.

If you must Cook, Keep it Simple

Making a dish you know can save you a lot of stress on a date night. Thus, when planning the menu, stick with the familiar. Resist the temptation of experimenting with new food. It may not turn out well and even if it does, there’s a possibility that your date may not like it. Also, you might want to go easy on the pepper and garlic. Unless you are sure that everyone on the table can handle it.

Set the Table Beautifully

On special days, ambience is everything. So, make an effort. Remove the flask, the beverage containers and everything else that has taken up residence on your dining table. A clean, nice table cloth and some candles can transform the regular to the romantic. If you now add flowers and love notes, you have finished work. Just arrange the platter of food neatly on the table and when you are ready to eat, dim the lights and light the candles; the stage is set for a romantic dinner at home.

Involve the Kids in the Celebration

Most couples with kids want to celebrate special occassions like this one away from the kids. But if you can’t find anyone to take care of your kids while you enjoy some alone time with your spouse, make the most of it. Explain what the celebration is all about and get the kids involved in the festivities. Make some minor adjustments and if you are cooking, let them assist. They can help you set the table too. Just keep your best dinner wares away from them and for safety reasons, skip the candle lightening. Make them dress up for the occassion and you all can have fun as a family.

Leave your Phone Alone

If someone is spending time with you, you are special. If someone made the effort to cook or primp for you, you are special. The least you can do is to  appreciate that effort by focusing on your partner and the food. Don’t let your phone ruin your date night. Put it away and actually connect one on one with your date.

In conclusion, a beautiful Valentine Day’s celebration has nothing to do with location and everything to do with love, mindset and effort. Wishing you a memorable Valentine’s Day celebration.


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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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