Etiquette Boss: Valentine’s Day etiquette

February 11, 2015 Phillipa Morrish
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Love and romance are once again in the air, and while many are anticipating engagement rings and candlelight dinners, for many others, it is “single awareness day.”  Etiquette is basically gracious and considerate behavior; so in the midst of celebrating, please be sensitive when speaking about your planned Valentine’s weekend activities. For the romantically unattached, have a blast with friends at a good restaurant.

Worthy of mention also is the “what do I give this year?” quandary. That depends on age and status. For example, young people who are dating have different issues. If the young lady has been pausing to look into the window of every jewelry store, she might be giving a hint that she would welcome an engagement ring.

Jewelry is usually a “guaranteed Valentine’s Day pleaser” except in this situation. Any wrapped jewelry box will be opened with heightened expectation. Anything other than the anticipated engagement ring will be a let-down, so think of long-stemmed roses, designer handbags, etc., if you are not ready to pop the question.

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For other couples, please reconsider the ubiquitous teddy bear (unless the lady is a collector) to anyone over 14. Ditto for pharmacy chocolates with the helium balloons attached. It might indicate a lack of forethought.

For married couples, a sure winner is breakfast in bed, perhaps an engraved bud vase with one long stemmed rose, plus a spa certificate or one to her favorite store. Ladies cannot go wrong making their own “gift certificates” and presenting them for the gentleman to “cash in” upon request.

A handwritten note from either partner about what the year has meant having that person by your side will be cherished. No household items, no gym membership or equipment (no matter how much she has been promising to buy them).

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.


Ladies and gentlemen can have that extra glow when going out for Valentine’s Day. Simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider and apply all over the face, avoiding the eye area. Keep eyes closed for at least 30 minutes before washing in cold water. It is a great at-home peel. If your skin is sensitive, mix with an equal amount of water.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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