I used wikiHow to plan my Valentine’s Day

Because how else would I do it?

WikiHow is the fountain of all knowledge. Although I didn’t use its tips to find myself a significant other, I turned to its wisdom in order to have the perfect (pre-) Valentine’s Day. Having won the ‘Cutest College Couple Award’ at Halfway Hall, I wanted to keep the romance steaming – and what better way to do it than with wikiHow at my fingertips?

In ‘How to Make Valentine’s Day Extra Special’, the wikiHow Staff outline three sections: spending quality time together, affirming your loved one, and giving special gifts. So far, so good. I can do all of those!

We spend lots of time together anyway, I tell him I love him, and I have a handmade gift lined up. I am now a Romantic and Passionate Woman! But sometimes it do not be like that, and in the breakdown of these sections my beloved wikiHow Staff, well, broke down. I am not quite sure if I was supposed to do more than one activity from each section, but alas! I was rampant with passion, and simply couldn’t resist.

Spending quality time together

We spend lots of quality time together, although not often in the ways that the wikiHow Staff have suggested – we yell at each other over video games, and sit in silence while we work. The article’s suggestions were typically rOmAnTiC: arrange a dinner, have a day out, go for coffee, have a long walk, go on a weekend away, take them out dancing. A couple of those were vetoed immediately (logistic difficulties, and neither of us can dance), but the rest? Easy!

We cooked dinner together, went for a long, cold walk around the Botanic Gardens, (and a briefer nosey round the Fitzwilliam Museum) and had coffee whilst I tried to focus on my significant other instead of my impending essay crisis. But I enjoyed the time we spent together that was focused on us and enjoying each other’s company.

We laughed and made fun of one another and I would also recommend walking as a date idea, simply because you don’t have to look at one another and feel the pressure of eye contact and conversation. Thanks, wikiHow!

My verdict: 5/5 hearts – doing things is fun!

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Momentarily paying attention to the ceiling, instead of my S.O (photo credit to writer)

Affirming your loved one

At this stage of our relationship, we largely communicate in memes and YouTube videos. Know that the other is sad? Send them a video of an obese cat. Want the other to pick something up in town? Send them an object-appropriate meme. Perhaps, therefore, this was the perfect time to Properly Communicate.

As the article suggested, I wrote my boyfriend a love note, which was unexpectedly difficult. Why do I love him? Yes he’s cute and loving and feeds me when I cry, but other than that? I had no idea how to articulate it, so it was actually quite refreshing to sit down and think about why we’re a match.

I wrote him a little love note, which was all well and good; that got two of the suggestions down. The last one, however, of sitting down together and telling your partner face-to-face what you love about them, was problematic.

Upon introduction of this activity, my boyfriend’s first words were ‘I’m going to be sick’, which was very encouraging. He knows that I’m awkward and bad at expressing myself – the conversation included the words ‘I love you because you can cook paella’.

After we had this conversation, he then stepped forward (with shoes on) and without thinking placed all his weight onto my (un-shoed) left foot, leaving me with a bleeding toe and wondering why I still fancy him. (just kidding – he was very apologetic and got me ice cream)

My verdict: 2/5 hearts – cards and love notes are cute, but a face-to-face confession of my love was excruciating and so was the pain of having a bleeding big toe.

Giving special gifts

WikiHow’s advice was, to be honest, largely expected (apart from ‘bring their pet a new toy or treat’, which somewhat baffled me). Although I didn’t order him his favourite takeaway (Five Guys), or buy him flowers (he would – I quote – sarcastically prefer ‘just your company’), I did make him a playlist of love songs and offered to do the washing up.

I did like how wikiHow emphasised experiences and little acts of kindness over expensive gifts; a nice reminder that Valentine’s Day is about love (for your partner, for yourself, for your friends) and doing what you actually love. (So look after yourself! Self-care is important!

My verdict: 3 out of 5 hearts – minus one for the weird pet suggestion, minus one for the flowers.

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I made a Romantic Playlist (photo credit to the author)

In all, having wikiHow plan your Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad, if you enjoy romance and flowers and expressing your love in ways that aren’t memes. Unfortunately, however, I don’t know if I do. I think I’ll stick to the memes.

Header image credit to Jonathan van Es