PillowTalk: Avoiding Dating Pitfalls On Valentine's Day

February 14, 2020
Avoiding Dating Pitfalls

Tetiana Lazunova/ iStock / Getty Images Plus


Whether you are looking for love or you have found the love of your life, here are some tips to help you navigate the seas of love and romance from Dating.com. Hopefully this information will help provide smooth sailing for the best Valentine's Day yet.

Finding that special someone can make life so much better – and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to do so. A survey of Dating.com members has uncovered online dating activity and behavioral trends to help breakdown today’s complex dating scene. Standout findings include:

More than half (63%) of users indicate feelings of loneliness during the month of February specifically

Of those who reported feeling lonely during the month, 45% agree that they turn to online dating as an effective and quick fix to their anxiety or sadness.

87% of those surveyed said they have found someone online that they had a strong connection with

Users located in Southern states – top locations include Alabama, Texas, West Virginia and Tennessee – typically drive the highest spikes in online dating activity during the lead up to February 14.

Across the United States, overall online dating activity increases by 33% between February 1 and February 14.

Internationally, overall online dating activity increased overall by more than 18% between February 1 and February 14.

“We understand that Valentine’s Day can create a sense of pressure and urgency for people all over the world, regardless if you are looking for love or have already found it,” says Maria Sullivan, Vice President and Relationship Expert of Dating.com. “We’re here to make it easier and provide the public with what they need to know will hurt their chances of having that perfect day, one where everything just feels right.”

In an effort to end the last minute frenzy to find plans and the cycle of disappointing dates, Dating.com has tips for those currently single and looking to have a fun and constructive Valentine’s Day. Here’s what not to do to make sure your day goes as smoothly as possible and, hopefully, turn your love life around:

Don’t contact your ex – If anything, let your ex contact you. You do not need to be disappointed by an unenthusiastic conversation or, worse, no answer. Take the day to start a conversation with someone new online – or simply take the day off from dating altogether and try again tomorrow when the pressure of the holiday subsides.

Don’t draw too much attention to the actual holiday – Rather than posting on your social media and trying to make a joke out of how you are alone, leave your followers wondering what you could possibly be up to. Do not broadcast the fact that you are single, instead choose not to comment and remove yourself from the already oversaturated conversation – focus your efforts on choosing the perfect new picture to revamp your dating profile.

Don’t throw or attend a party – Everyone loves a party, but pity parties aren’t ever really as fun. Unless you can find a group of people that is truly interested in having positive and constructive get-together - rather than an anti-holiday gathering - we suggest you avoid it.

If you are taking the day to try something new and expand your horizons, first dates are a great way to go. Dating.com finds that women are more open than their counterparts to have a first date on Valentine’s Day – there is a 34% uptick of female users who initiate an offline meeting on February 14. Our in- house dating experts have come up with the following tricks to avoiding a Valentine’s Day first date catastrophe:

Don’t wear a themed outfit – Stay away from hearts or any clothing in the red-family. Although your first date happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, a real match will want to dig deeper and move past the noise that the holiday creates to actually focus on who you really are. For some, playing too much into the holiday can act as an almost instant turn off.

Don’t show up empty handed – Start things off on the best note possible by exceeding your date’s expectations before the date has technically even started. Flowers aren’t too expensive and speak volumes! Something to remember, however, is not to overspend. An over-the-top gesture can come off as a warning sign to a date that you may be overcompensating for something.

Control the PDA – Since you are just meeting for the first time that day, it’s best to set some boundaries. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the romance that is associated with this particular day, but keep some things to the imagination to ensure that you get that second date and take this potential connection further.

Avoid overdrinking – Though this particular holiday can bring out the desire in a person to drink a full bottle of wine, it’s important to keep it together to make sure your date can actually leave feeling understood, hopeful and happy.

Contrast to popular belief, more men than women are concerned over planning their Valentine’s Day – 19% more men said they like to think ahead about where and who they choose to celebrate with. Here is what not to do when planning a romantic night with your significant other:

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan – Keep in mind that February 14th is one of the hardest days of the year to grab tickets or a reservation, so plan ahead to secure your date spot.

Don’t do the same thing as last year – If you’ve been with your partner for more than one Valentine’s Day already, make sure you plan something special that you’ve never done together before this year. Simply going through the motions is not enough to keep your partner satisfied.

Don’t forget to establish gifting precedents – Before the big day arrives, establish whether or not you want to exchange gifts in order to avoid any awkward one-sided exchanges. Set expectations but remember this: even if your relationship isn’t too focused on material items, this is a great day to make your match feel more special than just any other average day.

Steer clear of controversial topics – There’s nothing worse than a disagreement on Valentine’s Day. Try to keep things light, fun and positive to avoid any unnecessary conflicts and enjoy time with whoever you choose to spend the day with.

We took a poll of our users to determine some of the biggest gifting fails they’ve experienced. Whatever you decide to give to your loved one, make sure to avoid any of the following that made it onto Dating.com’s list of the top 14 worst Valentine’s Day gifts ever received:

A used candle

An exes leftover clothing

Edible underwear

Pink shaving cream

A sports team themed lighter

Hair ties

A picture of a gift ordered online that did not arrive in time

A card themed for the wrong holiday

A date night coupon


Heart shaped paper clips

A twenty dollar bill

A pet goldfish

Beef jerky bouquet