Yes it's that time of year again; flowers delivered at work, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and couples-filled restaurants. Check, check and check, but where is the spontaneity? Where is the love? In these days of ubiquitous phones, pads, droids & drones, isn't the biggest present we can give someone our undivided attention and time? We look at some options that take an evening from going-through-the-motions to an intimate affair, and no, they don't all involve candles even though they obviously all should :-) This Valentine's Day, #loveyourself and don’t settle.

1. Write down why you love them: something big or tragic doesn't need to happen before you get down to do this; everyone likes feeling loved and the great thing is, you can write this to anyone you love; friends, family, partners, even your pet hamster.

2. Prepare a romantic dinner at home: cook your way into their heart. Do what you do best and let music, candles and wine do the rest.

3. Be a tourist in your own city: that's right, go to all those places that you always said you would but somehow never get around to because, what, Facebook?

4. Create a candle-lit path to a romantic setting: dinner, a soothing bath or the bedroom; wherever it takes you, it's always better in candlelight.

5. Find a great outdoors spot to sit and enjoy the view: we live in a beautiful world and every now and then it's worth stopping to take a look at it. Surround yourself by candles to add some magic, and pop some bubbly to make it extra-special.

6. Get them started on their dream. It doesn't have to be big or expensive; the fact that you know them is what matters. Always wanted to start a business? Make her a business card. Dreams of climbing Machu Picchu? He'll need a map. Is diving with sharks on the bucket list? A snorkel helps.

7. Did we mention candles? Turn any setting into a special one by adding candlelight; a beach dinner, a glamping weekend away or a midnight skinny-dip; no matter what or where, it always looks better by candlelight.

Pro-tip: celebrate a day early! It takes the edge off, skips the awkwardness and you can go straight to the part where you have a fun and spontaneous time. Bonus: it’s less expensive too :-)

Finally, be safe. Don't just put your candle anywhere - make sure it's well protected. Have a great V-Day and remember to #loveyourself and don't settle!

Get off to a romantic start with a box of 12 pillar candles, available here.

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