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Professional matchmaker Sameera Sullivan is the CEO and Founder of Lasting Connections, an elite matchmaking company that provides high-end services personalized for each client. It can be really difficult, for men especially, to throw themselves in the dating pool. Whether you're newly single or not, enlisting Last Connections is like enlisting, as they put it, a "love recruiter". They determine your wants and needs and then introduce you to the best candidates based on that criteria. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
Well, as a little preview of what Lasting Connections is capable of, we decided to get in touch with Sameera to tackle a subject that's on every guy's mind right now — Valentine's Day. If you're single, don't you worry, Sameera covers that too! Be sure to play close attention, guys. With February 14 just one day way, this is our last stitch effort to teach you a thing or two!
FHM: Why Do So Many People Treat Valentine's Day As Do Or Die? Is It Really That Bad If A Guy Doesn't Have A Date?
Sameera Sullivan: "Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be what the media portrays it to be — it’s simply a day to celebrate love whether that be of family, friends, significant other, or even self. Think of V-day as a chance to show everyone — including yourself — a bit of gratitude. In this spirit, there are countless ways to celebrate that don’t include a pricey prix fixe dinner date. If you’re single, have your friends over and treat them to some drinks and dessert or if your week is too busy for hosting, send valentines to your loved ones like you did in grade school — it’ll brighten your day to think of brightening theirs. Again, don’t forget about the most neglected person in your life – yourself. Whether it’s a great meal or a massage, giving yourself a moment to relax and enjoy is important for you and your relationships, regardless of if that includes a relationship with a significant other.
FHM: OK, So How Does A Dude Handle Being Single On V-Day? We Assume Just Getting Drunk With His Buddies Is OK, Right?
Sameera Sullivan: Like any other day of the week, the answer to what to do on any given night, depends on the guy. If he wants to go out with friends, great. Grab some good friends, get some premium whiskey and make or order up dinner at his place. Perhaps include a game of poker or make it a night of fine spirit tasting but, in moderation -- we want everyone to home safely! If you're on the more active side, schedule a guys ski weekend since Valentine's Day falls on a weekend this year! If he wants to take a girl out on Valentine’s Day, great - it shows confidence; it demonstrates that he’s not beholden to any set of norms or expectations, he simply does what feels right. If Valentine’s Day is a first date, simply treat it like any other– a chance to get to know each other. If he wants to bring flowers as a small gesture, that’s fine, but, avoid making too big of a deal about the holiday.
FHM: For All Those Single Folks Out There, Do You Think More People Are Prone To Meeting On V-Day Because "Love Is In The Air?"
Sameera Sullivan: "Between being home for the holidays without a 'honey' to share it with and new year’s resolutions to meet someone new, people are generally more open to love following the holiday season. So, in that sense, yes, love is in the air. People also love a reason to celebrate; so, if you’re single, brave the snowballs and blizzards, and navigate your way to some social soirees for your best chance of meeting someone.
FHM: When In A Relationship, What're Some Alternative Things To Do Other Than Roses And Dinner With Your Significant Other?
Sameera Sullivan: "Again, remember that Valentine’s Day is about showing love and appreciation so there are 1,001 different ways to do that outside of a pricey prix fixe dinner date. First things first, don’t be a party pooper in the name of principle. You’re not in middle school — 'Valentine’s Day is a hallmark holiday,' simply isn’t cool. Taking time to show your significant other a little appreciation is healthy for any relationship — you can’t argue with that, right? If you’re looking for some new ideas, you’re in luck:
Take a hike! Spend it outdoors and enjoy the scenery. Plan to stop in somewhere cozy for a meal on the way home. A little planning goes a long way, especially if that’s uncharacteristic for you. If he/she is always taking care of the day-to-day chores, maybe you want to take over or hire someone to so you two have more time to spend together.
Make home a haven. Set up candles, send the kids to their grandparents, cook or order in dinner and don’t forget dessert! Plan a theme night in. Choose a cuisine you don’t cook often — Asian, Italian, Indian, or Mediterranean and make the meal together. Add in a themed cocktail and music. After dinner, watch an old time movie or play a board game – anything to enjoy each other’s company. If you have a gift for him or her, hide it somewhere and have them look for it around the house with little hints eventually leading to the bedroom, wink wink!
If you are heading to dinner, play stylist for each other. There’s something sensual about wearing exactly what the other person chooses. Later, take turns undressing each other. Turn V-day into a weekend getaway or day of favorites. Visit each other’s favorite restaurants, parks, or shows. Take turns and plan surprises for the other person along the way. Changing things up during a long term relationship can do wonders to keep things new and exciting."
FHM: Any Things That Men Should Absolutely Avoid Doing On Valentine's Day, Whether Single Or Just Starting To Date Someone?
Sameera Sullivan: "Avoid putting too much, or really any, emphasis on gifts – this is simply a day about showing someone how much you appreciate them. Don’t try too hard to impress someone at the expense of being yourself. This goes for any date, but particularly Valentine’s Day since it already has a reputation for being sappy. Avoid avoiding Valentine’s Day! Again, simply take February 14th as an opportunity to show and tell her how much you appreciate her."
FHM: If You're Going On A First Date On Valentine's Day, What Should Expectations Be?
Sameera Sullivan: "I mentioned this earlier but first date expectations shouldn’t change just because it’s Valentine’s Day. The objective of the first date is simply to get to know each other – to figure out if there’s chemistry and enough of it to merit a second date. If either one of you is caught up on the fact that this first date falls on February 14th, you’re distracted from the real reason you’re meeting."
FHM: Lastly, What's A Realistic Price Point For A Guy To Spend On V-Day?
Sameera Sullivan: "No one should ever spend what they cannot afford – ever. All that needs to be apparent on Valentine’s Day is that a guy made an effort to show his partner that he values her. If spending money helps him do this, great, and if not, or he can afford to, that’s fine too. One caveat though, and I cannot emphasize this enough, make sure your extra effort is apparent."
Lead Image via Instagram/sameeraconnects