Valentine's Day Survival Guide

The most romantic day of the year? Or a stressful,
sentimental, overly commercialized nightmare? Whatever your opinion, has suggestions for how to survive this February 14th with your relationship--and your sanity--intact.

Plan Ahead

With a little advance planning, you can save yourself a lot of stress and ensure a fun and romantic Valentine's Day--one where you won't be stuck without a reservation or paying too much for a rush delivery of flowers. It goes without saying, but restaurants are flooded with reservation requests for that night, so book early at your favorite romantic spot, or at that hot new bistro. If you leave yourself a little more time, you can also find a more personal gift, such as cuff links, a locket or a watch engraved with your lover's initials or a special message. It doesn't have to be about how much you spend, either: Putting a little time in can make a gift that is far more personal and meaningful than flowers, roses, candy, and even jewelry. Consider framing a photograph of the two of you, writing a silly love poem or making a scrapbook of photos and mementos of your relationship. Or just plan to make dinner at home, complete with champagne and candlelight; find recipes for chocolate fondue (great for sharing!) and everything else you need here . Finally, you don't have to wait for Valentine's Day to be romantic--give small gifts, flowers or leave notes in the days leading up to the holiday and you'll distinguish yourself from all those bouquets sent to the office on the 14th.