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Making Valentine’s Day Work for You: Experts Weigh In

Valentine’s Day is not all cards, candy, and flowers.

Depending on your perspective, it can be a source of joy, happiness, and satisfaction, or anguish and emotional pain. There are widely divergent views about Valentine’s Day and all the hoopla that goes with it, depending on your circumstances.

Some couples take advantage of the holiday to celebrate their relationship. Others take a matter-of-fact view, reasoning they should work to maintain their relationship every day of the year, not just on a specific date. Still others, many, but not all singles, view Valentine’s Day with disdain, perhaps feeling they are outside the mainstream because they are uncoupled.

Relationship expert and dating coach Kristi Price understands their cynicism. She is something of a cynic herself about it all. Price cites the pressure some feel to turn the day into something magical.

“I’m not in love with this holiday,” she said. “Every day of the year, you should be showing the person you love that you care about them and do nice things, not just one day a year.”

Price sees Valentine’s Day as an event fueled in large measure by greeting card companies, florists, and the like, not to mention social media.

“I think social media has blown it up,” Price said. “Before, we didn’t have all the reminders of Valentine’s Day. People are really pushing it. They want to get people in the door, and with social media and all that, there’s constant bombardment. But that’s why I call it a ‘Hallmark holiday.’”

Lauren Pilgenmayer is a life and relationship coach based in Delaware County.

“(Valentine’s Day) is a Hallmark holiday that’s kind of glamorized as this big thing with having love and flowers and chocolate,” she said. “And if you don’t have that, what does it mean? I think it’s a beautiful holiday, but it can be whatever you want it to be.”

Pilgernmayer says the holiday can be a catalyst for those seeking to make changes in their lives and perhaps find a relationship.

“It can just shine a light back to people in areas where they feel ‘Well, I don’t have someone’ or ‘I just broke open with someone’ or ‘I’m widowed,’” she said. “So, do you just survive it every year, or do you allow it to point to areas in your life where you can make a little shift? Why are you single? And what are you making it mean about yourself?”

Pilgenmayer encouraged people who are alone on Valentine’s Day not to be overly harsh on themselves.

“Maybe this is a time for me to say, ‘Why do I feel unlovable?’” she said. “’ How can I dive into myself a little bit more and have compassion?

“Because underneath a lot of everyday stuff is just wounding from our past.”

Price counsels those not in relationships to spend Valentine’s Day to set aside implied pressures of others, including greeting card companies, and spend the day engaged in activities they enjoy.

“Get together with friends and do something fun,” she advises. “If you like sporting events, or theater, or music, go to that. Have a spa day.

“Maybe just turn off your social media, stay at home and watch some movies, do some nice things for yourself, or have a party at your house.

“Anything that brings you joy or brings a smile to your face. Just try and shut your social media down. Social media tends to blow things up. Just do what feels good for you.”

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DelVal Candidates Tout Favorite Local Romantic Getaways

Valentine’s Day—a day where even hard-charging politicos take a breather from the campaign trail to enjoy some time with their significant other.

The Delaware Valley Journal asked some local candidates to share their favorite romantic spots in this area.

“Hiking in the Pennypack Preserve near our home in Bryn Athyn,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate. “We talk about family, food, faith and fun (and yes, politics) while watching the theatrics of nature all around us.”

Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto, who is also running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, said his idea of a romantic date with his wife, Christy, is “a boat cruise up and down the Delaware River.”

Longwood Gardens

The Spirit of Philadelphia offers scenic dinner cruises along the river.

“I have had many enjoyable strolls at the impressive outdoor gardens at Longwood Gardens,” said James Jones, a Hatboro resident who is running for lieutenant governor.  “Let your love bloom at Longwood Gardens. Spend a few hours strolling the impressive outdoor gardens as well as four acres of conservatories, historic Peirce-du Pont House, Webb Farmhouse & Galleries, the Terrace, and the visitor center. Inside the glass-enclosed conservatories, you’ll find tranquility among the plants and waterfalls.”

Main Street Clock in New Hope

Horsham’s Clarice Schillinger, who is also running for lieutenant governor, said, “For a statewide candidate, the most romantic place to be is at home! In all seriousness, my husband and I love visiting New Hope where we go to watch plays, ride the train, visit the shops, and have a fantastic meal at the many restaurants to choose from.”

“Josh’s favorite romantic spot in the Delaware Valley is the Pennypack Trail, where he and his wife Lori like to go on walks, said Will Simon, a spokesman for Democrat Josh Shapiro.  Shapiro, now serving as attorney general, is running for governor.

Another Republican candidate, Guy Ciarrocchi, who has taken a leave from the Chester County Chamber of Business to run for governor, said, “This year, the most romantic spot is anywhere that Chris & I can go to be alone and away from the campaign—so that we can just be ‘Chris and Guy.’ We enjoy going to places that we’ve been to before to relive memories of then and now—but our favorite restaurant in Lancaster and our favorite restaurant in South Philly both closed. So, time for a new memory place. Any suggestions?”

Amy Bohr, with Visit Delco PA, suggests Chanticleer in Wayne as “one of the most romantic places in Delco.”

Bridgeton House Deck

“Admittedly, it will not be open for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “This intimate, romantic ‘pleasure garden’ is truly a feast for the senses. Orchards, wildflower meadows, and verdant woodlands surround the historic Rosengarten family estate.”

Not to be outdone, Alexa Johnson with Visit Bucks County said, “I would say it’d have to be one of our quaint B&B’s – the Bridgeton House on the Delaware, Inn at Bowman’s Hill or Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm.”


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