How’s your weekend shaping up? Hopefully, given that it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday, you’ll be spending the weekend loved up, uber spoilt and in a bubble of romantic bliss. Or is that just what Hallmark Cards expect us to be doing?


So what is your take on Valentine’s Day? Do you believe it’s simply an annual marketing tool for chocolatiers and lingerie brands? Or is it a good reminder for us to take time out to celebrate our loved ones? Or, for those not currently in a relationship, is it the perfect opportunity to celebrate yourself?


With a wealth of professional romantic experience among us (not literally – ha!), the haven team came up with our top DOs and DON’Ts for Valentine’s Day. Among us, there are all kinds of relationships from long-time married with kids to singles. Hopefully our ‘professional’ tips will be (somewhat) useful – or give you a giggle!


haven magazine owner/publisher Keeley

DO make it a family date (you are dreaming if you think you will snag a babysitter on Valentine’s Day!). Hit the park, the beach or your fave ice cream shop for some quality time and be sure to share two things you love about each member of your family. I say embrace the LOVE, people! Having said that, DON’T let Valentine’s Day be the only day you tell your partner you love them, or the only excuse to go on a date!


haven magazine creative director Emma

DO spend the day doing something fun with friends or take yourself off for some pampering. DON’T sit at home alone and watch The Notebook!


haven magazine editor Belinda

DO make sure you go out for a romantic dinner, just you and your partner (mainly because you need quality time together sans-kids and not necessarily because the marketing tells you to). But DON’T expect him to remember it’s Valentine’s Day (or is that just in my household?). If date night is on, DO go to the effort of searching for your ‘special’ matching underwear sets. But DON’T expect to find them, because it’s been so long and ain’t nobody got time for dat 😉


haven magazine account manager Jenni

DO try to make a little effort to do something romantic. Maybe bake a heart-shaped cake, leave some love notes around the house for him to find or organise a picnic. DON’T bother going out for dinner – it’s one of the busiest nights of the year. I’d prefer to do the dinner thing on my anniversary.


haven magazine columnist Moyra

DO accept Valentine’s Day cards from your kids like they are diamonds – one day in years to come, they will be worth as much. DON’T look for a present the minute you wake up – no one likes a greedy Valentine, or even worse a disappointed greedy Valentine! DO break out the ‘good cutlery’ even if you’re having takeaway Thai – what other special occasion are you saving it for? And DON’T feel like you can’t buy him a present. A woman gifting a six-pack is incredible attractive to most men!


haven magazine art columnist Mrs Red

DO remember that it is also father-in-law’s birthday and brother’s birthday and, a bit like Christmas, they don’t want to be overlooked! But DON’T book romantic-style restaurants for you all to celebrate with a birthday dinner as you tend to look like a group of swingers (speaking from experience!).


haven magazine food columnist Georgia

DO cook me dinner. But DON’T expect me to clean up after you!


haven magazine Daddy Diaries columnist Anthony

DO take the time to remember what you love about the special person in your life. But DON’T believe them when they say ‘you don’t need to get me anything for Valentine’s Day’ IT’S A TRAP!!!


haven magazine life skills columnist Debbie

“We accept the love we think we deserve” – Stephen Chbosky

DO celebrate Valentine’s Day by ‘loving self’. Take yourself out for some special time – it doesn’t have to be shared with anyone else. Having said this, if there is someone special in your life you wish to spend the time with, include them in something special you want to do. Speak up for ‘self’. Respect ‘self’ first and foremost. Don’t be talked into something you don’t want to do – life is way too short for that kinda stuff. Create for yourself a magical and special day!


Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.