Last-ditch love: A guide to last-minute Valentine’s Day plans

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Hopes are high, and expectations loom this Valentine’s Day. Whether you have made big plans or you are staying in, it is important to understand what you, and your date, want.

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. While some students have already made plans, others are sure to scramble to find something to do come Feb. 14. With many options in Utah Valley, the challenge is often finding the motivation to make plans, rather than the inspiration to do so. For those lacking inspiration or motivation, the following profiles may be helpful in making plans.

The strategic high roller

 “I was strategic about it; I had heard of this restaurant before,” said Tyler Bracken, a 23-year-old business strategy major from Kaysville. “I had been given a gift card for the place, and I have literally saved it for over a year. I have been waiting for the right girl.”

Those looking to make a big impression don’t have to spend big bucks. With sites like Amazon Local and Groupon offering reduced rates on fine dining, the strategic high roller can make the splash (s)he was hoping for without breaking the bank.

“I wanted to find a higher-end restaurant,” Bracken said. “This is the first time I have had a valentine. I had to make it special this time.”

Bracken found his restaurant after receiving a gift card from work. Not everyone has the fortune of generous employers, but that doesn’t mean good deals are beyond reach. When planning fails, research can make up the difference. Seeking out some last-minute deals softens the financial blow of the coming holiday.

The sentimentalist

High prices, formal dress and small portions aren’t the only way to show someone you care. For Mark Hales, an English major from Grantsville, price doesn’t weigh in on either side of the scale when making a decision.

“For a Valentine’s restaurant, the first and only thing that I would really factor in is the level of sentimentality,” Hales said. “Why are we going there? Was it our first date? Our first kiss? Wherever we go, it has to have some sort of sentimental value to our relationship.”

According to Hales, sentimentality gives couples the opportunity to relive the milestones of relationships.

“I would want my date to wonder where we are going,” Hales continued. “I want her to wonder which moment I am going to pick to showcase this year.”

The loving hermit 

Just as some invoke the past, Jim Law, a senior from Madison, Ala., looks to cherish the private present.

“It’s so common for restaurants to be crowded on Valentine’s Day,” said Law. “I just want to go somewhere off the beaten path. I think having a big crowd kind of ruins the atmosphere. I want to go somewhere nice, not too expensive, but that shows I care without it being super crowded.”

The easy-to-please

For all of the planning that is put into Valentine’s Day, Katja Klebingat, a 19-year-old German national, doesn’t expect anything too flashy. Rather than some grand romantic gesture, she is looking for something intimate, yet simple.

“I am not one who needs to be swept off her feet and really impressed,” Klebingat said. “I want a place that has good food where I can hang out with my fiancé and just have a good time.”

The resident chef

Few things can get more intimate or simple than a home-cooked meal. Samantha Buckhave, a senior from Apple Valley, Calif., is looking to make a modest meal with her fiancé.

“My fiancé lives in California, so he is coming up here for Valentine’s Day,” Buckhave said. “We are going to a grocery store, where we are going to buy the stuff to cook at my apartment; I feel more comfortable in my apartment.”

Staying in gives couples the chance for more than just the comfortable. Camilla Stark, an industrial design major from Colorado Springs, wants to liven up the evening by making something “crazy.”

“If it was any old day, I just want to eat,” Stark said. “But for special occasions it is fun to do something different. Not something that is more expensive-different or fancy-different, but the experience of making it should be different.”

One of the girls/guys

Single students celebrate Feb. 14 differently than do their paired-off counterparts. Some stay in alone, while others spend the day enjoying the company of their single friends.

“I normally don’t go out on Valentine’s Day,” said Jamie Morgan, 23, an advertising major from Los Angeles. “(When I’m single) I generally just stay in and do something with friends. It’s cheaper, and we can make exactly what we want for dinner.”

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