Paris will not be the only city of love on Wednesday, according to one Wagga resident.
With Valentine’s Day painting the city red this week, local florist Kellie Fletcher said romance was very much alive and well.
Her words come amid a changing landscape across the dating scene, with online platforms, social media and texting, replacing face-to-face meet-cutes, blind dates and set-ups.
But if you are still looking for Valentine's Day ideas, here are some special "Wagga" ways to treat your loved one:
Ms Fletcher said nothing could replace the gift of a good bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day.
A florist for more than 30 years, she predicted she would be run off her feet with floral arrangements, deliveries and last-minute requests.
“Red roses are what people – especially men – associate with love,” Ms Fletcher said. “It’s traditional.”
Sales have not only surged for florists across Wagga, with chocolate, jewellery and lingerie sales also booming.
Simply Risque manager Helen Berger said Valentine’s Day was the biggest day of the year, for the small Fitzmaurice Street store.
“It’s going to be very busy,” Ms Berger said. “The most popular items are lingerie and vibrators.”
For lovers preferring the sweet comfort of eating at home on Wednesday night, Wagga chef Karl Kelly said anything you could share could be classed as a romantic food.
“You could go for oysters, for obvious reasons” Mr Kelly said. “But that’s a bit cliche.”
He shared the same sentiment for champagne and chocolate, but accepted they were Valentine’s Day traditions.
Mr Kelly advised residents cooking a special meal for two to avoid making a huge mess.
“You don’t want to be wasting time cleaning,” he said. “Especially on a date.”
To those venturing out somewhere special, Mr Kelly shared a list of foods to avoid:
- Anything with bones that need to be spat out
- Runny sauces or foods that can spill
- Anything green that can get stuck in teeth
- Spicy foods
- Foods you need to slurp
- Foods with a strong garlic flavour
Where to eat
While most upper-class restaurants across the city will be booked up for Valentine’s Day, there are a number of bars, clubs, pubs and eateries offering residents a special night out at a good price.
What to do
The city is set to come alive Wednesday night, with events and entertainment for singles and couples alike.
If you are after a quiet night, away from strangers, couples can always share in the visual delights of Lake Albert or Wagga Beach, but remember to pack protection ... against mosquitoes.
For something different, Wagga City Council said it was ready to play cupid this year.
A community Date Night at the Civic Precinct will feature live music, entertainment, access to the gallery, library and museum, and bar services from 5.30pm, with an outdoor screening of The Princess Bride at Wollundry Lagoon from 8.30pm.
Singles looking for good laugh and a distraction are invited to join local comedian Dane Simpson, as he hosts Musical Chairs Speed Dating at The Victorian Hotel.
The evening’s light-hearted “shenanigans” will begin at 8pm, with prizes and games to be won.
“It’s a chance to leave your mates to their boring dates and do something fun,” Mr Simpson said. “It will be worth it.”
Check out Dane’s dos and don’ts for dating this Valentine’s Day:
Singles feeling the sting of loneliness could turn to online dating apps like Tinder.
The popular platform is set to receive a boom in activity on Wednesday, after it recorded a 20 per cent surge on February 14 last year.
For residents really feeling the sting of loneliness, Gypsy’s Kittens And Cougars may be offering Valentine’s-Day specials.
Closing advice for successful dates
Whether you are looking for love or a good time, Riverina and Murray matchmaker Sarah Schmidt said it was important to put your best foot forward, but to also be yourself.
“It’s so easy to jump online and chat with anyone,” Ms Schmidt said.
“But that all comes with a degree of challenges … just be yourself.”
Closing advice for successful relationships
Relationships Australia’s regional manager, Bernadette Carroll, urged lovers and couples to take the time to do special things every day, not just on Valentine’s Day.
“Tell your partner you care about them,” Ms Carroll said. “These can be very small gestures but they can have a big impact.”
Bernadette’s top ten tips:
- Talk about your day – the good and the bad
- Spend time alone together as a priority
- Express affection and give your partner thoughtful little surprises
- Develop common interests, while maintaining independent interests
- Listen to your partner and communicate your needs – don’t make them guess
- Talk about sex and what is good or needs improving
- Tell your partner when you are happy or unhappy about something honestly and respectfully
- Find solutions for both sides but be prepared to compromise
- Respect and accept both your differences and your similarities
- Aim to be flexible and willing to change or try something new.
- Be supportive in the good and the challenging times, and ask for help when you need it
- Share the load - agree on who will do what in the household and to what standard
- Make some time just for yourself and encourage your partner to do the same.
- Take responsibility for your actions and feelings