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Eight Qualities of a Romantic Meal

With Valentine's Day coming soon, a romantic meal between you and your significant other is one of the easiest ways to celebrate the night. If you’re like many of us, though, you probably struggle with setting the right romantic mood for the occasion. Do you get flowers? What do you cook? Where is it going to be? These are all questions that need addressing, but finding answers can really leave you stressed. Here are eight qualities that can help you make any meal more romantic.

1. Alone time.

Making the meal between just the two of you is essential to make it romantic. Talk to your roommates, invest in a babysitter, do what you need to do to get some time alone with your significant other. A dinner amongst the stars won't have the same effect if you have a baby monitor as the centerpiece or a roommate walking in halfway through the meal. To make your dinner more intimate, take initiative and schedule some much-needed alone time.

2. The Menu.

The biggest concern when planning a romantic dinner is, of course, the food. If you’re cooking the meal yourself, do some research on the dishes that you want to prepare. If you're planning to make your significant other's favorite dish, do yourself a favor and attempt the recipe beforehand. By doing so you'll be able to anticipate whether or not the plate is even feasible. Ordering out is always a great backup plan as long as you give yourself enough time to get the food on time, and transfer it onto much prettier plates.
If you think your significant other might enjoy it, you can also include cooking together as part of the date. The shared experience of cooking together can add to the intimacy of the evening if done properly. Again, make sure you’re familiar with the recipe and how to prepare it. You want to make the experience fun and enjoyable for your date or partner!

3. The Lighting.

You don’t need the warm setting of a restaurant to make the meal romantic; you can create the same environment in your own home. When it comes to setting the mood, lighting is an important touch. If you wish to recreate the warm glow you might find in a restaurant, getting candles and fairy lights would be your best option. You can set the lighting mood can be at your dinner table, outside in your backyard, on your balcony, or you can even set up a picnic at the local park or waterside.

4. Flowers.

When planning a romantic meal, flowers are an easy addition that will bring a romantic atmosphere to the meal. Girls and guys alike appreciate the enchantment in a bouquet, so have the flowers grace the table as a centerpiece or gift them to your significant other.
If you are buying flowers for a date who you don’t know well, be aware that different types of flowers have different traditions and historical meanings. Some flowers symbolize wealth, some symbolize passion, some lasting friendship. Different colors can also send different messages. Your date may not be aware of these messages from history, but you may want to check on the meanings of the flowers you like just to be sure. A good florist can steer you in the right direction, and you can find limited information about floral symbols on the Internet.

5. Music.

The music alone can make any meal feel romantic. Plan accordingly and compose a playlist full of warm, graceful music guaranteed to make the meal feel special. If you feel lost on what to play, plenty of apps and music platforms have premade playlists for you to derive inspiration.

6. Spirits.

In the perfect romantic meal, great food is complemented by fanciful drinks, so there's no better time to whip out your favorite bottle of wine than during a romantic meal. Some research might be required to pair the various courses or dishes in your meal with the best liquors. As above, do a bit of research and you’ll be pairing your evening’s dishes like an expert.

7. Dressing up.

One of the easiest ways to make a dinner romantic is to dress up in a fashionable outfit. Whether you have decided that the meal is taking place in your backyard or at the fanciest restaurant in town, dressing up helps to set the romantic mood for the night. Dressing up says to your significant other that this is a special night, and picking clothes that make you feel great about yourself is always a great way to start a fun evening.

8. Keep your significant other in mind.

The most critical aspect of keeping the romance alive is keeping your lover in mind. Little actions like pulling out their chair or getting their favorite drink will show them that you're paying attention. The most charming thing you can do is listen. Tune in to your significant other and bring the effort, and at the end of the night, your significant other will be appreciative of the work you put into making the evening romantic.

All the planning in the world can’t make the night perfect if you’re not emotionally present. By including these eight qualities, you can help relieve future stress for the night. Start planning for that special meal as soon as possible, and after your planning is complete, don’t forget to enjoy the moment.