Archive | Valentine’s Day Special

10 Tips For Surviving Valentine’s Day While Single

Posted on 11 February 2016 by admin

Since this is the time of year when the world conspires to tell you that there is something wrong with you if you are not happily paired, it may be tough to keep your spirits high. If you find yourself less-than-happily single, here are ten ways you can make Valentine’s Day a little better this year:

  1. Avoid the newly in love. This may sound harsh, but if your best pal has just met the love of her life, avoid her like the plague. As a couple, they are still in that stage where they don’t know each other’s flaws and you don’t need to get caught up in their afterglow. If you must hang out with couples, make sure they have grown tired of one another. Newlyweds are not a bad bet: they’ve just spent the better part of a year fighting over taffeta and passed hor d’oevres and have probably come back from a less-than-perfect honeymoon to a $50,000 credit card bill. They may very well be envious of you.
  2. Seek out the dysfunctionally partnered. Everyone knows a couple who cannot get through a single evening without having a big blowout fight where someone storms out of the room in tears. Make plans to see them close to Valentine’s Day to remind you what you are not missing.
  3. Listen to Pema Chödrön. Yup, I’m going to keep saying it: she’s amazing. Before becoming a Buddhist nun, Chödrön was married twice and has been through two divorces. She is very open about how hard it was during that time, and explains why she now views those experiences as a gift. Her books are all terrific but I particularly love her audio books since she has such a lovely voice: Unconditional Confidence offers a great place to start.
  4. Read The Hell with Love: Poems to Mend a Broken Heart. I first stumbled upon this collection of poems compiled by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez years ago and now give this gem to friends going through heartache. The book is filled with terrific verse, but my personal favourite isSomewhere a Seed, by Michael Fried. Trust me, it’s great.
  5. Get yourself a little gift. Cheap lingerie, sugary chocolates, a bunch of little diamonds stuck together to look like a big one: let’s face it, these are crap gifts. Do you really want to have to look pleasantly surprised when handed a scrap of red itchy lace? I didn’t think so. But why should you have to go without a treat simply because you are single? If you can afford it, buy yourself a tiny something to celebrate surviving the day. Get yourself a fancy coffee or one of those spendy European fashion magazines or some decent chocolate from a chocolatier. I’m a big fan of books as gifts: Marjorie Hillis’s Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman would make an excellent gift from you to you.
  6. Remember that there are worse things than being alone. One might think that the Valentine’s Day with the pity roses was my worst Valentine’s Day ever, but it wasn’t. My worst Valentine’s Day came much later, when I spent it with someone filled with promise, who turned out to be a monster. There were times in that relationship when I would have traded anything to be single and unfettered.
  7. Spend the day doing something you love. Go skiing, go for a hike, head to a bookstore, or get a massage. Or stay in and watch an entire season of The Bachelor and thank your lucky stars that you are not stuck on some set battling a gaggle of women for the heart of some insipid dude. Whatever you like to do, do it. This is not the day to schedule a root canal.
  8. Get yourself a single girl playlist. Adele, Taylor Swift, Alanis Morissette: these fierce ladies share your pain. But instead of crying over some guy, they put their energies into something creative and monetized their misery. Let them inspire you to paint, write, run, dance, formulate your business plan, or just take a drive in the country singing Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) at the top of your lungs.
  9. Celebrate Galentine’s Day. Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation character invented the concept of Galentine’s Day, a girls-only breakfast held on February 13th. As she puts it, “It’s like Lilith fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” It’s an ideal time of year to celebrate all of the great relationships in your life. Start a new tradition.
  10. Remember that things will change. Seasons of darkness are not permanent. International speaker and radio host, Melinda Estabrooks, uses the beautiful expression, “Today is not your forever.” It can be a helpful mantra when things look bleak. I thought I’d be forever single (at first reluctantly and later by choice) but I’m getting married to a great guy later this year. We’ve both had horrible days that are now behind us and have very bright days ahead. And those terrible times have made both of us appreciate the great ones even more.

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10 Greatest Love Stories Of All Time

Posted on 12 February 2015 by admin

1. Wuthering Heights: A total eclipse of the heart.

 In one of the oldest heart-wrenching classics in the “lost love can turn a good man evil” scenario, Emily Brontë’s novel takes us back to 1802 at theWutheringHeightsestate. In this timeless love story, our leading man Heathcliff grows to become best friends with his adopted sister, Catherine, his life-long crush. But an offhand comment, overheard at the Heights, changes the course of both of their lives.

Fun Fact: The 1983 Bonnie Tyler power ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was inspired by Wuthering Heights.

2. Anna Karenina: Love can be a train wreck.

Frequently a top author’s choice, this Tolstoy novel is a literary soap opera. Set in the highest circles of Russian society, Anna Karenina visits her brother Stiva in Moscowto help him save his marriage. While there, she falls in love with Count Vronsky. A married woman, Karenina fights off her desires until they overwhelm her and she leaves her husband, Alexei. Denied a divorce, Anna spends her life looking for acceptance in her relationship. When the strain of their love life becomes too much, Anna leaves Vronsky in a rage and well, if you haven’t read it, do! We won’t give away a heart-wrenching ending.

Fun Fact: Anna Karenina became a best-seller all over again in 2004 after Oprah put it on her list.

3. Romeo and Juliet: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

In one of William Shakespeare’s most celebrated works, this tale of “star-crossed loves” has been told and interpreted time and time again (from film classic West Side Story to teen flickRomeo + Juliet). A story all lovers can relate to, Romeo and Juliet focuses on the tragedies that accompany the loss of true love. Lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, two of the most famed clans in literature, come from opposite sides of theVerona tracks and their family’s disapproval of their love eventually leads to their demise.

Fun Fact: In the popular computer game The Sims 2, there is a neighborhood called Veronaville in which two characters named Romeo Monty and Juliette Capp fall in love.

4. Casablanca: Play it again, Sam.

Made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, this love story was originally a play by Murray Burnett. The play was turned into a script by writers (and brothers) Julius and Philip Epstein and their friend Howard Koch. In the story, American RickBlaineis the owner of a gambling club “Rick’s Cafe Americain” in the Moroccan city ofCasablanca. Set during World War II, Rick is a bitter man having been scorned by ex-lover Ilsa Lund. When she walks back into his life suddenly, now married, with her husband in tow, Rick is forced to come face-to-face with well-aged heartache.

Fun Fact: In a 2005 poll by the American Film Institute, the Casablanca line “Here’s looking at you, kid” was ranked the fifth most memorable line in cinema history. (Six other lines from the film are also in the top 100.)

5. Midsummer Night’s Dream: Dream a little dream.

A romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, this play takes place inAthensas Duke Theseus plans a large festival around his marriage. During this time, Theseus’ daughter, Hermia, is refusing to marry her fiancé. Due to a true-love-in-the-wings named Lysander. Against her father’s wishes, she flees the nuptials for the woods. And guess who? While there, they befriend fairies who cause a bit of mischief. Cue a new love triangle and surprise ending!

Fun Fact: In the 1989 blockbuster film Dead Poets’ Society, the character Neil Perry (played by Robert Sean Leonard), was cast as Puck in the a local production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

6. Doctor Zhivago: Boy meets girl meets girl.

This Noble Prize-winning Russian novel by Boris Pasternak is the ageless classic of one man torn between two women. Yuri Zhivago is a medical doctor and poet during the 1917 Russian Revolution. While married to aristocratic Tonya, he falls in love with nurse Lara. Set during a war time, Zhivago’s love triangle falls prey to a twist of fate, and becomes a tale of protagonist versus an achy, breaking heart.

Fun Fact: Doctor Zhivago‘s first film version was a made-for-TV version produced inBrazil in 1959.

 7. Sense and Sensibility: Sisters and soul mates.

Another Jane Austen classic from 1811, this love story focuses around the Dashwood sisters – Elinor and Marianne. When their father dies, they lose their family estate and are reduced to a life of poverty. The story follows the sisters as they move in with a distant relative, leading them to equal parts heartache and romance.

Fun Fact: In Ang Lee’s 1995 remake of Sense and Sensibility, there are six actors who went on to play parts in the Harry Potter films: Emma Thompson (Sybil Trelawney), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey), Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge), Elizabeth Spriggs (The Fat Lady) and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge).

8. Dangerous Liaisons: Les Liaisons dangereuses is a novel composed of letters.

The classic eighteenth-century novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos is the ultimate dark tale of lust, greed, deception and romance, featuring the Marquise de Merteuil, who requests that her partner, the Vicomte de Valmont, seduce the young daughter of her cousin. Meanwhile, young Cecile has the hots for her teacher, Chevalier Danceny. Love affairs, deception and lies aplenty unfold.

Fun Fact: The 1999 cult movie hit Cruel Intentions was a modern adaptation of the novelDangerous Liaisons.

9. Pride and Prejudice: A literary game of cat and mouse, widely known as Jane Austen’s most famous novel.

Charles Bingley is new to town and has leased an estate with his sisters and close friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. Named a “catch” by all the single ladies in town (due to surprise . . . his looks and money), Darcy is also known as snob. Neighbor Elizabeth Bennet finds herself repulsed by Darcy’s ego. The resulting pas de deux between the feisty twosome makes for a quite a page-turner.

Fun Fact: Helen Fielding’s book Bridget Jones’s Diary was inspired by Pride and Prejudice.

10. Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame: Oh Quasimodo!

Victor Hugo’s story, set inParisin 1482, centers around Norte Dame cathedral. In this “true love comes from within” story, Gypsy dancer Esmeralda is longed for by Quasimodo, Notre Dame’s kind-hearted but deformed bellringer. Upon order of Archdeacon Frollo, Quasimodo attempts to kidnap Esmeralda, but is caught. Standing trial, Quasimodo is humiliated by the public and his victim Esmeralda has pity on him. Soon after Esmeralda is blackmailed and sentenced to death for the murder of her crush Phoebus. On her sentencing day, Esmeralda is saved from death by her dear Quasimodo. But can true love overcome her distaste for his looks?

Fun Fact: Hunchback of Notre Dame has been adpated to the screen numerous times and cast two famous Anthonys in the leading Quasimodo role – Anthony Quinn in 1956 and Anthony Hopkins in 1982.

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Hot Spots and Gifts for Valentine’s Day in Your Words

Posted on 14 February 2013 by admin

By Lovsha Thayalanathan, Mississauga

Generation Next asked several people to tell us how they celebrate Valentine’s Day, where you go to celebrate, what gifts you give, do you care for interracial dating and if your parents do something for Valentine’s Day.

Romantic Gateway in NYC and alone time for my partner, Prashan Loganathan

”Spending quality time with a significant other by either taking them out to a nice restaurant or creating a special dinner. Alone time is key; I try to keep myself free from outside distractions.”

“Spots that I would take my date would have to be between the theatres, preferably for a romantic comedy, skating and hot drinks down at Harbourfront Dowtown, dinner and show at a fine restaurant at the heart of Toronto, or a romantic gateway in New York City.”

“Gifts that I would give my Valentine would be diamond jewellery, chocolates in a heart-shaped box, a bouquet of red roses, a thoughtful letter, or lingerie haha (pun intended).”

”I would not mind going out with someone outside my ethnicity, as long as they connect and share mutual feelings.”

“Occasionally they do by getting each other small gifts such as a bottle of wine, but since they both are quite busy, it is not always celebrated.”

Dad gets something for mom but acts as if it’s no big deal – Sai Ruban Ramakrishnan

“I call my mom and tell her I love her, every year. I ask her out on a date, but she refuses to come out with me. Besides that, I usually just call my friends and hang out with them.”

“One of the best places to take a girl on Valentine’s Day has to be the London Eye. Having her by your side and overseeing the city below, the night sky and struggling traffic has a feeling of its own and makes you appreciate her that much more.”

 “For starters, I would get her a box of chocolates and roses, but I wouldn’t stop there. I would get her something she would want, but isn’t dying for, because that I would save to give on her birthday.”

 “I have no problem going out with someone who is non-desi, but it would be totally different. For instance, I like my brown music, which she wouldn’t even understand. I like to eat my rice and curry with extra hot chillis, but she would probably fall sick over it. I’ll be at home talking to my family in my language and she would be like ‘huh’? It just wouldn’t work out the way I would want it too, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give it a try and that it won’t happen. It’s just not my preference.”

“My parents don’t celebrate Valentines Day. They grew up in an environment that was strictly controlled by culture and tradition. Girls were very protected, so my parents find it hard to walk out of that circle and into today’s society. But, my dad always buys my mom something for Valentines Day, but tries to act as if it’s just a normal thing.”

A nice dinner and romantic comedy for my Valentine – Ahmad Mansoor

 “Nothing in particular, varies year to year, but usually a nice dinner.”

 “Definitely an upper class restaurant downtown, Toronto or a casual date to the movies for a romantic/romantic comedy flick. Something the ladies will love, always got to please them.”

 “It would really depend on what type of girl she is. If I knew her really well, I would get her something that I feel fits her personality and something she would like. But, if I were unsure I would settle for the typical red roses, chocolates and jewellery. You can’t go wrong.”

 “Race is not a factor for me. If I like the girl then I will ask her out, no hesitation. There should be no discrimination when it comes to something so pure and divine. Love has no race.”

“I come from a very cultured family and my parents haven’t stepped out from the comfort zone they have been brought up in. But, occasionally my dad will get my mom something nice.”

If I feel connection, that’s my Valentine – Sahil Dhillon

 “I would celebrate Valentine’s Day usually with my girlfriend to someone I care about and treat them on a special day to show them how much they mean to me.”

 “I think for a casual outing, a nice restaurant would be fine.”

 “It would really depend on the person, but I would go with jewellery and a box of chocolates.”


 “It wouldn’t matter to me whatsoever, as long as I feel a connection with her I would go for it.”

 “My parents do celebrate Valentine’s Day, usually they go out for dinner, watch a movie. They just like to spend some quality time together.

Relationships swell when the culture is same – Rayhan Khan

“On most occasions I wouldn’t necessarily celebrate Valentine’s Day. I usually just buy flowers or chocolates for the ladies in my family, including: Mom, or sister, just to spread the seasonable cheer in my household. If I did have a girlfriend/companion in my life, I would take her out for a romantic dinner, probably over-looking downtown Toronto, in the CN Tower, alongside a nice gift.”

 “Popular spots to visit on Valentine’s Day would be, Niagara Falls for sightseeing and check out their art/firework galleria they have down there throughout the winter season. Or Harbourfront, Downtown for skating, possibly hitting up the nice places that are on sort-a-say the romantic side like going to the CN Tower.”

 “For females I know Necklaces/Bracelets or any kind of jewellery are nice alongside a bouquet of flowers are always nice. Not so much the box of chocolates since they are a bit over-played. And for males, I would say the same thing, any type of Jewellery.

 “Well with all the pretty girls coming from every ethnicity in the whole entire world, relationship and partnership wise I would want to stick it out with a girl of my own culture/ethnicity which would be either Pakistani or of an Arab decent. I feel when cultures are closely tied, relationships/partnerships are more understanding and go swell.”

 “I can’t call on it, I don’t know if it’s actually celebrating. If my parents remember the day, which is a maybe through every year they will put a small plan together for going out and possibly seeing a movie and having a dinner ‘date’.”

I hear girls don’t give boys presents – Priyanka Chowdhury

 “I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day by doing something calm, serene and of course romantic. I never used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it is definitely a great excuse to express your emotions to that special someone. I’m not much of an emotional person myself, but celebrating Valentine’s Day is a great way to show how much you care – especially since you’re making the effort to take part in a celebration that doesn’t exactly fit your emotional comfortability.”

“Restaurants like Baton Rouge and CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant are some great places to visit for Valentine’s Day. Although you are paying a hefty price for the dinner, you are paying for exquisite food and a nice, sophisticated and classy atmosphere.

“For females, perfume, jewellery, roses, and chocolates accompanied by a thoughtful card can always do the trick. Normally, I hear girls don’t give boys presents, but I would definitely buy the male something – maybe a nice shirt, cologne, or sunglasses – whatever his taste entails.

 “I personally don’t discriminate. Every race is equal in my eyes. However, I have never actually dated a desi myself – not that I have anything against them. But ideally, a desi boy would probably be the most satisfying choice to the parental unit. Haha.”

“While my parents are divorced, my mother takes Valentine’s Day as an occasion to express love to any loved one: her mother, daughter, brother, or sister – it doesn’t matter who. So every Valentine’s day she comes up to me and says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day Priyanka!’ Sometimes, she’ll even take me out to dinner. And I must admit, it’s the cutest thing in the world!”

I expect unexpected on Valentine’s Day – Mayura Nanthakumar

 “Ideally, I would like to spend the day with my Valentine and have unexpected surprises throughout the day. Having sudden surprises always makes the day that much more exciting!”

 “I’m a sucker for long moonlight walks, anything along those lines is good enough for me.”
“It would really depend on what my partner liked. If he likes materialistic items, then I would get him that or if he likes his collectibles I would get him something related to that.”

”I don’t discriminate, but my preference would be to date someone who is of my kind. It’s easier to date someone who understands your culture and can cope with it.”

”My parents aren’t into Valentine’s Day, however occasionally they go out and get each other gifts.”

Stuffed animal is nice – Sai Thavendran

 “Annually, On Valentine’s Day, my girl and I go out and spend an entire day together. Our day starts off with a homemade breakfast, then we go out somewhere (varies every year) and spend time together, grab dinner and we end the day with a sleepover.”

 “I’d have to pick between a restaurant, or spend an evening at each other’s houses for some quality time, and parks are always nice if the weather permits, of course!”

 “I personally love chocolates, so for females I would say chocolate, lots and lots of it. A home made card is always thoughtful and nice for a quick read. Or even a stuffed animal that she really likes, you can’t go wrong on that one. For males, I would have to say cologne, clothes, chocolates and, or card.”


 “I’ve never really thought about dating someone outside my race, so I would have to say no.”

 “They appreciate each other’s love by buying each other something small and maybe an evening dinner together.”

Not many options on Valentine’s Day if you’re single – Sasha Ramcharan

 “This question can definitely go both ways. While I am in a relationship, my Valentine’s Day usually consists of the guy doing most of the work. In the past, some sort of gift exchange followed by a somewhat fancy dinner is usually the norm. I don’t think it is a day to do anything crazy, but simply just to be with the person you love. On the other hand, celebrating Valentine’s Day while single usually consists of sitting at home, watching TV and trying not to think about how single you are!!! It is pretty depressing, but there not many options for a single person on Valentine’s Day.”

 “Hot spots on Valentine’s Day usually depends on the couple. I definitely think restaurants are the most popular places for couples to be, considering you have to make reservations at least a week in advance. If you go somewhere different, it usually means there is a sentimental value and it has more significance than a restaurant. Beyond that, hotels seem to be popular as well. They serve as a place of privacy and you do not have to worry about cleaning up or everyday distractions taking away from the alone time with one another.”


 “Cologne and watches are good presents for men, whereas perfume, jewellery, flowers, chocolates and candy seem to be very popular for women. Homemade presents such as scrapbooks or cards with a poem on the inside can also serve the same purpose with a more romantic feel.”

 “Personally, I would not want to date a non-desi. I like being with someone who is on the same page as me culturally. Do not get me wrong, a lot of my friends are not desi and we get along just fine, but when it comes to dating, connecting with that person means connecting with them on many levels. Being raised the same way as someone, in my eyes, makes it easier to date them as you are both on the same page.”

 “Yes, my parents do celebrate Valentine’s Day and I think it is really cute! They celebrate it the same way people my age do, but they have the added bonus of being married and having a day away from my siblings and myself. I am happy to see the romance is still alive and I hope I have the same relationship with someone I care about in the future.”

Valentine Day is not about couples only, family is part of it – Brintha B

 “I share it with our loved ones. I think every day should be considered Valentine’s Day by spending time with the ones you love. However, I am a big sucker for cheesy holidays! So depending on my status, I’d either spend it with my family/friends or my boyfriend by going out to dinner, or watching a really cheesy movie or doing anything really, as long as I’m with my loved ones. I don’t think Valentine’s Day is JUST about couples. I think anyone can celebrate it. The point is to be around the ones you love.”

 “Fancy restaurants, movies, picnics, trip out of town (planned ahead) etc are of the norm. Personally I would want to go back to the very first place I met my date or where we first had a date. It’s different for everyone.”

 “For males, I think chocolates, jewellery, candy, personalized wine or a card should be fine. For females, chocolates, roses, candy, teddy bears, jewellery or a card should do the trick.”


 “Haha, I think it might be fun to kind of see what people of other cultures are like. I wouldn’t be totally against it, I wouldn’t mind at all.”

 “No not really, it’s just like an everyday thing for them, rather than just on a holiday.”

It’s just like any other day – Kumar Pandya

It’s just like any other days for me, at midnight, I wish my girlfriend a happy Valentine ’s Day. On the day of occasion we usually go out somewhere for lunch/dinner and movie and often surprise each other with presents.

What are popular spots to visit on Valentine’s Day?

Lakeshore is one of the places I look forward to. It’s a really good romantic place, but in cold, I go to Eaton Centre or a restaurant in Downtown.

The best gift to please my girlfriend is a bunch of flowers and also some chocolates. With that they also expect some expensive gifts as well such as coach bags, sunglasses, etc.

No, I wouldn’t prefer a non-Hindu girl to go out with. I just wouldn’t feel the same attachment in terms of communication and understanding.

My parents don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day. They aren’t as liberal, especially my dad.

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