Valentine’s Day can be tricky if you are in a brand new relationship. You don’t want to ignore the day altogether, but you also don’t want to spook your new love interest by coming on too strong. Here are some tips for how to avoid the awkwardness and enjoy the occasion. 

Be Honest

Chances are your new honey is also wondering how to handle Valentine’s Day. Take a direct approach and acknowledge the awkwardness. This will open the door to a discussion about how you both hope to spend the day.

Curb Expectations

We’ve all dreamed about having someone go out of his or her way to profess love in a meaningful, over-the-top way, but if your relationship is new, such a display isn’t likely to happen (and might be a bit off-putting if it did). Be gracious and respectful of how your new love chooses to express his or her affection on Valentine’s Day—even if it’s underwhelming. New relationships are fragile enough without piling on unrealistic expectations. 

Have a Backup Plan

Be prepared for the possibility that your new partner isn’t planning to spend Valentine’s Day with you. Maybe he or she has to work, had a previous engagement, or simply isn’t ready to take that kind of leap with you. If you have a back-up plan, you’ll be less likely to be disappointed. Since Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, why not express some love for yourself?  Enjoy a massage, pick up some of your favorite food, and watch a great movie. Or go to a movie with a friend. It may not be the evening you had planned but you can still have a great time–or you can choose to be miserable. It’s up to you!

Keep it Casual

If you and your new love interest do agree to make plans, keep it casual. Restaurants are going to be packed with romantic couples, and it will be hard to get a reservation anyway. Instead, head to the movies or a concert, pick up a mixology book and make cocktails,  cook a meal together, and play an old-school board game.

Skip the Gifts

One of the most intimidating things about Valentine’s Day is finding the perfect gift for your Valentine. In a new relationship, the perfect gift (whatever that means) is probably inappropriate anyway. Talk to your new partner ahead of time, and suggest that you enjoy a nice evening together instead of exchanging gifts. 

If you are in a new relationship, congratulations! Enjoy each other’s company, respect each other’s space, and choose to be happy without putting pressure on yourself or anyone else!