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Your best Valentine’s Day ever – yes, even in lockdown!

Whether you're madly lurved up, stuck at home with the OH and kids, or single, Sussex-based sex and relationships therapist Gaylin has a host of tips for the perfect V-day.

Maybe you’re in one of those couples that effortlessly create sparkling and saucy moments of passion and connection every day of the year, and V-day is just another day in paradise. But if you’re like the rest of us (ie normal human beings) chances are you’re racking your brains for how the hell you’re supposed to summon up some sexiness in the midst of all this *gestures aimlessly*.

Well stop racking right now, and try these fantastic tips from Sussex-based sex and relationships therapist Gaylin Tudhope of 5T Consulting. Gaylin, who practices at Nuffield Health in Haywards Heath as well as Harley Street, runs workshops for couples to help them improve their intimacy and she’s a veritable treasure trove of advice, tips and ideas to make your relationship sizzle. Read on for tips for families to celebrate together, for couples to ignite that elusive spark, and for singles to celebrate the self-love.

But before you dive in, a word of advice from Gaylin. ‘Think about what you want to get out of the day. Do you want to do anything at all? If the kids are all excited because they know it’s a special day, do something for them! And if you want the night to yourselves (nudge nudge, wink wink) then make an effort and prepare something.’ Moral of the story, don’t just expect a romantic and memorable time to magically happen. We know, soz. And that includes communicating with your partner about what you want. ‘Disappointment is very easy to come by when we have massive expectations,’ Gaylin warns. If you’re hoping they’ll make a big fuss of you, then let them know. None of us are mind-readers.’ Amen to that.

For the whole family

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic lurve, and the love between families is worth celebrating. Plus, ‘ain’t nobody getting rid of the kids right now so rather than sit around waiting for them to go to bed (NO YOU DO NOT NEED ANOTHER DRINK) why not involve them and celebrate the family love? Plan a special dinner and treat the kids to a card and a box of choccies – use it as another reason to connect and make them feel loved and involved. And then you can pack them off to bed.

For the two of you

Give each other an hour off

Because what’s sexier than a bit of time to yourself? If you want to go all-out, give each other a little pamper pack full of treats and goodies to enjoy too.

Have a picnic

Wrap up warm and head outside to picnic under the stars. If you fancy it, go out to the car with a bottle of wine (keep those keys well away from the ignition obvs) and a box of choccies and have a giggly, silly, naughty time – just like you did as teenagers. Or just have a good old-fashioned picnic in bed.

Play dress-up

You can go all-out with this one, or keep it discreet – perhaps wear sexy underwear, or no underwear at all, for the day. Make it your own little private joke, just between the two of you.

Get childish

Make a den under the stairs, or underneath the kitchen table. You can do all sorts of things underneath a kitchen table, you know. Whack on a big tablecloth and sneak underneath it. It doesn’t really matter where you are as long as it’s somewhere a bit different and you involve yourself in play – in an adult way, of course.

Go to bed

But don’t set yourself big expectations. Keep it fun and playful. Eat dessert in bed, have some fizz, listen to music, have a kiss and a cuddle, maybe it’ll lead to something more, if you’re both in the mood – but the emphasis is on having fun together, not on doing the nasty. ‘Don’t force it’, Gaylin advises. ‘Forcing it just sets you both up to have expectations dashed. Starting out saying ‘right it’s Valentine’s Day so we’re having sex’ is just a total non-starter. Focus on what you feel in the moment.’

For you

Maybe you’re single this V-day, or maybe you just feel like taking some time to yourself instead. ‘I was on my own for a long time and I always used to buy myself a bottle of bubbles, some chocolates and nice oil for the bath, and have a pamper session,’ Gaylin says. ‘Love yourself! If you want to dress up then go for it. Watch a movie you love with popcorn. Do it just for you.’ And why not, eh?

Psssst. Love life hit the wall in lockdown? Read Gaylin’s advice on what to do if you’re struggling with your relationship.

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