By Maralyn D. Hill and Sherrie Wilkolaski

My column, Global Etiquette, has been a great success, thanks to all our readers around the world.

When Sherrie Wilkolaski, Luxe Beat Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, and I started discussing what topic I should focus on, etiquette and customs from my travels seemed to be just the right fit. The column has continued to be one of our most popular.

Moving forward we’ll be introducing new columns featuring etiquette experts from around the globe, and Sherrie will be co-authoring along with me. Welcome to Sherrie for joining me on this worldwide etiquette adventure, and thank you to our guest etiquette contributors for sharing their knowledge with our readers.

Now let’s talk about Valentine’s Day etiquette with Sherrie taking the lead in the next paragraph before introducing tips on everything from splitting the check, how to handle your serviette and how having a tantrum in the middle of the street is ‘not cool.’

Maralyn, I’m so thrilled to be joining you…let’s talk Valentine’s Day! When Cupid’s arrow strikes and the rose-colored glasses go on, it can be difficult to keep one’s perspective on things. Maralyn and I have both been struck and found our true-loves within about a month of each other, almost three years ago. We’ve celebrated a couple of Valentine’s Days thus far and are soon to discover what Valentine’s Day Number Three brings..red roses and champagne we hope! With love on our minds we decided to call out to etiquette experts to provide their Valentine’s Day etiquette tips. Here are a few of the top responses we received and those that well, um…were appropriate enough to publish.

Splitting the check is IN this Valentine’s Day!

With 1/3 of Millennials and Gen Z actually acquiring meaningful DEBT when they date – it’s not a surprise that splitting the check on the first date is now becoming the norm.

According to a study conducted by Credit Karma

  • Gen Zers were more likely than millennials to say they expect to split the check on a first date (36% vs. 26%).
  • And on a typical date, 42% of Gen Zers expect to split the bill compared to just 29% of millennials.

This shift in expectations has deep implications. Debt is a major issue (next gen daters are more inclined to say “I Love You” before they have “The Finance Talk”) only to be surprised their partner owes significant bills.

So, to avoid the dating debt abyss, Credit Karma has a few tips to ensure you’ll have an amazing date, but reduce the bill:

  • Seek deals! Don’t be afraid to tap into coupons, deals or two-fers — if you’re hesitant becuase you don’t want to appear cheap, call ahead, or let the server know so there’s no mention when the bill comes.
  • Suggest free/low cost activities — a walk in the park, a public concert, or a romantic picnic can be great ways to get to know someone, while costing zero.
  • Don’t charge — go with debit or cash, this way you’re more likely to have a limitless budget.

Valentine’s Day Meal Tip

“When asked to a meal of any kind, one of the things that is never talked about is napkin etiquette. No matter whether you’re eating at a Michelin star restaurant or a beach-side seafood shack, to impress your dining partners, you should try to make the least amount of mess with your napkin as possible. This was a lesson repeatedly taught at my sorority where it was a nightly competition to see who could end the meal with the neatest napkin. The goal is to have your napkin look as pristine as when you started the meal, being able to fold it delicately up at the end and place it beside the plate on the table. This can be a real challenge when eating sticky ribs or fried chicken but it’s definitely something to which I aspire and a lesson that has remained with me over the years.” – Leigh Ann of nansdailydoseoflife.com 

First Impressions on a Date

“Be positive. Even if things go wildly wrong: the waiter drops soup on your date; a passing cab splashes both of you as you stand waiting to cross the street; whatever happens, take it in stride and remain positive. Nothing says ‘loser’ like a 34-year-old having a tantrum in the middle of the street.” – Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Officer for beenverified.com

Treat Everyday Like Valentine’s Day

Personally, I like to treat everyday like Valentine’s Day and show the one I love how much he means to me by leaving notes, baking sweets and such. It’s fun to to celebrate love as a holiday one day a year, and flowers are always welcome. – Sherrie Wilkolaski, Editor-in-Chief, Luxe Beat Magazine

To all you lovebirds out there…Happy Valentine’s Day!

Brian and Brad…we love you!

Maralyn and Sherrie