This Valentine’s Day, retire from those gaudy clubs of smelly under 21s circling the centre of the dance floor in swarms (despite the room’s surplus of empty space) wherein only through perseverance can you protect yourself from being dragged under the peopled tornado and into certain obliteration. Guys, why not opt out of those unwarranted alcohol infused brawls of mock-masculinity that put a premature end to a possibly good night. For once, steer away from those tacky alcopops that you used to smuggle out of your local off-license when your fake ID was rebuffed. Now girls give your shoulders a rest from those huge hula-hoop earrings; and perhaps save your feet from slipping out of those transparent PVC stripper heels that you found on the Instagram explore page.

Instead, why not try to woo your other half with these alternative date ideas?

Whether you’re in a long term relationship or casually dating, strip back your Valentine’s with a trip to Bramley’s Cocktail Bar, found on Orange Street in Canterbury. The muted yellow hues of low lamp lighting coupled with the serene sound of blues, courtesy of the in house jazz band, aids the stimulation of an effortless flow of conversation. This place is an aesthetic treat, fully decked out in 1920’s interior design for a relaxing saloon-like experience. The cocktails never fail to impress, my personal favourites are the Cucumber Cooler and the Raspberry or Rhubarb Crush. Though the liquor is dearer than other establishments, a tip is to arrive between 6-8pm to make use of their 2 for £10 drinks deal.

Well it’s all good if you and are your partner can both be considered to be hipsters but a genuine dilemma can occur when music pundit meets thrill seeker and you may ask: how can we appropriately funnel this mishmash of creative energies? But no one should compromise their dating requirements, no matter how ambitious, so I recommend the Mr Pong Valentine’s Day Showdown taking place on 16th February at the Ballroom, also on Orange Street. Simultaneously have a drink whilst busting some moves, demonstrate your great sportsmanship, all in the convenience of one room. It’s all popping off at the Ballroom’s neon rave, ping pong tournament hybrid and to those indecisive dates who want it all, I suggest you take a swing at this one-time pop up event.

Option number three is for the tree hugging nature-friendly couples or simply those who cannot afford the extravagance implied by this commercially driven holiday, because you don’t need to be a baller to act as a real Casanova on Valentine’s Day. With the right company, an evening trek through the forest makes for a highly romantic date night and all you need is a pair of comfy shoes and google maps. The forest next to Tyler Hill Recreational Grounds/Tyler Hill Bonfire is a feasible option being only a 15-minute walk from the University. I propose a night walk because I think daytime picnics are overrated, unless you prefer to lunch on cold (most-likely) foul tasting sandwiches in sub-zero degrees’ weather alongside unleashed food-thieving dogs, and millions of invasive insects. If you don’t want to find yourself single and humiliated come February 15th then I suggest you leave the picnic basket in your amazon basket. Even if you are that one student that didn’t do your D of E (is it me or has this qualification become more popular than actual GCSEs?) getting lost in the dark for a while could lead to an unexpected adventure, some funny stories, and be a great way to get to know each other if you’re a new couple. You will be devoid of the pressures of conventional dating: stinky breath, splitting the bill, lady-like eating, idle chatter round mouthfuls of fries…can anyone else relate? So pass up for the strip for the woods and save yourself some coins.

Finally I will present you with a cheaper alternative to the pinnacle, thus unattainable, Valentine’s Day prerequisite: the romantic getaway. Though a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a sail in a Venetian Gondola is bound to create chemistry between even the most incompatible of couples, no normal person with ordinary commitments can simply take off on a mid-week sojourn abroad. Nevertheless the sentiment behind this is priceless and so I do recommend a getaway, not overseas but over a few postcodes to Margate seafront. It is not obligatory to traverse the equator to appreciate the perpetual overlap waves and the unpolluted aromas that permeate such a location. Plus witness the views that helped to inspire high modernism, since to stroll these sands is to literally follow the steps T.S. Eliot trod during his composition of The Wasteland. The fact that two minutes over, the Turner Contemporary will be having an exhibition dedicated to the great poet is an added bonus and there are plenty of other works for art fiends to indulge in.

With so much opportunity for innovation there is no excuse to brood the humdrum Valentine’s rituals when there are alternative options that can be just as rewarding without the cost.