Below article contributed by guest author!! 

It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for… or dreading.

I can picture it already: dimmed lights, red velvet, a restaurant filled with couples, all sipping a free glass of “Champagne” or its more profit friendly sister, Prosecco and dining on the same fixed-price menu of “aphrodisiacs” (read: overpriced ingredients i.e. Strawberries, oysters, chocolate).

There’s a reason why people who usually love to dine out really hate to do so on Valentine’s Day. Let me explain why.

Apart from the fact that the future of your relationship may very well depend on your reluctant participation, it’s going to take more than a ENOC greeting card to come out alive.  Not only must you make it memorable, thanks to social media, your Valentine’s Day has to be Instagrammable, too. After all, what good is all your effort if your valentine’s followers can’t “like” the outcome?

Despite being just an annual event, Valentine’s Day has several reasons to incite fury in many a food-lover… if we don’t count overbooked restaurants, the unreasonable price surging habits for this one “special” evening and the choice of so many of these many overpriced, overbooked restaurants to play the music of Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E or Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight?  Zzzzz – No wonder Netflix and Chill is so popular.

One such being that there are gastronomic “truths” that have been spoken over us our entire lives … play the right song and your coffee will taste like liquid gold from heaven…supposedly. But what about eating these “aphrodisiacs”? Will I be in for a night to remember? Or, is it all false? Is it fake news!?

Do not confuse that gastrointestinal wind for butterflies in your tummy. Nevertheless, the gastronomic cupids will never cease to try and bring food and romance together, and convince you that oysters, and strawberries, or cream, or whatever else, can inflame our desire. I hate to break it to you… but gorging yourselves on strawberries may only lead to a swollen belly… nothing else. However, if you choose to use your significant other as a dessert plate, I wish you all the luck and whipped cream in the world. There is no judgement here.

I do hope you have more discipline and self-control to resist the temptation of these rather dubious promises. Before you plan a “sexy” menu for your significant other (or yourself), remember this, we have yet to see any clear evidence that certain foods can be considered as mood elevating, let alone provoke our – ahem – thirst.

Here are FoodSheikh’s tips to survive Valentine’s Day:

-Cook his/her favourite meal, but don’t overdo it. They may turn into a blueberry (like that girl in Willy Wonka), and that won’t be very helpful for your…. later intentions.

-If you fancy yourself a chef, take a page out of the fine dining cookbooks and serve him/her only a small portion… That way you can have midnight snacks together when you get hungry later on.

-Serve it wearing an apron. Just an apron.  Be careful of hot oil splashes.

-Do not give into all the marketing – a steak dinner for two, followed by a decadent chocolate desert will only put you in the mood to sleep… or you’ll end up needing Rolaids.

-I repeat, do not give into all the marketing – Valentine’s day became commercialised around the 1600’s… and Hallmark has been making money off it ever since.

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