Do you remember when you used to tear a page out of your favorite magazine with that shiny bracelet or ring you had your eye on and slipped it into your boyfriend's backpack or husband's briefcase?
If you're like me, those memories have quickly disappeared while viewing the millions of Pinterest boards with dream gifts and vacations, Facebook pages filled with red roses and dark chocolate, as well as the plethora of online dating and mobile dating sites, where wearing red will increase your chances of snagging a date by Valentine's Day.
Here are some last minute tips on how to use social media to make the most out of the year's most romantic day.
Facebook I've gone on record as saying Facebook could be the world's largest dating site. Many of couples have found love on Facebook, which you can view in Facebook Love Stories, but how can you find just a date in a few days time? The answer is in making your Facebook page and activity more dateable.
1. Make sure your relationship status is set to "Single." Some people keep their status off of Facebook, but that won't help you find a date very quickly. Perhaps someone who has a digital crush on you will notice and get the courage to start liking, commenting, and engaging in a private chat with you.
2. Use Facebook's Graph Search to plan your Valentine's outing. When Facebook's Social Graph was announced last year, even the example of dating was used in the press conference. If you happen to have tickets to a play or concert around Valentine's Day, type in a search that says, "Single men in [your city] who like theatre" and see which friends of yours might appear. If you already have a significant other, type in "sushi restaurants that my friends like in [your city]"to get your friends' seal of approval.
3. Check out the "People You May Know" feature, where you can find friends from different parts of your life. Make sure to click "See All" and decide if you want to connect with someone from your home town, or a friend of someone that you trust on Facebook.
4. Turn "likes" to "love." Start liking restaurants, bands, stores, and other sites that describe your personality, so your potential sweetheart can get an idea about what makes you click.
5. Start a conversation with someone offline and then connect online. Late night chats can often turn into meeting someone for coffee or breakfast the next morning.
6. Remember to do a digital detox of photos on your page where you were partying a lot or are were in the arms of your ex. After all, you're single now and really do want to change your relationship status.
Pinterest. Calling all the single ladies! It's time to create a Valentine's Day wish list on a new Pinterest board. Give a hint or send a link to your guy with your Valentine's Day gift wish list, so he'll know you won't be disappointed. Make sure your list shows items in a variety of ranges so he doesn't think you're a high maintenance girl so he can show up on your doorstop without being empty handed.
Twitter. How do I love thee in 140 characters or less? If romance is on your mind, start posting romantic quotes and remember to use the hashtags of #valentines #romance #single. It's fine to let the Twitterverse know your relationship status, especially if you'd like it to change in a digital heartbeat.
Instagram Are you wearing a hot red dress for Valentine's Day? All dressed up with nowhere to go? Post a photo of the dress. Be bold and tag it Valentine's Day and add you're still waiting for Prince Charming to ask you out. Post photos of decadent chocolate and romantic desserts. Who knows? These posts may get a lot of likes and shares and you might be adding a date on your calendar.
Skype Are you in a long-distance relationship? No need to fret. Skype dates keep the spark and romance alive until you can be in his or her arms again. Make sure to schedule a SKYPE date. Even grab a glass of wine or champagne and do a digital toast during your date. Ladies, put your lipstick on. Guys, wear that hot t-shirt and award winning smile to make it a date to remember.
Texting Nothing is sexier than sending or receiving a good morning text to your Valentine. Notch up the flirting a bit and say, "Guess what I'll be giving you for Valentine's..." or "Happy Valentine's Day... I have a feeling it's going to be a hot one" or "Can you imagine what I'll be wearing tonight?..."
Online Dating - Am I saving the most obvious for last? Perhaps, but if you're truly looking to connect, find a date, hookup or even find a first date for Valentine's Day, you must log on to your dating sites every day this week. Keep your browser window open so it shows you're an active member and are presently online. Open up the chat windows and start up a conversation. Remember, about half of the singles in the United States are members of online dating sites, so go where the numbers are. Change your profile introduction to something cute and witty and say, "Now accepting applications for Valentine's Day." It might appear needy, but it shows a bold and confident person who knows what they want and are willing to state it right at the top of their profile.
At the end of the digital day, enjoy your friends, your family, and everyone you love on Valentine's Day. The gift of spending quality time with someone you care about, regardless of your relationship status will make it a day worth cherishing.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, social media strategist, and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She been coaching singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Profiles programs for two decades and is the online dating expert at DatingAdvice.com. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.