The Matador guide to Valentine's Day

Introduction

Chances are, your love life hasn’t followed the typical rom-com formula. You probably didn’t have a serendipitous meet-cute moment, a will-they-won’t-they courtship, an easily avoidable falling out, and a romantic reconciliation on Valentine’s Day atop the Empire State Building. But that’s okay. Love in 2021 is unconventional, and Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate that.

Whether you’re planning a future trip with your Valentine, power swiping on Tinder, or taking the Estonian approach and celebrating “Friend’s Day” instead, there are plenty of ways to spend February 14. Matador Network’s got you covered.

We compiled all the most cliche places to propose, with some highly recommended alternatives, so you don’t accidentally pop the right question in the wrong place. We looked at some of the world’s most intriguing Valentine’s Day traditions, explored the often questionable (but highly recommended) experience of Tindering abroad, and offered tips on imbuing your family vacation with much-needed romance. We even revealed the best destinations for sexually adventurous couples, plus a ton of other stories about getting it on abroad.

Valentine’s Day can be a lot more than sappy Hallmark cards and watching Sleepless in Seattle on repeat. Read on to find out how in our official guide to love around the world.

How the world shows love

11 Valentine’s Day traditions around the world

How to say ‘I love you’ in 68 countries

7 courtship customs around the world

Wacky traditions single people around the world have to endure

PDA etiquette around the world you need to know about

How every bridge in the world got covered in ‘love locks’ (and why it has to stop)

29 untranslatable words that describe love perfectly

Get Whisked Away

The most unique, romantic couples experiences around the world

10 couples who will inspire you to hit the road with your other half

The 7 most underrated romantic cities in the world

The 11 sexiest museums in the world

The most romantic European destinations to visit if you both love solitude

The 10 most cliche places to propose (and where to propose instead)

The 8 most romantic big city hotels to surprise your partner

Swipe Right

Tinder sent me to Toronto to find love, and I fell in love with solo travel instead

10 underrated cities for singles across the US

The best dating apps for LGBTQ travelers

How to use Tinder as your personal concierge abroad

The 5 things you need to know before using Tinder abroad

How I married the girl I met on Tinder in Iran

8 underrated cities for LGBTQ singles around the world

#CoupleGoals

7 unique adventures to strengthen your relationship

How to maintain a healthy relationship while traveling with a partner

10 surprising ways to make your baecation the most romantic yet

You should (and can) include some romance in your family vacation

How to backpack with your partner (without breaking up)

10 icebreaker questions that can lead to deeper travel relationships

7 guaranteed ways to cause a breakup when traveling

10 things you should never share with your partner while traveling

‘Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel’ is a heartfelt take on romance on the road

Let's Get it on

10 foods from around the world considered aphrodisiacs

How to plan for better and safer sex while traveling

The 6 best intimacy and sex retreats for couples around the world

10 of the most notorious sex clubs around the world

How to take sex toys on vacation

The best vacation spots for sexually daring couples

10 tips for your best-ever vacation sex

Dr. Ruth on why you need to have more quickie vacations — and quickie hotel sex

10 sexual practices from around the globe that remind us the world is a big, beautiful place

Orgasm workshops are a thing, and these are the best ones to try

Love in the time of COVID

A cross-border relationship is never easy. During a pandemic, it’s terrifying.

How these LGBTQ couples are navigating long-distance relationships in a pandemic

Everything you need to know about having sex while social distancing

How to protect your relationship during quarantine

This is what it feels like to cancel an international wedding at the last minute

Valentine's Day By the Numbers

This map reveals the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in every US state

This Valentine’s Day survey will answer your most pressing questions before the big day

Each US state’s most popular Google search on Valentine’s Day

Data from Tinder shows the world dates differently, but everyone likes beer

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