Stressing over the perfect Valentine’s Day plan? Try this fun online quiz

The pressure is on to come up with that ideal Valentine’s Day date, and all the stress can put a real damper on what’s supposed to be a perfect, romantic evening. 

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be one of the most romantic holidays of the year. But oftentimes, it can get bogged down by those pesky details — where are you going, and what are you doing? The pressure is on to come up with that ideal Valentine’s Day date, and all the stress can put a real damper on what’s supposed to be a perfect, romantic evening.

That tension becomes even more stifling in a city with so many options. Do you want to see a movie, or go to a play? Is a museum visit the right mood, or a carriage ride? And most importantly, out of the bajillions of restaurants in your area, which one sets the ideal tone for your special someone?

But never fear — the Internet is here to save the day! OpenTable has launched a new online tool called Matchmaker that helps you find a restaurant for your big night out, so you can focus on flowers and chocolates. Just answer a few questions, and your Valentine’s Day is basically planned for you.

How it works

When you launch OpenTable’s Matchmaker, the first screen includes a cuddly couple with a heart dangling above. But don’t be fooled — the tool isn’t just for lovebirds. Press “get started” and choose from three totally different options: “It’s a date,” “I’m bringing the family” and “celebrating with friends.”

Next, Matchmaker gets into the practicalities. Are you looking for a cheaper option, or “going all out?” Do you want Italian, American, Japanese, French, vegetarian, seafood, Mexican or a steakhouse? What’s your vibe — quiet and cozy, formal and fancy, casual and low key or something else? For each category with a myriad of options, you can choose more than one and see what the matchmaker picks for you.

Then, it’s time to schedule a date. Are you celebrating on Valentine’s Day proper? Or that weekend? It is a long weekend, after all, which means more time off to be romantic. Maybe you even want to make two reservations!

Either way, once you’ve decided on all your parameters, it’s time to meet your match. Say hello to the restaurant of your Valentine’s Day dreams …

… Or not.  When I first tried the tool, I happened to get a restaurant I’ve been to several times, that’s not among my favorites. Upon other tries, I was assigned to places that were far from my apartment, that seemed like a hassle to get to on such a busy evening.

But hey! At least the choice is no longer in your hands. If you have the best dinner of your life and get lucky after, thank Mr. Matchmaker. And if the dinner’s a disaster, you can blame the robot — it won’t mind.

Plus, at the end of the day, what really matters is the company you keep. So even if the meal isn’t right up your alley, hopefully, the person you share it with will be. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating.

Alexandra Villarreal|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at avillarreal@theladders.com.