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Melissa discusses the word on everyone's lips in the run up to Valentine's Day... love, and its complex cocktail of thoughts.

One of the most decadent travel experiences I ever enjoyed was flying into Nice airport and being collected by a driver in a smart black limo. We sped along the Côte d’Azur and eventually stopped alongside a smallish tender that deftly cut through the Med’s sparkling water.

It gets even better... We pulled up by a 150-foot achingly elegant yacht and I bounced aboard. The intention of the trip was for us to speed along the water ways of Cap d’Antibes hopping on and off. Why? To view various properties for sale and to provide design solutions for the numerous projects my client had cherry picked.

Could there be a more romantic experience?

Super-yacht, sunshine, champagne and sizzling hot client. Tick tick tick. Well actually yes. Romance is evoked by way of a fuzzy feeling and while this experience included all of the aforementioned deliciousness, my thoughts told a different story — which did not connect and conclude with the obligatory warm fuzzy feeling. This was business and absolutely not romantic despite the seemingly appetising accoutrements. I was sitting aboard a floating office with my client looking over his architects plans and creating interior solutions.

A true romance always begins with emotional substance and may be mistaken when we choose to confuse stuff with substance. Comprende? So, for anyone wondering how to inject romance and sparkle into your relationship here are my tip top tastic thoughts on these things. With not a whiff of either a boat or Barry White on the playlist. If you’re reading this hoping for tips to rekindle that loving feeling with someone you currently aren’t enamoured by and are secretly wishing a vacation will make it all better. It won’t. Unless you’re planning to live your life on vacation and to avoid the emotional elephant in the room by ways of distractions such as gifts, trips, work and or being surrounded by friends permanently.

Should you choose to continue to avoid the deep-rooted relationship issues by replacing the required emotional substance (communicating and connecting) with stuff (distractions), here’s the kicker. Using avoidance/distraction techniques to inspire the feeling of love and romance is like taping a sandwich to yourself and expecting it to satisfy your hunger. Bon chance.

For those in amore, science has proven that love is a feeling. It’s a bubbling energetic emotion fuelled by a complex cocktail of thoughts, beliefs and stories all colliding to create potential chaos with another human. So, for anyone financially less equipped than they’d like and wanting to plan a romantic treat, the thought truly does count.

Love transcends any mountain range in Peru or private island in the Maldives. You guys win the star prize and a carpet picnic sponsored by a chilled bottle of rosé anything is likely to jiggle the heart of a loved one while you both pour over National Geographic reruns on the Discovery channel.

Love wins.