Valentine’s Day is a special time for celebrating all kinds of loving relationships, but especially your significant other. If you want to make someone feel loved, there are many simple ways to go about it. So if you forgot to order flowers, don’t sweat! Just put a little effort into doing something fun and different this year, throw in some smooching, and you’re good to go.
Spending Quality Time Together
1Arrange for dinner. You can book a reservation at your favorite restaurant or you can cook. It doesn’t even have to be fine dining. Often just putting something together in advance is a good way to show your Valentine that you care and that you’re thinking of them. Add some candles, turn down the lights, and it’s a perfect romantic evening.
2Plan a day out. If you’re like most people, there are probably so many things to do in your area that you’ve just never gotten around to. Spend an entire day exploring with your significant other, and make a point of going places neither of you have ever been before. Go to a new museum, go paintballing together, or hike a long trail that you’ve both been interested in, but never had the time for. You never know–you might even get to see a fun new side of the person you love.
3Take your partner out for coffee. It sounds so cliché, until you realize that it has been forever since you last took an hour or two to simply sit down across from them at a table to talk. Put your phones on silent and out of sight, and just give each other your full attention.4Go for a long walk together. If you go to a nature preserve or big park, bring a field guide to birds or wild flowers and have fun working together to identify what you see. If you’re in the city, do a self-guided walking tour together, wander down adorable side streets you’ve never noticed before, and make lots of stops to smell the roses.
5Surprise your significant other with a weekend away. Book a few nights at a cosy bed and breakfast, or visit a nearby city for a few days. You might have to tell them to set aside the weekend for something special, but they don’t have to know where you’re going. Go all out, and make it a weekend to remember.
6Take your partner out dancing. Swing dances often include a brief lesson beforehand for beginners and people who want to brush up on rusty skills, and they can be a lot of fun. Or get up close and personal with a tango class. Nothing says romantic like a jazzy number and a beckoning dance floor.
Affirming Your Loved One
Write your Valentine a note. Tell them how much you love them, and include specific things that you love about them, whether it’s how passionate they are about the things they love or their strong sense of justice or just the way they smile when they’re a little embarrassed.
- Usually the first attempt at writing a note is awkward and disjointed and you run out of space before you’ve said what you want to. Don’t stress: jot down a few ideas on a separate sheet of paper or write an entire first draft before you set anything down in your card.
2Volunteer with your partner for a cause they care about. If they love dogs, offer to spend a day cleaning kennels and walking dogs at the local SPCA. If they lost a loved one to cancer, then assist with a Relay for Life event in your area. By investing time in something near to their heart, you are affirming that what matters to them matters to you.
Tell them how grateful you are. For a day or a week, take a moment every time they do something you appreciate to tell them that you’re grateful for them and what they do.
- Especially try to note things you might normally take for granted. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a simple, “Thanks for letting me borrow your coat,” or “Thank you for cancelling your plans to be with me when I was sick.”
- Try to work in appreciation for general qualities, like, “You’re so thoughtful. I appreciate that you always open the door for me when we go out.” Or, “That was so kind of you to give them a ride home. You’re a really good friend.”
Sit down together and tell your partner face-to-face what you love about them. Notes are nice and can be saved for another day, but few things are as thoughtful and affirming as having someone look directly into your eyes to tell you how much they love you and why.
- Try to make it about them. Say things like, “You’re such a compassionate person, and it really comes through in your interactions with people. They can tell how warm and kind you are within minutes of meeting you.” It’s okay to talk about how they make you feel, since you’re telling them why you love them, but try not to make it too self-centered. For example, “You’re such an open person that I’ve always felt like I could tell you anything,” is great, because it emphasizes a particular quality they possess and it tells them that you trust them.
- If you compliment them on physical features, be specific. Don’t just say, “You’re sexy,” or “You’re beautiful.” Say, “You have gorgeous eyes,” or “You walk so confidently, and it’s really attractive.”
Giving Special Gifts
1Order their favorite takeout just the way they like it. When you know someone well, you learn their quirks: how well they like their burgers cooked, what they’re allergic to, that they can’t stand the texture of artichokes or hearts of palm. When you can actually order for someone, you show your love by actively paying attention to their likes and dislikes and communicating that you want to treat them well.
2Bring your Valentine’s pet a new toy or treat. For a lot of animal lovers, the best way to show your love for them is to acknowledge their pet. By bringing something for Fido, you let them know that you can see how important he is to them and for that reason, he’s important enough to you to include on your gift list.
3Make them a music mix. Maybe it’s old school to give cds or mixtapes in the age of internet streaming services, but that just makes it more fun. Make a list of songs that are special to the two of you or that make you think of them. Go the extra mile: take a Sharpie and decorate the cd with fun and quirky art.
4Pamper them. Schedule a couples’ massage. Relax in a sauna. Spend a day at the spa with your Valentine, and they’re sure to come away feeling seriously loved.
5Send your partner flowers. This gesture is classic, but that just makes it a clearer statement. If you know what their favorite flowers are, that’s great, but for many people, the gesture alone says it all.