It’s everyone’s favorite (dreaded) time of year again. After the whirlwind of Christmas proposals and midnight kisses, romance is more alive than ever as pink colored hearts adorn every store. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives alike; we’re all trying to demonstrate our feelings for our significant others.
No matter how much spark your relationship has, there’s no shame in seeking guidance on making this day that’s already full of pressure a little easier. When looking for advice, don’t listen to your male friends…they’re single for a reason. Chances are they don’t know what’s best.
While there are no one-size-fits-all, these useful steps fit across the board and can help you plan the perfect day for you and your significant other.
Plan in Advance
Last-minute efforts tend to be pretty obvious and feel careless. You’ll overpay on flowers and you have to hope to get lucky with reservations. Start thinking about your plans now, not on February 12th. Order flowers, make dinner reservations, and get her a card (bonus points for a handwritten note inside).
It can be exciting to drop hints leading up to the day of or keep it all under wraps, but it can be beneficial to have a general conversation setting expectations. No one likes to feel like they were expecting something casual and get something more formal thrown at them.
Consider Your Significant Other
Be creative with what you do. The stereotypical roses and chocolate don’t express love. Really think about what your partner enjoys and likes. If they hate cheesy romance, maybe skip the stuffed bear and heart balloons. Romance is about expressing your authenticity.
Small Gestures Count
Small surprises leading up to and the day of Valentine’s Day can be just as exciting. Small notes demonstrate thoughtfulness and show how much you care. Even going the extra mile to do a chore they don’t particularly enjoy can be demonstrative of your love.
- Words of affirmation. Use words to build up your significant other and express your love. Handwritten notes are a great way to do this.
- Gifts. Give small gifts as tokens of your love. Candy, thoughtful art, small plants, and trinkets are all ways to say, “I’ve been thinking about you.”
- Acts of service. Do something for your loved one that you know they would appreciate. Consider cooking a meal, washing dishes, or vacuuming floors.
- Quality time. Spend alone time and focus on giving your spouse your undivided attention. Take a walk together or sit on the couch with the TV off, talking and listening.
- Physical touch. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are all physical expressions of love.
Make it an Experience
Studies show 39% of people would love the gift of experience, particularly theater tickets or comedy shows. Why go the basic route of an overpriced restaurant? Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, it’s a perfect opportunity to experience something unique together.
Take an Impromptu Getaway
Due to often cold weather and fewer traveling holidays, it’s affordable to take a weekend away in February. There are many interesting, exciting, and warm destinations perfectly suited for time off. Whether it’s on the beach, in a new city, or somewhere you’ve been before, this is an excellent opportunity to make new memories together that you’ll never forget.
If you’re looking to surprise your loved one with a fun getaway for Valentine’s day, start planning it today. It can be exciting to drop little hints at the surprise leading up to it and you’ll have to let them know what weather they should plan on packing for.
Dress to Impress
This isn’t just any day at the office, so don’t dress like it. Especially if you’re going out for dinner, dress the part. Demonstrate the significance of the day and how much you value your partner by dressing up.
When you dress well, you feel well. Even better, getting all spruced up goes a long way for self-confidence.
Make it a Day, Or a Weekend
This year, February 14th falls on a Friday, making it the perfect opportunity to extend your festivities into a full weekend of fun. Take advantage of it and don’t settle for just dinner, enjoy a few smaller activities together spread over 3 days. This way, you don’t have to compromise and both of you can spend time catering to the other’s interests & desires.
Set the Mood with a Romantic Playlist
Mixtapes might be out, but romantic mixes are so in. Build a playlist of romantic songs or sentimental songs tied to your experiences together. Need inspiration? Start with Spotify’s Valentine’s Day Love playlist.
You might feel embarrassed, and it’s easy to write off the day as Hallmark and revenue-oriented, but we all benefit from getting a little sappy sometimes. You don’t have to be “over it”. Steal quotes from her favorite poems or Rom Coms.
Have a Conversation BEFORE You Get to the Bedroom
Have an open conversation about your individual desires and fantasies for the evening. Explore how you can make each other feel loved and enjoyed in an evening of mutual and consensual fun. Who knows, they might be into something that you’ve been fantasizing about as well.
Enjoy Quality Time
Valentine’s Day isn’t about her spending all day at the salon, silent commutes to dinner, or scrolling on your phone next to each other; it’s about spending quality time together. Enjoy the company of your significant other, and the chance to spend some alone time together.
It can be difficult to let go of outside stressors like work and family, but you’ll both have a more enjoyable evening and be able to connect deeper by focusing solely on your partner.
Be In The Moment
With all of the planning that you’ve put into having the perfect day, it might be tempting to show-off on social media. Resist the urge to plaster your Instagram feed with photos about every single thing you’re doing. One or two is fine, who doesn’t love being shown off on your loved one’s story, but any more than that is excessive and takes away from your time together.
Chances are your significant other will be dropping hints leading up to the big day. Be sure to keep an open ear about what they have in mind and if there’s anything that they really want.
Keep seeing the same thing come up on your Instagram explore page, with their name under the likes? These are the subtle hints of 2020, take note!
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s about your relationship. When in doubt, think about your partner and what would make them feel happy and loved. Still unsure? Nothing beats sitting down and talking about it. You’re together for a reason, so you’ll likely find common ground and hopefully have the best Valentine’s Day yet, whether it’s with a Tinder match from Tuesday or your long-term significant other.
This content is brought to you by Elena Krle.