When I was in college, dating the woman who would become my wife, I thought I had Valentine’s Day figured out.
She wasn’t exactly a dozen roses kind of girl. She wasn’t a fan of boxed chocolates, and money-wise, nice jewelry was out of the question.
So I thought the perfect thing would be a cute stuffed animal along with some candy she actually liked. Our first two Valentine’s Days together, she gushed and smiled. On our third Valentine’s Day, she said, “What did you get me, another stuffed animal?” Of course, I had.
My point is, your significant other is going to expect you to be a little bit creative on February 14th – especially if you’ve been together for a few years or more. Sure…it’s a made-up, Hallmark Holiday. But if you ignore it, you’re in trouble.
Here are some ideas for doing something a little different on Valentine’s Day.
Don’t worry! This won’t be a post that tells you to make a homemade card or put candles in the bedroom with rose petals on the sheets.
My guess is – if you’re trying to come up with a unique idea for Valentine’s Day, you’ve already thought of or tried these options.
Some of the things on this list are simple and frugal. Others are extravagant and not-so frugal. But these seven suggestions are much more likely to impress, and they’ll work perfectly for either the man or the woman in your life.
1. The Romantic Memory Tour
If you get to spend the entire day together, take advantage of the opportunity and relive the story of your love.
Go back to the place you first met. Do things you used to do when you were younger. Rent the first movie you went to together. Eat at the greasy diner you haven’t been to in years.
Nothing brings out those warm fuzzies like a little bit of nostalgia.
It might be even more fun to make it a little mysterious. Design a “treasure map,” or write a list of clues and turn the tour into a scavenger hunt. Just make sure you have a grand finale to finish things off. The bedroom always works for guys.
2. The Lovey-Dovey IOU Booklet
This is an excellent way to make the romance of Valentine’s Day last a lot longer.
Put together a collection of IOUs for your lover. A bunch of them is better than just one, so think about things he or she would really appreciate and enjoy. Include the standards like back massages and passionate pleasures. But make sure to throw in a few other things too: a favorite meal, a night away from the kids, or just a big hug.
I hear some women get turned on by the sight of a man vacuuming.
A romantic IOU booklet should be fairly easy to create on your own. However, if you want a little extra help, check out these resources:
- For a price, you can get custom-made love coupons from Couponsformylover.com
- Check out this free collection of printable Valentine’s Day IOUs
- Get directions on making your own eye-catching IOU from Kodak.com
3. The “Story of Us” Book
This is another great way to take a romantic walk down memory lane.
Make your own book featuring pictures of the two of you together and stories from your time together. If you’re into scrapbooking, you can include all sorts of interesting stuff.
If you’re not so crafty, there are other options. LoveBookOnline.com has cute books you can customize and personalize. Books start at around $30, although these consist pre-made illustrations. For books featuring your own photos, give Blurb.com a try. Their prices start at just $4.
You could also make your own video slideshow if you’ve got some basic editing skills. Put it on YouTube and send it to your loved one. Some people – especially women – really appreciate those public declarations of love.
4. The Couple’s Caricature
If the two of you share a wacky sense of humor – a custom-made caricature could be fun.
Maybe you know of a place where you can sit for a caricature artist. If not, there are plenty of places online where you can send in a photo and have an artist send it back (or give you a digital version you can print on your own).
A few places to check out online:
- Caricatures by Stevie D – Couples portraits from $90 to $125
- DimpleArt.com – $43 for two people. You get a digital image and have to pay for a print/poster. You can also get the drawing on other products like apparel, mugs and mouse-pads.
- Caricature King – Starts at $35 per person with 8% off for couple portraits. Choose from different artists. Add your own words/poem for free. Other merchandise is also available.
5. Hire a Personal Chef for the Evening
Turn your kitchen into a fancy, five-star restaurant for a delicious dinner and an enchanting evening in the comfort of your own home.
You could simply find a friend or family member with exceptional cooking skills and have them do the job. However, I would not recommend bringing in either of your mothers to do this. Let’s be honest – things could get awkward very quickly. Plus, you get to eat Mom’s food all the time. This should be special.
If there’s a culinary school nearby, see if you can hire an up-and-coming chef to make you a romantic meal in the privacy of your own home.
Need help finding someone? Try using PersonalChefSearch.com to find a personal chef in your area.
Okay – so this is one of those “going overboard” Valentine’s Day ideas. It won’t exactly be cheap – but you’ll definitely make a big impression.
Imagine having an airplane writing a romantic message to your lover in the bright blue sky.
Skywrite.com and Flysigns.com can do personal messages nationwide. The cost ranges from $1,000 to $7,500. You’re going to want to save this one for big moments like “Will You Marry Me,” or “Woops, I’m pregnant.” (I joke).
Like the idea, but it’s out of your price range? Both companies mentioned above will also fly banners with your message on them as a lower-cost option.
7. The Amorous, Adrenaline-Pumping Adventure
Scientific research shows that when adrenaline courses through your veins – you’re feelings of romance increase.
In fact, when you first fell in love (aka felt an attraction) with your partner, your hearts started racing, right? That’s because you were getting an adrenaline rush. Doing something exciting can bring back those feelings of young love.
Adventure is an aphrodisiac. That’s why they send the cast of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette on all those exciting excursions.
What kind of an adventure would the man or woman in your life enjoy? You could go bungee jumping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, tandem skydiving, scuba diving. Maybe even a game of laser tag would do the trick. A scary movie may not be a common Valentine’s Day viewing choice – but it might be just the thing to get her to jump into your arms.
Let’s Hear Your Ideas!
How have you celebrated Valentine’s Day creatively in the past? Share your ideas with everyone and leave us a comment!
Photo Credit: Matt McGee via Flickr