This blog post is for those looking to go the extra mile this Valentines. I often get asked What are some creative ideas to impress someone or What are some good ideas that don’t involve spending much. I’m not a massive fan of spending lots of money on people on Valentine’s Day, unless it’s meaningful. Save the big quid for birthdays and Christmas and let Valentines be the day you show your significant other what they mean to you. A number of guys struggle in this area, there’s a fear of not being creative enough, or fear that they’ll go a bit too far and frighten their partner away. I can safely say that females think very similarly. I’ve decided to list some unique ideas that aren’t too costly. I hope these inspire some of you to get creative and make Valentines one to remember this year.
Short Term: 1- 12 Months
If you haven’t been going out with your boyfriend or girlfriend very long, you may be at your wits end trying to come up with an idea without appearing too forward, or perhaps not forward enough. Consider your card. Don’t scare your partner away with an I love you card, unless you’re already comfortable saying it, or plan on dropping that eight letter word as a surprise (saying it in a card counts, don’t worry!). Each to their own, some say it after a month, some don’t say it at all. One way or another, consider the kind of card you wish to provide. Is it going to be soppy or funny? Will it be hand made? These are important gestures which your partner will really consider when receiving the card!
1. Have A Picnic: Without spending too much money, consider a picnic. Whether or not this is indoors by the fire or outside in a windy field, there’s nothing sweeter than someone picking out your favourite treats and surprising you with them. This is usually cost efficient and easy to pull together. Consider your partners favourite food and beverage, and maybe throw in a few flowers.
2. Buy Flowers: Speaking of flowers, nothing screams sentimental like a bouquet of flowers. Yes lads, we do enjoy these short living creatures. There’s something rather old school about receiving them. Although maybe it’s just me, but I’d nearly prefer someone to surprise me with flowers when I least expect it. Flowers on Valentine’s Day is a little cliché, so another witty idea (which you’ve all seen by now) is the donut bouquet. If she doesn’t like donuts, stick a few of her favourite chocolate bars or treats in there. She’ll see you put thought into it.
3: For The Newbies: If you’re really fresh into a new relationship, or are considering asking the person you’re seeing to be your partner, a really lovely gesture I’ve heard of is proposing a relationship via a cute card. Purchase a card which boasts the words “To my Girlfriend/Boyfriend”, asking the question of interest inside. It’s a little cringe, but a little cringe can go a long way.
4. Make a Home Cooked Meal: If you’re planning a low key night in with your partner, nothing screams sentimental than cooking them their favourite dinner. Don’t just make them their favourite meal, but go that extra mile and whip up their favourite starter and dessert to show them that you’re paying attention to detail. It’s often endearing when people remember the little things about you! Dinner is also a good way to get experimenting in the kitchen. You’ll probably end up burning a pot, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
5. Eating Out
If you plan on eating out this Valentine’s Day, consider going that extra mile and surprising your partner. Whether you’re in university or work together, leave a note and chocolates on his/her desk saying that you’ll meet them at whatever time planned, and that you’re going for dinner in their favourite place. Nothing screams I really like you than a little surprise!
2 Years- Continued
Depending on how far along you are in your relationship, you may wish to consider grand gestures which implement your love for each other. These gestures are once again, low cost efficient, but may vary. You may be living out or living away from each other, so some of these will suit you, whereas others may not.
For The Long Distance Couple
1. Love Letter: Girls like me hate to admit that they enjoy romantic gestures. It’s icky yet we love it deep down. What I suggest for long distance couples is to bring it back to 1965, write a love letter. It’s super cringe and morto, but when done correctly, can be considerably sweet. If you’re living far away from your partner, receiving something close to you will mend their heart. Even if you’re not a Shakespearean writer, your partner will appreciate the time and effort you took to write it.
2. Send Flowers: If you’re not a literary genius, consider sending flowers from their nearest flower shop. Consult the nearest store in their area and have a dozen roses sent to them. Imagine arriving home to a delivery like that!
For Those Living Near/Together
1. Movie & Takeaway Fort: If you’re living out, or perhaps live with your partner, one particular idea is to set up a sitting room fort. Using pillows and blankets, fill the seating space with cosy filled items. Set up a nice film, and when your partner is on the way home, order his/her favourite takeaway. Pop a bottle of bubbly and cuddle in your little fort for the evening with treats and beverages.
2. Old School Dinner: Another idea for those looking to go that extra mile and show off their romantic flare is to utilise rose petals to your advantage. (so cliché, right?!) Cook up a candlelit dinner in the kitchen, flower petals leading up to the kitchen space, or wherever you plan on hosting, so when your partner arrives home, she/he must look for you by following the trail. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, dress a little formal to give that extra oompfh to the night. Throw on some Frank Sinatra in the background. It’s always a winner.
3. Candlelit Evening & Treasure Hunt: This is very movie like, but if you’re looking to spoil your partner this valentines, prepare your living space with lighting candles. On your partners arrival home, provide them with a treasure trail around the house which will consist of hiding small sentimental gifts all over the house for them to find. Light candles all over your main room of the house as the grand finale, with your final or main present in the centre.
4. Favourite Treats: If you’re not really into cooking, or perhaps can’t, consider investing in some of his/her favourite treats. Leave them in a pile amongst a cosy blanket and pillow fort. When your partner arrives home to this surprise, they’ll be impressed that you remembered all of their favourite things. It’ll show you that you listen to them.
Sentimental Gift Ideas:
Love Letter: I know I’ve previously mentioned this, but it’s a complete winner if you ask me. Writing a letter to someone shows that you’ve put time and effort into writing a note, special to them. Tell them what you like about them, their quirks and achievements. Include romantic anecdotes wherever you can, and if you’re feeling a little artistic, you could decorate it too. I’ve previously received letters in the past, despite the times we live in. I can safely say I truly appreciated the sentiment.
Multiple Letters: Another idea, if you’re going out longer than perhaps a year, is writing a bundle of letters. Write 5-6 letters labelled “Open When”. Each letter must represent a different mood or time period. For example, “Open when you miss me”, “Open when you need a laugh”, “Open when you need to know how much I love you,”. Each letter should be solely directed to the envelope cover. It’s such a swooooon romantic idea if you ask me.
A Memory Jar: If you’re looking for a sentimental gift idea that literally costs nothing, whip out an old jar in your cupboard and get crafty. Cut up little pieces of paper and write down your favourite memories together, and put them into a jar. It’s like a lucky dip. Your partner can pick at random a little note to see which memory is in store!
Travel Board: If you’re like me and love to travel with your partner, consider making a travel board with some of your favourite memorabilia such as train tickets, photographs and any extra additions which remind you of your time spent together. This doesn’t always have to be for travel. Perhaps you see a lot of concerts together, or like to visit the cinema a lot. Collect as much memorabilia and compile as many copies as you can, to show them that you’ve savoured every memory.
Scrapbooking: This is one which may take some time, but your partner will absolutely love it. If you wish to be extra lovin’ this year, compile photos and travel memorabilia into one big scrapbook, showing off some of your fondest memories together. Caption each photo, or write little notes here and there to remind your partner how much these memories mean to you. Memory boxes are also a really nice way to flaunt your memories!
Each of these gift ideas do take time and effort. A lot of people forget to give each other the time they deserve, or are too busy to get creative. Spend evenings after work getting crafty, or writing letters. Substitute time by the television with writing and decorating. Your partner will appreciate it more than you realise! I’m a firm believer that this is not for everyone. But having said that, sentiment expresses thought, and thought expresses your love for someone. If you feel something, show it in the best way you can.