By Star LaBranche
We are not going to outline how you have to cook a gourmet 6-course meal for your partner, or get into debt buying them the latest and the greatest of whatever it is they love. It’s about listening to your partner, communicating with them, and having open conversations about Valentine’s Day. While this might seem boring and entirely too serious, it can be far from it. Here are some easy ways to ensure the perfect Valentine’s Day for you and your loved one.
Pick a Present They’ll Love
You can always ask your significant other what kind of gifts they like. Whether they want something practical, like a kitchen item they’re missing, or something they wouldn’t buy for themselves, like a bath set with lots of bath bombs, you have to know who you’re buying for.
It’s common to buy a significant other what you would want. Because, after all, it’s a great gift: you want it yourself! But just because I love adventure doesn’t mean my cautious boyfriend wants vouchers for indoor skydiving. Really consider what would make your partner happy and what gift style they appreciate.
When it comes to gift giving, it’s easy to get caught up in the price tag. An expensive gift that doesn’t suit the person won’t automatically be better received than a less expensive gift that has meaning or use to them. Sometimes gifts can be handmade, or even special items you love and want to share with them. When you think about gift giving, ask yourself: what would make the recipient happy?
Decide on Dinner: Stay in or Go Out?
You know yourself and your significant other best. If you’re both extroverts who love crowds and can’t wait to step out for a night on the town, find the most happening spot you can and get reservations.
Note: Always get reservations when you can. You don’t want to have your night be spent running from restaurant to restaurant trying to find some place that can seat you before 9pm.
Does your loved one find a home-cooked meal a treat? Or would they rather go out somewhere fun and different? Can they handle crowds well and wouldn’t mind a noisy dining room? Is there a special or event you can go to that would be something you both can enjoy? If you want to keep your plans secret, you can still hint to your partner that you have something in mind.
Arrange some Games and Activities
Pinterest is chock-full of fun, low-cost or even free things to do with your partner on Valentine’s Day. You can find games where you get to know each other more, play for a prize, or just spark conversation. If your date runs off of adrenaline, it might be better to go for the indoor skydiving experience. But if the two of you enjoy cuddling and talking the night away, this is a great option for both of you.
Highly Important Tips to Remember
What I’m Doing for Valentine’s Day This Year
It all sounds nice. But how does it come together? Taking the disparate pieces of a night and making them into a cohesive event can be challenging. Here’s what my plans are so far:
For my boyfriend’s present, I have ordered an art print of one of his favorite animes, and I’ll get a nice frame for it at a local craft store. He loves art prints and doesn’t have any of this anime yet. While we were watching the show, he told me about how much he’d love to have a print of two characters in particular, and I logged that away for future reference.
I made a fun invitation on a free design app and will be sending that out to him to officially reserve the date. It also has one of the characters from the anime he loves and is written in that character’s voice. This character’s catchphrase has become an inside joke for us.
For dinner, we will be dining in, with me making some healthy and delicious food. I have several games I’m sifting through to figure out what to play that night. Most of all, I look forward to talking with him, hearing about his day, discussing what we have going on in the upcoming weeks, and simply enjoying each other’s company.
So, What Does It All Mean?
When I was planning this Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t do it without getting existential. After all, what does it all mean? Valentine’s Day has become so commercial, it’s hard not to feel like it’s a race to see who can pay for the most extravagant, Instagram-worthy evening of all. In a world where feelings are commodified, and emotional reactions can be turned into “likes,” it’s hard to take something for yourself and hold onto its meaning.
This Valentine’s Day, find your own meaning, whether it’s small, big, or somewhere in between. Do something that means something to you and your partner. Forget what other people are expecting, and plan a great night just for the two of you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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