You don’t need big Valentines Day ideas or other creative date ideas if you know your sweetie and use your heart. Granted, you’re listening to a girl who writes for a hardware and home improvement blog, but the best Valentines day gift I ever got was a pile of paint chips. We’d been talking about re-painting his apartment after I moved in, and he gave me his ideas and decision power. It was so sweet I told everyone, and painting together led to more fun dates. But, need it or not, it never hurts to be romantic and do something new. Enjoy my best romantic date ideas, just in time for the holiday.
Make a cute checklist for wow factor
If you plan a whole day of activities, it’ll blow your lover away to see everything in store for them. Start with “wake up in my arms” and work your way through your plans for the day. Use tangibles like “breakfast together in bed” and intangibles like “miss me all day at work.” Inside jokes and innuendos make it personalized, and it feels amazing to be cherished all day long, even if you don’t spend it all together. The list will also be a good keepsake. Read this one’s story here.
Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery
Big kids like Valentines cards, too. Almost anything you do will get more points if it comes with a little note. The first one should say “Be Mine” and the rest should all start with “because” or “so” and explain one reason you don’t want to live without him/her.
Point the way to your heart (or the bedroom)
My favorite is to leave a trail of sticky notes. Use them to lead your Valentine out the door for your date. Or back inside. They’re modern rose petals.
Chocolate is a staple for Valentines Day ideas, but making yummy treats together can be one of the best unique date ideas. Think sticky fingers and tying on aprons and kissing out the timer. Find a recipe for your honey’s favorite baked goods, or use one of these:
chocolate lollipops, a video complete with great European accent (will need to buy a mold)
snow ice cream
I really like the snow ice cream idea because it’s a good excuse to go play in the snow first!
If there’s snow, get outside and literally chase after your date. Make each other messages, or make a big heart before the other person sees it, and play tag running around the outline. You decide what happens when one of you gets caught. Heart-shaped snowball fight?
Write up a funny, lovey permission slip, pack a lunch with favorite snacks that mom never let you eat, and hit the road. Go somewhere you know well, and act like a tour guide. Just make sure you don’t bore your student! At the end, give a goofy quiz or ask for a comment sheet and see how you did. : )
Don’t Act Your Age
Valentines Day was most fun when you were kids, right? Now, using a retro theme will give you lots of creative date ideas. Start off with little kid Valentines- “check yes or no!” If it’s a yes, go rollerskating or bowling. Eat at a retro restaurant. Play a mix tape in the car. Go skateboarding or biking. Visit a children’s museum to play with their toys. Watch classic lovey movies from the era. These might not seem like romantic date ideas, but do whatever takes you back and it’ll feel like it’s your first love, all over again.
Theater built for two
Movie nights might not be anything new, but some of my most fun dates have been cuddled up somewhere unusual for a theme movie night. With a projector and white sheet, you can set up a drive-in theater in the back yard, a spooky one in a basement, or a cute kid movie in a blanket fort. Open computer labs on college campuses work great for this, too.
The Perfect Staycation
Can’t make it to your dream destination? Fake it. Put up a sign that says Italy or Hong Kong or Venice Beach. Wherever you wish you could go. Then, make the dinner that you’d find at that location, set a fancy table, and play some music or ambient noise you would hear there. Try to work in activities, like a fish tank if you’d go snorkeling. Techies can project a slideshow of background pictures, maybe even Photoshopped to show the two of you there together. If you live together, pack a bag for your honey like it’s a real vacation, and try to get them to play along. There’s nothing like cranking up the heat and lounging in bikinis to forget about winter. In a small apartment, I once set everything up in a closet to keep it secret.
You say it best when you say nothing at all.
At the risk of being unpopular, there’s no reason you have to celebrate Valentines Day. The first year that I was dating my sweetie, we didn’t say anything to each other that day. We saw it as a great compatibility factor, that we were going to show our love to each other any and every day, instead of when we were told to. So before you go making big plans, make sure that it’s what your partner wants. Not everyone likes big dinners out or elaborate scavenger hunts, and it won’t be romantic if it’s stressful. To play it safe, spoil your partner early and tell them why you won’t be making a big deal of that certain day. You can even fill a jar with compliments and reminiscing and have your partner read them one a day or once a week all year.