Candy hearts and chocolate kisses, heart-shaped boxes, and bundles of flowers — Valentine’s Day is in the air.
If you haven’t already started planning for the big day, here are a few last-minute ideas for gifts or gestures you could make. If you’re anxious you don’t have something extravagant planned, don’t worry. It might sound surprising, but some of the simplest, most classic Valentine’s gestures often turn out the best. They’re an opportunity to show your loved one that you care for them deeply while instilling a bit of personality into your gift.
Below we offer some of our favorite, classic ideas (some with a twist!) for spending Valentine’s Day with your loved one along with a few key tips for getting the day right.
First and foremost, here are a few tips...
Before we get into some thoughtful ideas for what you could do with your partner, here are a few tips to keep in mind around Valentine’s Day. These should ensure you don’t get pricked by any rose thorns along the way:
Discuss Valentine’s Day before Valentine’s Day
Some of us love Valentine’s, others, not so much. It’s easily one of the most divisive holidays throughout the year. Whether single or in a relationship, we each have our own idea of what Valentine’s means. That’s why it’s so important to sit down with your loved one before the day arrives. That way, you can discuss what it means for both of you.
Talk about how Valentine’s Day makes you feel - good or bad. That way, you can try and understand why each of you does or doesn’t appreciate this annual holiday. Getting clear on this will help you avoid any misread intentions or hurt feelings. And you can get back to focusing on planning something you’ll both love.
Throw expectations out the (heart-shaped) window
Valentine’s Day can often fall prey to unrealistic expectations. Based on the signals we get from the media and those who surround us, we tend to build up a picture in our minds of the perfect, romantic occasion. When these expectations get dashed, the grand date can quickly turn into a grand dud.
If you let go of your preconceptions of what this day should look like and just be in the presence of your partner, chances are you’ll enjoy yourself much, much more.
Speak in their Love Language
Just like we have our own interpretation of Valentine’s Day, each of us has our own particular form of affection. Known as Love Languages, these act as a signal of how we like to receive love, whether that be through words, gestures, gifts, or physical touch. Discover your partner’s love language so that you can shower them with love in the way they enjoy best.
Focus on the little things
If all else fails, draw your focus back to those simple, selfless acts that will bolster your relationship: making them dinner, taking out the trash, tidying up around the house. The more you can do for your partner without expecting anything in return, the stronger your relationship will become.
Lastly, here are a couple more things to think about:
If you’re planning a grand, sweeping gesture, start planning it as far ahead as you can. Nothing feels worse than coming up with an exciting idea, then leaving it until the last minute only to have to settle for the second-best options (e.g., booking another restaurant because they’re favorite’s all booked up).
If you’re planning a surprise, you can make it all the more tantalizing by building it up with anticipation. Whether it’s through little notes you scatter around the house or short n’ sweet messages you leave on their phone, it all helps to build up the suspense.
And now, for some heartfelt Valentine’s Day Ideas
There are so many wonderful things you can do, as well as gifts you can make, on Valentine’s Day. And what you decide on doesn’t necessarily need to seem all that ‘romantic’. What’s important is that the gesture or gift you plan is heartfelt and thoughtful.
Think of something simple you know your partner will genuinely care for or something that rings a little sentimental.
Then build out from there to create an experience.
As long as you put a little effort into what you’re doing to make it personal, you’ll land in their good books!
You can’t go wrong with the classic gestures, so we’ve included many of these on our list, along with how to execute them flawlessly and make them feel more special.
Make a homemade card (complete with a love letter inside)
Nothing says “I love you” more than actually putting it in writing (your writing!). Add a pressed flower or attach a handmade bracelet for a more authentic feel. You can also show the planet a little love by using sustainable cardstock and craft supplies.
Love note treasure hunt
For those looking to add some suspense and adventure to the day of love. Leave short n’ sweet clues, remarks, or love notes around places and things they frequent most. Think about the bathroom mirror, their handbag, or by the coffee maker. Don’t forget to build up to a surprise.
Love coupon book
It’s an idea that’s been appreciated for a while, and it never seems to go out of style. A date-night or love coupon book is a great way to make things more exciting and to spark the imagination.
Take a small flipbook and on each page, write out a promise you want to make to your partner. This could be anything from giving them more cuddles to taking them out on an unusual date night.
Use it to arrange spontaneous dates, adventures, or to grow closer.
Flowers and chocolates (handmade)
Left ordering flowers too late? Or you want to give them a gift that will last a little longer (and doesn’t need too much care)? Making them some paper flowers instead can be a fun twist on a traditional gift. As a gesture, it’s incredibly heartfelt, given that it’s something you’ve made yourself from your own imagination.
Here are a few ways you can make paper flowers that still look sophisticated and tasteful.
Homemade chocolates are another lovely handmade gift idea. Use molds to create them in different sizes and shapes.
Romantic Dinner for Two (homemade)
The joy of choosing to cook on Valentine’s Day is that you can forgo the crowded restaurants (and save money in the process). It’s also one of the most meaningful and intimate gestures you can plan as it’s something you can do together. Here are some polished and delicious recipes you can spruce up in the kitchen for the big date.
Breakfast in bed
You definitely can’t go wrong with breakfast in bed. Add a special hot drink and a flower in a vase for those additional caring touches. It’s also a great moment for presenting them with cards, gifts, or anything else you’ve got planned.
Framed love map
For those who’ve traveled far and wide, this is a fantastic gift. Use colorful pins or labels to denote the cities or countries you’ve visited around the globe. For more inspirational ideas like this one, check out our post on connecting more deeply this Valentine’s.
At-home spa experience
Sometimes, Valentine’s calls for some well-deserved self-care and respite. Gather up some sumptuous massage oils, fluffy towels, even a few slices of cucumber. Light some incense and either let them unwind while you prepare a nice meal or indulge in some couple’s massages and facials together.
Surround the bed with hearts and roses
A timeless classic but one that leaves a lasting impression. Whether you decide to fill your bedroom to the brim with bouquets of their favorite flowers or scatter rose petals across the bed, you’ll be setting a beautiful ambiance. Don’t forget to light a couple of soothing candles.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful in putting together your plans for Valentine's. Let us know what your favorite ones are.