How To Have A Meaningful Valentine’s Day
What To Do:
Make a reservation at a nice restaurant or their favorite restaurant, but dress fancier than just a regular night out.
It feels good to dress up not just for yourself but also to impress the one who gives you butterflies.
You have every other day to do the whole jeans and t-shirt thing. (Men, don’t wear shorts!)
Just getting to know each other?
Use Conversation Cards
I don’t mean you need to Leslie Knope it by bringing index cards about different topics, like the history of the ladder. Conversation cards have questions to prompt interesting or entertaining conversations.
They are a great way to get to know someone and it takes the pressure off of having to know exactly what to say on a date. I have conversation sticks that have a question on either side, my best friend has a book of 365 questions for each day, there are plenty of ways you can go about it! If you are a hands on person and enjoy creating things like this, they have lists online of great questions to ask to get to know someone better, just try not to read them off of your phone. Which brings me to my next point….
Use as little technology as possible. Aka put the phone away. Enjoy each other and be present. Even if you are just checking the time, or your best friend is asking how it’s going, wait until you go to the bathroom or the end of the date. Checking your phone might lead the other person to think that you are bored, or that there’s somewhere else you’d rather be, etc.
To the moms and dads, I understand that having your phone accessible is important in case your babysitter needs to reach you. Establish a code or set a specific ringtone for the babysitter that way you don’t have to keep checking in and can be present with your partner.
Picnic In The Park
If you live in a place where it isn’t freezing in February or the weather permits, have picnic in the park or a scenic place where you can eat and chat. Picnics are perfect if you enjoy the outdoors and feel more comfortable in nature than you do in a restaurant downtown. They also require intentionality because you have to stop to think about where to go, what food to pack, blanket or picnic table, is there a plan B, etc., which will make your person feel more valued than if the two of you were sitting around waiting for one of you to choose a place to go that night.
If you don’t know how to cook or put together a meal, don’t feel bad, neither do I, but you can count on people who can. Order take out and bring it to the park and if you want to go a step further, put it in a picnic basket.
Ultimate romantic gesture, use their friends or your friends to help surprise them with the picnic. Set up a foldable table and chairs or claim a picnic table by throwing on a tablecloth and candles, play music and create a plan for them to meet you in the park or walk through the park.
This can also be staged at the beach!
Hold Them Close & Dance
If you’re staying in: move the furniture, turn down the lights, put on Spotify and sway. You can also YouTube some dance tutorials together to make it a little more fun and entertaining.
Research your town/city for the most romantic spots, (If you’re in Richmond I suggest Libbie Hill park or any of the overlooks in Church Hill, or anywhere behind the VMFA but especially the deck at the top of the stairs) set up your playlist, make sure your battery will last long enough, and dance.
Get Intimate, Emotionally That Is.
This is probably the most meaningful idea I can give you, that and whatever you decided to do/give for Valentine’s Day, be intentional and think about the other person beyond a surface level.
People are attracted to humility and honesty. If you can push past the fear and insecurities by telling someone how you’re really feeling about them or just about what’s happening in your life, it shows indescribable courage that is irresistible. People I’m interested in, or sometimes people I’m not initially interested in instantly become more attractive to me the more real they are with me.
It’s why musicians are my type, they write their deepest feelings, set it to music and I’m done.
It’s not just telling people a lot about you or your life, but telling the other person all of the things that hide in your heart.
All of the good feelings and butterflies, but also the emotional stuff that you’re trying really hard to suppress because you don’t want to look like you’re weak, you care too much, that you’re “crazy”, or you have too much baggage, it’s all important.
It’s important because you’re not too much and it’s okay to feel things.
If you’re spending Valentine’s with this person, it’s fair to assume that they want to spend time with you and want to know these things about you.
Or even if it is still new and you’re not sure where you stand, ask. It’s very scary and intimidating and the conversation may not go how you want, which sucks, but it feels so great to know not only where you stand, but that you can speak up on your own behalf in situations that feel super embarrassing. But then again, it may open things up to find out that they feel the same way about you and want to take the relationship further! To quote “It Takes Two,” it could lead to
What To Give
Hand Written Letters over Hallmark Cards
Write a note or a card for each day of the week of Valentine’s with reasons why you love that person or compliments you just want to give them
Pictures They Aren’t Ready For
Take photos of them candidly in the moments where they are doing something that makes your heart flutter, or the moments where you just really appreciate them as a person, moments that are the reason that you love them, print them out and write on the back why those moments are so special. You can put them in a photo album or just give them the prints with the letters .
For the music lover in your life, create a CD or playlist of songs that make you think of him or her, that put into words how you feel about that person, songs that were playing on your first date/first kiss/even an inside joke.
There are even companies that will let you record special messages on a vinyl record.
Write or print out lyrics from one of your favorite songs or their favorite songs and frame it. If you want to personalize it further you can add a photo of the two of you along with the lyrics.
*Pinterest images of song lyrics if you aren’t confident in your handwriting*
You can also do this with quotes from their favorite books or movies if music isn’t their jam. If they are a bookworm, get them a special edition of their favorite book and use the inside cover or page as a card.
Personalized Baked Goods
Growing up, my mom would go to Ukrops and get me and my siblings a heart shaped sugar cookie with our names on them. They were delicious and meant more than just getting a box of chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, i love chocolate but there’s just something about seeing your name on a cookie that makes you feel extra special.
Gift giving is my jam but I’m finding it hard to suggest universal gifts because it’s something that is so personal. You have to know the person and be attentive to what they like and would find thoughtful. What’s something that they have mentioned that they love but don’t do or have very often? Have they had a stressful month and really just need a relaxation kit with bath bombs, candles, and a good book? Maybe they love a sport or band that is coming close or within driving distance that you could make a quick romantic getaway out of it? Some people really enjoy hiking or exercising together, I don’t get it, but I know it’s a bonding experience for a lot of people!
The point is, the best way to make this Valentine’s Day, and every day really, meaningful is to know your significant other and put them before yourself, be thoughtful and intentional in whatever you do, and give them the gift of getting to know you even more because they will appreciate that the most!