Dinner and a movie have been done since the beginning of time. Nothing says, I lack romance more than a last minute dash to TGIFridays and then taking your date to a crowded theater filled with other losers who couldn’t think of anything creative to do. And while opening a box of store bought chocolate may put a temporary smile on your partners face, there’s nothing unique about offering candy or flowers to the one you love on the day they are most expecting to receive them. Sure, the gesture is nice, but you never want to send the silent message that you’re too lazy to put forth real effort.
If you are lucky to spend Valentine’s Day with someone who truly cares about you, that individual is quietly hoping that you’ll invest thought into creating a special memory as opposed to simply making an expensive purchase. February fourteenth is designed for Cupid to shoot his arrow into a sea of hearts – igniting waves of desire, affection and renewed attraction between couples in love. While Valentine’s Day has easily turned into another commercial celebration of giving and spending, intimacy still reigns as the supreme gift. The best way to impress the one who means the most to your life is to create a moment where the two of you are truly enjoying each others company.
Start planning early. Avoid having to rummage through the retail aisles of cheesy, leftover, singing cards or sales bins filled with cheap teddy bears and those nasty candy hearts with the little “I Love You” messages carved at the center.
CREATE AN IN-HOME GETAWAY – Money may be tight right now and you cannot afford to take your Valentine on an expensive vacation. The two of you have been talking about getting on a plane and flying to some remote, tropical island for months. While it isn’t in the budget to getaway this winter, bring paradise into your living space. Instead of giving your Valentine a cliché’ Hallmark card, have a mock flight ticket sealed in an envelope and taped to the front door. Decorate your house or apartment with little palm trees, bamboo, a plastic children’s pool filled with sand, two beach chairs, a big, crafted sun hanging from the ceiling and maybe a stuffed parrot or two stashed in the corners of the room. Turn the bedroom into a luxury, hotel suite; complete with all white sheets, matching pillowcases, white towels and a room service menu. The room service menu should include all of the specialty food items and drinks that you’ve either prepared yourself or picked up from various cultural restaurants in your city. Do a mix of Caribbean, Jamaican or Hawaiian inspired dishes. Serve the drinks in real or plastic coconuts. The two of you can change into your bathing suits and sip your cocktails inside of the makeshift pool. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Make the entire night feel like an escape from the mundane of your everyday lives.
GIVE A HARD COPY PHOTO ALBUM – In this day and time, all of the photos we take, copy or save are digital images. It’s very rare that we can actually place our hands on all of the pictures that we’ve taken over the years. Gather all of the special couple shots that the two of you have saved online or stashed in desktop folders and print them out. Create an album that displays the chronological order of your relationship – from the first time you both posed together for an iphone pic to the most recent capture taken on New Years Eve.
CREATE AN AT-HOME SPA NIGHT – Sometimes, our Valentine may feel that we only touch them or show physical affection during or immediately following sex. As a result, create a series of treatments that will allow you to physically come in contact with various parts of your Valentine’s body. Purchase an Aveda facial mask, body scrub, foot cream and massage oils. All Aveda products are natural and designed to not irritate or breakout sensitive skin types. Use this spa night to also groom your partner. If they have body hair in areas that you’ve desperately wanted them to get rid of, this presents the perfect opportunity to shave or Nair those crevices while your Valentine lays back and enjoys the pampering. Take your time. As you are applying the facial mask, body scrub or other massage oils, it’s important that each body part is receiving equal attention. Try to not solely focus on the “private” areas. Once you are done massaging your Valentine, cover them in clean, white towels that you’ve heated up in the dryer. Have white tea lights lit and placed in as many obvious places as possible. Simply allow them to relax.
MAKE DRINKS AND TASTE TEST – Getting tipsy with the love of your life can lead to all types of fun. The two of you can purchase different types of alcohol, fruit and flavorings. With two different blenders, each of you creates 2 or 3 specialty drinks. Write down the ingredients and give each of your cocktails a name that somehow pertains to your relationship – preferably a title that relates to something funny or secretive that only the both of you understand. Spend Valentine’s night sipping from one another’s cups. Get drunk and then, get naked.
PURCHASE A TWO HOUR LESSON IN SOMETHING OUT OF HIS OR HER COMFORT ZONE – One of the best ways to reignite the passion in a relationship is for one partner to introduce the other partner to something unfamiliar to them. Especially if you have experience in a certain task or activity, a two hour lesson will allow your partner to step foot into a world where you can be the guide. Search for locations where swim classes, ice-skating lessons, samba sessions for beginners or even basic painting instruction is being offered. Engage with your partner by assisting them with the steps that they may be having the most difficulty executing. And if professional lessons aren’t being offered in your area, simply secure a location and YOU act as the instructor.
SHOW THEM A POST CARD IMAGE IN PERSON – Most of the time, between the bustle of our days and the heaviness of our nights, we miss the beauty of nature that exists directly outside of our windows. We see gorgeous sunsets in pictures, but it’s rare that many of us experience them firsthand. Scope out a location where you and the love of your life can easily look at the stars, watch a sunrise, see birds flying, hear the ocean moving or witness the sky turning into a blanket of orange, pink and deep red clouds.
DO A HOME THEATER & WATCH OLD MOVIES – Instead of piling into an overcrowded AMC, turn your couch into plush, VIP seating. Replace the Valentine card with little, red, tear-off movie tickets. Purchase paper buckets from the grocery store or a Bed, Bath & Beyond. Fill the buckets with homemade popcorn. Buy tall paper cups, plastic tops and straws. Fill those with your Valentine’s favorite soda or fruit drink. Choose one or two movies that the both of you can enjoy. And for nostalgic sake, try to get your hands on the first movie the two of you ever went to see together during one of your initial dates. You’ll win points for remembering. If you really want to impress, try renting a projector that will allow you to play the movies on one of the white walls inside of your home.
CREATE A “DAY IN THE LIFE” GROUPON PACKAGE – Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, present your BAE with 7 to 10 Groupon’s that pertain directly to their likes, desires or something that works in their favor. For example, for $3.00, your Valentine can ask you to wash the breakfast dishes before 10:00am. For $2.00, your Valentine can request that you vacuum the inside of their car and take it to be washed before noon. For $1.50, your Valentine can have you rub their feet and massage their ears before 6:00pm. The catch, however, is that once the time you come up with expires for each groupon, the request or service is then null and void.
PLAN A SCAVENGER HUNT – Even if you do decide to purchase an expensive gift for your Valentine, make them search for it in a hidden place. Begin the scavenger hunt in the front seat of their car. Let each clue reflect a place, idea or thought that is especially pertinent to your relationship. Place the clues in red envelopes spread throughout the neighborhood or inside of the house. Put numbers on the front of each envelope so in case your Valentine stumbles ahead of the hunt, you’re able to keep them on path. The clues don’t have to be intricate, but a sentence or phrase that will make perfect sense once they read it; i.e. “that time I came home in the middle of the day and found you napping in the oddest of places” – then your Valentine would look underneath the dining room table for the next clue. LOL!
OFFER YOUR VALENTINE ONE NIGHT WITH THEIR CELEBRITY CRUSH – Physically transform yourself into the actor, actress, singer, athlete, reality star or performer that you know your Valentine is most attracted to. Recreate one of the signature looks of that superstar and even try to emulate the voice, and mannerisms that makes that celebrity so appealing on the surface. Once your Valentine is convinced of the switch, strip down and allow your Valentine to call you by that celebrities name in the bedroom. People often say, “if only I had 15 minutes with ___________!” Well, let your Valentine act out on you all of the fanciful things they would do if given that golden opportunity.
Valentine’s Day can be as fun and creative as we make it. There’s no need to follow the trends or fall into the cliché’ of giving candy, roses and cards. Show the one you love that you think enough about them and the relationship you two share to reach outside of the conventional box. Be original in your approach to sealing this Valentine’s as the day he or she will remember most at the end of this year.