Not all couples celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some feel too old and too tired. Some think fine dining is too expensive, too fussy and too conventional–and they’re damn right. So why don’t you Valentine believers dump the boring dinners and try these things for a change? You have two weeks to prepare.
Be kids again. Think of the things you loved to do when you were children, and do them. It can be as simple as going to the park, flying a kite, spending hours on a swing, visiting a museum/planetarium, or playing at an arcade.
Learn to cook/bake your favorite dish. First, do the grocery, then clear the kitchen and drive everyone away. This is your date place. Now get to work. Play some music if it gets you in the mood to slice and dice. If you feel like flirting through a flour fight, go right ahead. Just remember you will eat what you cook.
Take a walk or ride a bike. This is good for the heart, literally. Follow bike trails that will allow you to ride leisurely and safely. Or explore a place you’ve always wanted to discover, on foot. Hold hands while walking. Check out cafes and shops you find along the way.
Have a pictorial. If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, then don’t. You don’t even need a DSLR—a good phone camera will do. Just go out, dress up, have a list of places where you want your photos taken. A theme would be nice. A road trip would be fabulous. Take turns being a photographer.
Give each other a massage. Whether you want a serious body massage or the kind that’s a prelude to something else, set up the bedroom. Use your special-occasion sheets, light candles and aroma oil burners, play soft music, and let your hands do the work.
Volunteer. Help someone else. Find a cause you’re both passionate about and see how you can get involved, even just for a day. Or simply look for a person to help: do errands for the elderly neighbor, drop off donations at a non-profit, give food to random street-dwellers, treat out a little kid whose parents are too busy. Nothing beats the high you get from making someone else happy.
Do something you’ve never done. It could be as daunting as rock climbing or as classic as riding a roller coaster. It could be acupuncture or dance lessons or yoga. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you both do it for the first time.
Launch a shopping contest. Women don’t always have to win this one. Give it a twist by shopping for your partner. Give each other the same amount of money and see who comes up with purchases that will make the other person happiest. This will reveal how much you know your partner’s tastes and preferences.
Work out together then food-binge. Swimming is always a great option, or tennis, or boxing. If all else fails, go to gym and join a random class together. Then reward yourself with a lunch buffet, or go to separate restaurants for appetizers, main course and dessert.
Do a marathon of your favorite movies or TV series. Make some popcorn, pick your titles, turn off the lights and own the couch/bed. Don’t pick up your phone unless it’s an emergency and don’t check your Facebook. Pretend you’re in a real moviehouse.
Stargaze. If you can find a safe spot that will give you an unobstructed view of the sky, claim it. Take a large mat, a picnic basket with sandwiches and wine or beer, and a portable telescope, and lie down on your back. Don’t forget your insect repellent. You can check helpful sites like www.wunderground.com for the weather and download free apps to show you the constellations.
Redecorate your house. If a house is too daunting, at least do one room. You don’t have to repaint your walls or repair the roof. Just move things around, spice up your spaces, throw away useless décor, hang new wall art or framed photos. Then sit back and enjoy your masterpiece.
Make a happy list. Go to a cozy café, sit down and make a list. It sounds like a chore but it can be fun. Over cake and coffee, list down romantic things you want to do in the next 30 days, or places you want to visit for the year, or 100 things you love about your partner. Then keep your list, and your promises.
Host a party for your single friends. It doesn’t have to be just the two of you. Invite everyone over for potluck dinner. Play cards or beer games. Watch movies. Share the love.