‘Roses are red, violets are blue, let’s do the same thing every other couple’s going to do’…
Yes, Valentine’s Day can feel a bit like Groundhog Day, with the same hoary old clichés – the predictable romantic dinner for two, maybe an unimaginative bunch of red roses, the…yawn…fancy chocolates, with maybe only the ultra-rare sight of your boyfriend wearing a tie outside work to break the monotony.
But it doesn’t have to be the same old, same old – freshen up V-Day by thinking outside the heart-shaped box this February 14. Here are a few suggestions…
1. Stay in
On the very night when everyone else is going out (or at least desperately ringing around at the last minute in search of a table), you should simply stay in.
Ban all TV and smartphone contact with the outside world, put some Barry White on the stereo, open a bottle of wine, cook a delicious meal together, and see if you can get as far as dessert before falling into one another’s arms.
2. Tandem bike ride
Rent a two-seater from your local bike shop, pick a romantic location, take a picnic and off you go.
Saddling up together will remind you why you make such a great team – just make sure that wherever you go, it’s downhill on the way home so you won’t be too physically exhausted when you get there!
3. Dinner with friends
Valentine’s Day is about couples, so if you want something different, go out with a pals. It could be a double date with close friends, or a large group with singletons along for the ride too – what could be sweeter than showing your love to all your best buddies.
4. Send a video book
While everyone else is buying expensive roses or jewellery or chocolates, give your partner the supremely unique gift of a video book!
Video books make the perfect Valentine’s gift and also serve as a priceless keepsake that will be treasured long after the 14th of February has passed.
Make someone you love smile today!
5. Recreate your first date
Cast your minds back to the first time you went out and – creatively, if necessary – replicate that magical first date. Remember what you wore, what you ate, what music you listened to – and try to recreate the scene as much as possible.
Remember those butterflies you had in your tummy, reconnect with the excitement of new love, and let the nostalgia evoke a romantic mix of fun and deep emotion.
6. Invite your parents over
What could be less romantic than a night in with the folks? Invite your parents for dinner – both sets, if you like – and treat it as a nice night with another romantic couple rather than mum and dad.
Quiz them about their own days as young lovers and you might find you get a new perspective on them as people, and on their relationship – and maybe on yours, too.
7. Read to each other
Both of you must pick a book you love, snuggle up and, first one, then the other, read aloud a favourite chapter or section for your partner.
It doesn’t have to be romantic or sexy, but it can be – or it can give them an intimate insight into what makes you tick, or makes you laugh, or how you feel about them.