No matter how long you’ve been with your partner or how serious the two of you are, there’s a lot of pressure to make Valentine’s Day as memorable and romantic as possible. For most couples, that means a candlelit dinner at a fancy restaurant, but if you’ve missed your chance to secure a reservation at your partner’s favorite eatery, don’t count yourself out as Cupid. Surprise your partner with a thoughtful Valentine’s Day that’ll have them on cloud nine from the moment they wake up (and earn you brownie points as a true romantic).
BEFORE YOUR PARTNER WAKES UP: HAVE A SWEET TREAT READY
Valentine’s Day falls during the work week this year, which might make a laid-back breakfast in bed hard to fit into a hectic morning routine. Show your partner you’re thinking of them by placing a box of chocolates, sweetheart candies, or even macaroons on their nightstand so that there’s a sweet surprise waiting for them when they wake up. It’s a small gesture that earns high points for thoughtfulness (plus, it’s delicious).
FOR THEIR MORNING COMMUTE: CREATE A PERSONALIZED PLAYLIST
Morning commutes tend to be tedious, so spice up your partner’s drive into work by pre-loading a playlist onto their phone (or whatever device they use to listen to music). Fill this playlist with songs that are significant to the two of you as well as some of their favorites. Be sure to leave a sticky note on the driver’s seat or steering wheel so that they know to plug their phone in and get serenaded.
FOR A MID-DAY PICK-ME-UP: SURPRISE THEM WITH FLOWERS
A bouquet of flowers are a classic Valentine’s Day gift; this year, surprise your partner by arranging to have a bouquet delivered to their place of work rather than giving it to them over dinner (don’t forget to include a sweet message on the card). And for the lovers who find flowers to be cliché, why not try something a bit bolder instead — singing telegram, anyone?
TO START THE EVENING OFF RIGHT: MAKE THEIR FAVORITE MEAL
One of life’s simple pleasures is coming home to food on the table, especially when its been prepared by the person you love. Woo your partner by making their favorite meal, and don’t forget to set the stage for a romantic dinner — use your finest china, uncork your best wine, set candles on the table and have your personalized playlist playing softly in the background.
TO END THE DAY WITH A SWEET SENTIMENT: CREATE SOMETHING TOGETHER
Commemorate your Valentine’s Day by creating something together that you can look back on for years to come, like a scrapbook or a time capsule. Dig through photo albums (or if albums are a thing of Valentine’s Days past, why not invest in an Instax camera to add to the experience?) or print out a few of your favorite photos together, include concert and movie tickets, write down memories or messages and mix in anything else you can think of.
No matter which of these Valentine’s Day ideas you choose to use, remember that this holiday isn’t just about going to the trendiest restaurants or grand declarations of love. What matters most is simply spending time with the person you love. Happy Valentine’s Day.