My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years now, and as with any long-term couple, Valentine’s Day can be a challenge. It’s not that we don’t love each other, but more that the typical expressions of love and romance can seem a little stale. This can be true even with couples who haven’t been together for long, especially since Valentine’s Day tends to rely heavily on romantic clichés. Flowers, chocolate, a cute card, dinner and a movie… isn’t there more to expressing one’s love than the usual trinkets and ho-hum dates?
Never fear! After scouring the internet for some creative ideas, I’ve compiled my five favorite alternatives to the nightly Netflix and chill routine. Try one of these, if your relationship could use a little V-Day boost.
Recreate your first date
It seems like a no-brainer, now that all these articles mention it, but recreating your first date is a great way to reconnect with those thrills and chills you got the first time you met your spouse or long-term lover. My husband and I first met at an Italian café in Montreal, so I could recreate our date by taking him out for coffee in Little Italy and following up with some tasty Chinese food – all the while including some more of the great conversation we had on our original date, along with new and exciting plans for how to spend the rest of our future together.
Change your location
For long-term couples, a quick change of location can sometimes make all the difference. Splurge on a fancy hotel room or Airbnb in your own city to give yourself some new perspectives. Get a room with a view, or a private hot tub, or order in room service. A little bit of pampering – especially since Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year – can be quite a treat.
If you’re on a budget, why not clean out the rings around your bathtub and plan a soothing soak for your significant other? You can DIY some fizzy bath bombs, light a few dollar store candles, set the mood with your lover’s favorite music, and get to wooing!
A great escape
I have to admit, the idea of doing a puzzle together is strangely romantic, so I really like the thought of trying an escape room with my husband. Like taking a class or trying any new activity together, this is an exercise in team-building, as well as an excuse to be trapped in a room together for at least an hour, and it offers a new twist that mystery lovers and puzzlers can appreciate.
Add some treasure to your chest
I wrote an entire book about sex toys, so the idea of trying something new in the bedroom as a Valentine’s Day surprise is always appealing. If you’ve never given Ye Olde Marital Aids a whirl, I highly recommend trying some this year. Some of the most inexpensive starter toys are cock rings with a bullet vibrator, which are meant for couples’ usage, so why not grab one at the pharmacy and give your spouse a buzz?
For the more adventurous, hit up your favorite online store together and pick out some new toys! Rather than ruining the surprise by shopping together, this adds to the anticipation as you eagerly await your items’ arrival.
Check your bucket list
Another great idea for a Valentine’s Day adventure is to check an item off of your bucket list. Whether you and your spouse both share a list, or you each aim to check off a new item, this can make for some fun and exciting alternatives to another romantic dinner date. Maybe one of your items is dinner – but involves eating something incredibly exotic or difficult to find? Make a day of it, and challenge one another to see how many items you can actually check off in a 24-hour period.
Again, even if you’re on a budget, there’s surely something unique or exciting in your own town that can check that box. What about getting up early to see the sunrise from a unique vantage point? Or visiting that museum with the special exhibit you’ve been meaning to explore? Maybe it’s a grand romantic gesture: rose petals on the bedsheets, or a public declaration of love! Think big, think outside the box, and think about the joy of experiencing something new, rather than the cost of doing something over-the-top.
Finally, here’s one of my favorite Valentine’s Day hangouts that tends to be inexpensive and avoids the crowds: Go for a picnic if you’re somewhere warm, or seek out a fireplace and hot chocolate (or mulled wine) if you’re somewhere cold, and just snuggle. The best part of Valentine’s Day is being in love, and getting to be with your loved one, so embrace each other as much as physically possible and enjoy the day.
Want more love?
For additional ideas and tips for how to rev up your love life this Valentine’s Day, grab a copy of my new True Love bundle, which includes five of my bestselling love and relationship books for just five bucks!