This coming Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and an awful lot of couples out there are going to be spending some cash on flowers, on chocolates, on expensive dinners, and on other gifts on that day (or within a day or two of it).
The entire purpose of the day is to express love for your partner and, in many ways, a romantic gift can do just that. In fact, I encourage people to give their partner a romantic gift on that day.
Here’s the catch, though: a romantic gift doesn’t have to involve spending money.
A gift can be just as memorable if you spend your time or your talent or your energy on something memorable for them.
Here are seven quick ideas that I’ve directly seen work as an impactful and romantic Valentine’s Day gift in the past several years.
Write a letter to your partner and slip it in their car at the start of the day. Tell your partner exactly how much he or she means to you, stick it in an envelope, and put it in a place where they’ll find it at some point during the day.
Bring lunch to their workplace. Make a picnic lunch, then stop by his or her workplace at lunchtime and eat with him or her. Make something that you know your partner will really enjoy.
Take care of a household task that’s dreaded by both of you. Take an afternoon off from work if you can and spend it taking care of some big task that your partner would probably have to deal with but is really dreading. Put up a note near the completed project that says “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Make an amazing dinner. Get the ingredients and invest the time to make an amazing dinner at home. Put out a tablecloth, light a bunch of candles, and enjoy a dinner prepared by your hands.
Give the gift of time. Set aside an evening a week for the next year to engage in whatever your partner’s passion is. Learn an instrument from your partner or play games with your partner. Often, you’ll find that passion grows in yourself when you’re engaged with someone you love in something they’re passionate about.
Make a creative work for them. Write a poem or a song. Paint a painting. Take some photographs and frame them. Whatever skill you have, apply it for them in a personal way.
Fix your worst flaw. All of us have a major flaw, one that particularly bothers our partner. Ask your partner – I bet they’ll name something. Whatever it is, strive to fix it for them.
Valentine’s Day isn’t about roses and chocolates. It’s about love, and you get to choose what the symbol of that love is.