What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Is it a chance to re-iterate your undying love to the special person in your life? Or is it that day you have to remember to buy gifts and over-priced flowers to avoid getting an earful/the spare bedroom/dumped?
The most popular theory on the origin of Valentine’s Day dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II, 270 AD. Claudius didn’t want men to marry during wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on February 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the jailor’s daughter signing it, ‘From your Valentine.’
There you go, and a multi-million pound industry was born. Cynical? Maybe. But should you really need a designated day to remind someone you love them? Probably. Woe betide you though if you mess it up. We’ve all heard the horror stories of forgetting to book that table or buying rotting flowers from the petrol station. Maybe you’ve even contemplated saying that you deliberately didn’t get anything for your partner as a prank and that you were always going to surprise them with gifts on the 15th, buying you that precious extra day to sort it out. No? Just me then. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that nowadays we all have to up our game.
Gone are the days when a bunch of flowers and a box of chocs would get you by. Nowadays you may as well simply save yourself the money and say ‘I couldn’t be arsed’. Surely your partner’s worth more than that? If only for putting up with the likes of you. If you don’t mind hearing ‘I could have done so much better than you’ for the next year then bravo, you’re obviously stuck with each other and can look forward to a life that closely resembles 90s sitcom ‘Married… with Children’. For everyone else there is hope yet. A little bit of imagination goes a long way and just trying something different is going to get you brownie points.
Here’s a few things you could try…
Most people go out for a Valentine’s meal but why not make it into a first date for a bit of added romance. Go out separately beforehand and arrange to meet at the designated time at the restaurant you’ve booked. If you’ve not seen each other all day it adds to the scenario and will take you both back to those heady days when you first started seeing each other. For a little while anyway.
Cook a Meal
Rustle up a romantic three-course meal, you don’t even need to do much cooking, pick up a few bits from your local deli and you’re ready to go without much effort. Make sure you present it well, turn the lights down, light some candles and maybe with your partner’s favourite chill-out music in the background. Also remember that just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you don’t need to make an effort. Get yourself all dressed-up, smelling nice and wow your partner. As good old Gok would say ‘It’s all about the confidence’.
Buy a Plant
A good alternative to those roses that aren’t going to see out the week. A plant will last for ages and will always be there as a little reminder for you partner. Try an orchid, lily or lilac plant. It’s also likely to be a lot cheaper than the over-inflated cost of a bouquet at this time of year. Just remember to water it though!
Do not under-estimate the power of the card! Don’t just simply put your names on there with a few kisses, do a little bit of thinking and write a little poem or write how you feel about your partner, why they’re so special and the one for you. If you have trouble expressing yourself vocally then this is the ideal opportunity to get it all down in writing. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about it, no-one else is going to see it and just make sure you mean it. If you’re feeling adventurous why not make the card yourself, anything handmade will come across more thoughtful. Just go easy on the glitter, it’s a nightmare to come off.
Book a spa day to get you and your partner away from it all. There are treatments designed specially for couples so you don’t need to be apart and can spend the whole day de-stressing together. Unless it’s your partner that stresses you in the first place, in which case you’re probably looking for a completely different guide to Valentine’s Day.
Now that we’ve given you a few ideas it’s over to you. Remember the key factors are to make it special with a sprinkling of imagination. Oh and remember to tell them you love them (I know, I know, but you’d be surprised!).
So, do you have any interesting Valentine’s tales to share? Any tips for all the budding romantics out there? Make sure to drop us a comment. Oh and try to keep it clean!