Feeling the pressure to make Valentine’s Day the most over-the-top romantic date you can think of? The trick is to stop paying attention to the #BoyDidGood posts and instead celebrate your love with an idea that’s as unique as your relationship. Whether you want to go classic, cheesy or something in-between, we've got a bright idea to cater to any kind of couple.
The ‘we-just-started dating’ Ideas
Get active: In the early stages of getting to know someone nothing will break down those boundaries quicker than a little dash of awkwardness and a sprinkle of being outside your comfort zone. Book in an unusual activity date – think rock climbing, ice-skating or salsa dancing – and the rush of endorphins from the exercise will have you laughing in no time.
Walking tour: If extreme/unusual sport isn’t your thing then take each other on a little stroll of the neighbourhood you grew up (obvs, if it's feasible. Jetting off halfway across the world might seem a bit intense!). It will soon get you swapping stories and you’ll get to know more about their family life waaaaay before you ever have to meet the in-laws.
Go for drinks or dessert only: It’s not uncommon for a newly-formed couple to be still fighting off nerves/butterflies during those early encounters so cut down the duration of date night by swapping a dinner for dessert or drinks.
The Classic Ideas
Go for a romantic meal: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it right? Whether you choose to visit your favourite local restaurant or book a fancy 7-course meal, going for some grub is a date night ritual for good reason. Or if you want to save those pennies and use Valentine’s day to spend more quality time together then cook a meal at home together.
Movie night: It can be tempting to binge-watch TV shows with your bae when they come over for a date night on the sofa, but instead dim the lights and put on a movie that neither of you have seen before. And grab some popcorn too and a projector if you want a full-on cinema experience.
Go away for the weekend: Booking in a spa or city break is a great way to extend the romantic celebrations for a few days.
The Cheesy Ideas
Say cheese with cute pictures: Whether you blow the budget and book in a photoshoot session or visit a local photo booth, taking snaps – not selfies – together will be fun at the time and you can also look back on your Valentine’s Day in years to come. Or if you already have enough pictures to open up your own gallery then pick your favourite and create a photo wall/collage dedicated to your best bits.
Play on your hobbies: Some of the best ideas are the most personal so use your shared interests as a starting point for date and gifting ideas. If you both love travelling together then get yourself a map and in one colour pin in all the places you have been together and in another colour pin all the places you want to go. It’s sure to get the conversation flowing! Or maybe you’re both avid gamers? Then plan a night of playing a two-player classic or visit an old-school arcade.
Compliments corner: Jot down all the reasons why you love your partner and present them in unique ways – from popping notes into bottles to hiding them all over the house.
The ‘we-don’t-need-to-blow-the-budget’ Ideas
Have a games night: Enjoy each other’s company by hosting a one-on-one games night with all your childhood favourites. You might want to put away the Monopoly board if your other half is a tad too competitive though.
Sweet treat: If your other half has a sweet tooth then encourage them to indulge by baking their favourite cake or dessert. Or rope them into helping you bake for extra romance brownie points!
The Creative Ideas
Stage a scavenger hunt: Create a map (could be of your home or a place you met) and get your partner to find hidden clues in certain areas until they reach a final destination where your Valentine’s Day surprise gift will be. Or maybe you’re the surprise, waiting to take them on a date night? The world’s your oyster!
Attend a class: If you both love upskilling then go to a creative class together. From cooking classes to fragrance workshops, if you can think it – it exists!
The Anti-Valentine's Day Ideas
Treat it as if it’s any other day: If you hate the big hoo-hah then simply don’t do anything. Keep to your usual routine, even if you’d usually be doing your chores mid-week. And choose to celebrate your love on your personal special anniversaries.
Do something as a group: Instead of sticking to a party of two this Valentine’s, arrange a group date activity. The more the merrier!
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
Be inspired by these real-life anecdotes to help you think outside the box this Valentine’s Day:
“I hate celebrating my birthday because I don’t like feeling like I’m making too much fuss and forcing people to spend money on my 'big day'. But for my last birthday my boyfriend took the day off work and organised me the best day out. Breakfast in bed, champagne brunch, a boat trip – the lot. And then right at the end of the day he suggested we go to a bar for happy hour drinks and as I walked in all my friends were there. It was the cutest surprise. Turns out I like birthdays after all!”
“I always moan about being cold, like, ALL the time. And one night as I got into bed I was greeted by a hot water bottle. It was a game-changer!”
“He got me Taylor Swift tickets for my birthday after I had given up all hope that I’ll ever see her live!”
“It might not seem romantic in the traditional sense, but when my girlfriend fills up the car with petrol before I use it I really appreciate the extra thought. It’s the small things sometimes.”
“When I was 15 my secondary school boyfriend walked in the snow for an hour and a half to give me my Christmas present because no one wanted to drive him to my house. Ah, young love!”
“I had a cheese and wine night booked in with my best friends and the guy I was seeing at the time searched all over for my favourite cheese to take with me. Cheesy in a good way!”
“I get travel sick on boats but managed to keep my little secret from my fiancé. Fast-forward to our honeymoon and a surprise boat excursion made my stomach flip – literally. But seeing my new husband by my side and not repulsed in any way made me love him even more.”
“Once I called my boyfriend when I was having a super stressful day and when I got home he had run me a bubble bath, put on a Beyoncé playlist and cracked open a bottle of wine. I could have cried.”