A Buttload of Romantic Valentine’s Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank (Or Crush Your Soul)
Denis and Emma Merkas are the founding couple of Melt: Massage for Couples. As a massage therapist since 2000, Denis has taught more than 15,000 couples the art of a great back rub. Between now and Valentine’s day, you’ll get their Foot Massage Tutorial FREE when you buy their video massage guide — the perfect Valentine’s Day Gift!

It may be Valentine’s Day, but red roses and restaurant reservations are NOT mandatory. And romance needn’t be expensive.

Thoughtfulness beats all when it comes to romance. Doing something you know your sweetheart will adore is a thousand times better than racking up the credit card bill for overpriced flowers on the one day when everyone else is buying them too.

As Paul Oyer puts it so beautifully in his article How to Be a Better Valentine, Through Economics:

Start by asking yourself, “What do I want my partner to think upon receiving my Valentine’s present?”

Suppose you buy your significant other a dozen red roses or a box of chocolates. She is likely to think, “All right, he cares about me enough to buy the obvious present.” Sixty-four percent of men buy flowers on Valentine’s Day, so giving flowers signals that you are like two-thirds of men. This is roughly the equivalent of writing “hb” on your mate’s Facebook wall on her birthday: it shows that you remember, and that you are willing to spend approximately seven seconds conveying that fact.

So how do you say “Honey, I really care about you, and you are very special to me”? Put your resources where your mouth is. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but to credibly signal you really care, do something personal.

Below are some suggestions for doing just that, at any budget. At the very least, you must acknowledge the day. It’s important you show your partner that you are thinking of them and that you appreciate them.

And then do it again, albeit on a smaller scale, every other day of the year as well.

 

1. Thoughtful, Non-Commercialized Valentine Gifts

Paying three times the price for red roses one day out of the year rubs me up the wrong way (that’s a little massage pun for you). Some of these DIY options show you care, just because you put in a little bit of extra effort.

2. Date Ideas that Don’t Involve Restaurants

Like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is what we can commonly refer to as “amateur night” – there’s something slightly uncomfortable and forced about sitting in a sea of tables-for-two on a set menu on Valentine’s night. Stay away from the crowds and do something at home or something completely different.

3. Romantic Recipes

Whether it’s a breakfast in bed or a three-course dinner at home, you’d be remiss to not make something utterly romantic and special for Valentine’s Day. We’ve rounded up some amazing recipes. If it’s dinner, make the effort to light some candles and dress up for the occasion. If you’re baking treats, package them in a beautiful tin and gift wrap them. Breakfast in bed? Serve alongside piping hot coffee, fresh OJ and pop a single flower on the tray, too.

Dinners

Romantic Treats/Desserts

Romantic Breakfasts

4. Thrill Him

Men. They can be really hard to buy for. But not impossible. For instance, if the way to your man’s heart is through his stomach, then a bouquet of bacon “roses” or a Man Sandwich is an easy, effective solution to your Valentine’s Day gift problem.

5. Captivate Her

Most women love romance. This doesn’t always mean over-the-top gestures. There are some simple things that will almost always go over very well: lingerie you know she’ll like, her favorite flowers (not the standard roses… try to remember what she had in her bridal bouquet or what was in the first bouquet you ever bought her), perfume, shoes, or just a deep, loving kiss (especially if her “love language” is Physical Touch).

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