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.
- Free Punny Massage Printables (IOU a Massage)| Melt: Massage for Couples
- Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards| Better Homes & Gardens
- Classic Valentine Printables | Nest of Posies
- How to Write a Love Letter | Art of Manliness
- 14 Romantic Gifts From Significant Others Who Really Pay Attention | Huffington Post
- How to Make Any Gift Voucher a Romantic Present | Melt: Massage for Couples
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.
- Give the Gift of Massage | Melt: Massage for Couples
- 50 Most Romantic Movies to Watch as a Couple | To Love, Honor & Vacuum
- 52 Ridiculously Romantic Date Ideas for any Couple | Melt: Massage for Couples
- 21 Date Ideas We Think You’ll Love | Marriage 365
- Random Date Ideas Generator | $30 Date Night
- What We Were Up to On Valentine’s Day | A Blog About Love
- 12 Secrets to the Perfect Picnic | Design Mom
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.
- Restaurant-inspired Crab Salad Recipe | I Am A Food Blog
- Heart Shaped Pizza Recipe | I Am A Food Blog
- Beetroot Gnocchi with Lemon Pesto Recipe | What’s Cooking Good Looking
- Veggie Valentine’s Day Recipe Round Up | Love and Lemons
- Chocolate Heart Cake with Raspberry Buttercream | The Vanilla Bean Blog
- Lemon Meringue French Toast | I Am A Food Blog
- Raw Vegan Hazelnut Truffles Rolled in Goji Berries | What’s Cooking Good Looking
- Rose Petal Dark Chocolate Bar | Pure Ella
- (Edible) Valentine Confetti | Nest of Posies
- The Laziest Valentine Cake Ever | 5 Second Rule
- Baked Almond Pancake with Strawberries and Citrus | The Year in Food
- Blueberry Pomegranate Chia Breakfast Parfait | Pure Ella
- Valentine’s Egg in a Basket | Reclaiming Provincial
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.
- Man Food: Afternoon Beer | I Am A Food Blog
- A Steak Dinner at Home | Dinner, A Love Story
- The Marlboro Man Sandwich | The Pioneer Woman
- 20 Gifts Guys Secretly Want for Valentine’s Day | Business Insider
- A Bacon Bouquet | Our Best Bites
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).
- What Women Want: Top Ten Romantic Gestures | The Telegraph
- A Guide to Buying Lingerie for Your Girl | Complex
- The Meanings of Flowers | The Language of Flowers
- 9 Facts About Kissing | Huffington Post