It feels like only yesterday we were spending an arm and a leg on Christmas presents. Now, little over a month later, there’s another annual day that’ll set you back a few quid: Valentine’s Day.
But, while a low-key meal for two in a cramped local restaurant (yes, they have squeezed twice as many lovebirds into the same space) can set you back almost £100, romance needn’t be expensive.
From giving a foot massage to dancing in the living room, here are 23 free things to do on Valentine’s Day to show you care.
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DO: Write a meaningful message, memory or an inside joke both of you can laugh at. DON'T: Rely on a cheesy song lyrics or poem. Roses are red, violets are... no.
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DO: If you want to avoid spending money, avoid restaurants and go to parks instead.
DON'T: Get frustrated if your partner doesn't fully remember that particular date.
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DO: Use massage oil.
DON'T: Forget to wash your feet before your partner delves deep into a massage.
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DO: Spend time one-on-one. Lend your partner an ear and talk about goals, wishes and feelings.
DON'T: Bring your cellphone to the table.
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DO: It may not be the best time of the year for a long stroll, but venture outside for a walk.
DON'T: Go outside if the temperature is way too cold.
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DO: Scramble eggs, toast bread and work on your presentation.
DON'T: Forget to make something for yourself as well!
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DO: Have sex.
DON'T: Limit yourself to the bedroom.
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DO: Spend an evening going through vacation photos, your wedding photos or even those embarrassing ones buried on Facebook. Or surprise your partner with sexy boudoir photos.
DON'T: Forget to get rid of those photos of your exes.
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DO: Plan out your day so you can avoid crowds (earlier in the morning or at the end of the day).
DON'T: Go in without a back-up plan. If the pool is constantly busy, you may want to plan something else.
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DO: Turn off your phones, light some candles and make sure you have snacks on hand.
DON'T: Spend the whole day building a complex fort. Remember, this is about spending quality time under the fort.
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DO: Include personal memories and/or small gifts.
DON'T: Make it so hard that your partner gets fed up.
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DO: Get your favourite bottle or wine and do use the fireplace.
DON'T: Don't leave your booze too close to burning wood.
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DO: Talk in the dark, read a book together and cuddle! And don't worry about that alarm clock.
DON'T: Beat yourself up if you can't fall asleep right away.
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DO: Let go of any grudges you may be holding onto and accept your partner for who they are.
DON'T: Use this as another opportunity to bring up past fights.
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DO: Spend hours chatting or catching up with a make out session.
DON'T: Forget to get out of bed and have a meal.
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DO: Get aromatherapy candles, fancy bubble bath and turn off the lights.
DON'T: Force yourself to fit into the tub with your partner. If the tub is too small, stand up and take a shower instead.
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DO: Find your recipes on Pinterest .. so at least you have an idea of what your dish should actually look like.
DON'T: Go in with high expectations or the assumption that your meal will taste good. We suggest pizza for back-up.
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DO: Send your partner a sexy text while they're at work.
DON'T: Send it out before you double-check the recipient.
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DO: Choose four or five episodes of your partner's favourite shows and pre-record them ahead of time.
DON'T: Allocate so many hours that you do nothing but watch TV all day.
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DO: Try new cocktails and experiment with what you have in your own bar.
DON'T: Get too drunk and pass out.
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DO: Put on some Dirty Dancing tunes.
DON'T: Step on your lovebird's toes.
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DO: Head to the soup kitchen, local food bank or spend a night clearing out your closet to donate goods.
DON'T: Leave these plans to the last minute — some places require advanced notice.
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DO: Try out fun duets and romantic sing-a-longs.
DON'T: Choose songs or artists you know your partner hates.