Valentine's Day is a special day for love and romance but does it have to be just that one day a year when we treat our loved one to extra attention and signs that they are loved?
Many people are justifiably cynical of Valentine's Day and regard it as a marketing ploy by retailers to shift stocks of over-priced cards, chocolates and flowers. And let's not forget those who would dearly love to shower their special someone with gifts or treats but have no spare money for extra presents.
Whilst it can be lovely to indulge each other with attention and gifts why focus on just one day of the year to demonstrate how much you really care?
Let's look at positive, inexpensive ways to enjoy Valentine's Day and every other day together:
- One inexpensive yet very personal gift is a scrapbook of the times spent together during the relationship. I heard of someone who'd collected photographs, programmes, ticket stubs, fliers, dried flowers from the various places they'd visited and on a special anniversary assembled them all together in a lovely scrapbook montage. You can't get a much more personal gift than that! The thought, time and effort invested into this gift made it treasured, unique and very special.
- Make a gift of something that has special meaning. Paint a picture, frame a special photograph, bake a cake, take the children out and give your loved one a few hours of peace, valet their car, clear the garden; do something that would really make a difference to them. Demonstrate that you have made the effort to do something they would appreciate and this makes your gesture all the more thoughtful and personal.
- Plan a day of special treats and pampering. Many people lead busy, stressed lives where they rarely have time to breathe. Arrange for your loved one to have a comfortable, relaxing day; breakfast in bed, a lovely bath, all the newspapers, their favourite meals, time to watch their favourite films or have a massage.
- Revisit a place of special significance. If there's somewhere that has particular sentimental meaning, why not plan a trip for Valentine's Day or some other free day together. Perhaps there's a special memory from the past; time at your old school or university, an enjoyable walk shared early on in the relationship, a weekend break that was especially romantic. Pack a picnic and go and spend some relaxed, nostalgic time there once again.
- Remember what your partner has told you and keep the conversation alive the next time you're together. Follow up on points that were of particular concern or significance to them. Remember to pick up a flyer for a talk they might be interested in or details of a show or concert they may like. These simple touches cost nothing but demonstrate that you've listened and absorbed what you've been told. You're showing by your actions that you care.
- If you have children why not alternate child care with another couple? That way you both get the opportunity for an occasional break. Even if you use the free time to stay at home with a takeaway and the television at least you get time together to relax and enjoy each other's company, to catch up on adult conversation without interruptions.
All these suggestions can be used at any time throughout the year, not just on Valentine's Day. With a little planning any day can be a special day in your relationship. By treating each other thoughtfully, introducing loving touches it's possible to keep the romance alive in your relationship, without breaking the bank.