Although it feels like groundhog day right now, Valentines Day is just around the corner and we are going to need to think outside the box in order to make it special this year. Even if you are someone who doesn't normally celebrate this occasion or perhaps you don't feel you have someone to share it with then we urge you to read on because this year might be a little different!
Staying in is the new going out?
It's hard to imagine being excited about yet another night in and yet if we really try we can make Valentines day special with just a little extra effort. Traditionally February 14th is a busy one for most restaurants and getting a table at your favourite often proves to be a challenge.
This year there'll be no disappointments or last minute bookings at the only place with availability and it'll be kinder on your wallet too! Perhaps consider what you might have spent on a dinner out and instead treat your other half or perhaps all the family to a really delicious home cooked meal with good quality ingredients and a fancy bottle of something. If you're a couple that cook together often, then perhaps now is the chance to get a takeaway so you can both put your feet up. On the other hand if you tend to eat takeaway or ready meals the majority of the week then why not give cooking a go? Cooking a meal together could be a really fun way to connect, even more so if you can learn some new skills together.
Send a gift
Everyone loves to receive gifts through the post, it's always exciting to unwrap a surprise and makes a nice change from the junk mail and household bills. Rather than exchanging gifts first thing you'll have the added excitement of waiting for its arrival (depending on when your postie does his rounds!) There are so many options now when it comes to gifting this way so really think about what your other half would be delighted by, perhaps something they wouldn't buy themselves? As well as buying thoughtful Valentines Day gifts for partners do consider buying something for the other people in your life that you love. Everyone could do with a pick me up and the thoughtful act of sending a gift, no matter how small, can really make someone's day.
It's the little things
Consider your normal routines and couples' rhythms. By that we mean, who usually gets up first and puts the kettle on? Who prepares meals? Valentines Day this year is an opportunity to shake it up. Perhaps consider treating your other half to breakfast in bed (making heart shaped eggs of course!) or preparing them lunch with a bit more attention paid. By considering your actions throughout the day, you can treat your partner to something a bit different without it costing the earth. Your aim is to make their life a bit more pleasant all day and by doing so it's bound to make them feel like they've really been spoilt simply by having the dishwasher emptied for them!
This is a bit of a no-brainer and shouldn't even need to be mentioned but as most of us are attached to our phones most of the day (even more so recently) we thought we ought to set you a reminder so to speak. If your phone is on, it will be a distraction. Our advice is to turn it off for at least part of the day or evening so you can give your other half your undivided attention. They deserve it and it'll enable you to enjoy your time together much more.
Try something new
A living room picnic, a virtual escape room or a board game you've not tried before, these are just some couples activities which might make this years Valentines that bit more special. A personalised card, box of chocolates and meal deal is fine but why not do something a bit different and more memorable. If your other half loves a spa day then think about getting some nice products and suggesting a massage or foot rub. If you tend to sit in front of the TV at dinnertimes then mix it up and set the table for a change. Get creative and you'll succeed in making February 14th special despite not being able to leave the house!
Listen and learn
This tip should go way beyond Valentines Day but at the very least it will enable you to make the celebration that bit more special. It's simple, just listen. Let your partner speak, uninterrupted and then ask questions to gain more insight into their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Many people are currently spending almost all their time with their partner but how much of that time is being spent nurturing their relationship? Complacency can creep in when you spend a lot of time with someone and there can be less quality time together because the need doesn't feel as great. Set aside some specific time to sit and talk.
Love is for everybody
People have mixed feelings about Valentines Day but whatever your view, we'd like to think that we can all agree that love should be celebrated and encouraged, especially at the moment. Rather than focussing on romance all day (who's got the energy for that?!) perhaps spare a thought for those who are alone and very much isolated. Other family members might need a pick-me-up during this time so why not make it a day for celebrating your love for each other. Spread a little joy by checking in on neighbours or older relatives, perhaps offer to do their shopping this week or just call for a chat, it will be appreciated.