February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is nearly upon us. The one day of the year that as a young girl I would dread. At first, it was the potential embarrassment of there being (or not) a hand-scribbled card from a B-O-Y crammed into my school bag. A little later in girlhood, a far worse scenario, being fooled into thinking your secret crush had sent you a heart-shaped card, only to discover you’d been pranked by girlfriends - the irony of being metaphorically ‘crushed’ not lost on me.
As a young adult dating, boyfriends were required to up the ante and there was definitely an expectation for flowers and/or a home-cooked meal. Is it universally accepted that going out on V-Day is, well, a bit, naff or is that just me? Of course there were plenty of years with no significant other and Valentines Days would either be excruciating (a la Bridget Jones) or preferably an excellent excuse for a party at the pub with other singletons.
Truth be told, now, as a married Mum of two young children, whilst the hubs and I will (mostly always) exchange cards, in all probability it is now more about our offspring making us glittery heart covered, handmade cards. But this is missing the point isn't it?
One definition of romance is “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” Life after marriage and children might well lead to afflictions such as sleep-deprivation or [delete as appropriate] 24/7 tidy-up/homework/get-ready-for-school nagging. States of minds as these aren’t ordinarily associated with spontaneous acts of love or grand romantic gestures.
Yet this is exactly why we should be upping our Valentine’s Day expectations the older we get instead of letting them wane. Saint Valentine’s has given us a golden ticket, the one day of the year to premeditate spontaneity, to spice up the love stakes and an opportunity to overturn any amorous apathy - and we should all embrace it. Even if you don't have a 'significant other' then on 14|02 you should embrace love and kindness regardless - direct it at a friend, child or stranger!
With this sentiment in mind, here are ten frivolous, fun and fanciful gestures - that aren't overtly commercial - that could well put the coup du coeur back into you as a couple (over and above buying your love her dream Elyse & i purse which is a given - obviously). Let love rule this V-Day! Comment below if you have any other ideas.
- Leave a trail of secret 'kisses' - apply lipstick then 'kiss' some paper, cut them out and write down all the reasons why you love your wife/hubby/partner - pin them up on the washing line, across the room as you would Christmas Cards or just leave a trail - under a pillow, in his work jacket pocket or stick them to the bathroom mirror.
- Give a ‘balloon chocolate box’ - all the love without the calories! Be inspired like this one (above) I saw on @ihavethisthingwithhearts
- Recreate your first ever Valentine’s together - be that making him/her a steak dinner or going ice-skating.
- Include some 'Love coupons' inside your card. Free printables on Pinterest over here or make up your own eg "foot rub", "candle-lit dinner", "free wish" etc.
- Fill their shoes with heart-shaped glitter.
- Hide messages & glitter inside a balloon - one for every year you’ve been together - pop the balloons and have fun reading the messages, never mind the mess!
- Make your loved one breakfast in bed - heart shape pancakes, a raisin 'stud' muffin, you're an 'eggs-ellent' hubby/lover...you get the idea
Bribe your children (candy usually works) into not making a fuss about getting ready for school to take the school-run stress out of V-Day.
- Make a ‘Remember When…’ memory box…
- Fill a jar with sweets, tie with a pretty ribbon and caption ‘You make my life sweeter’ (alternatives - fill with Hershey's chocolate 'kisses' or give them a box of donuts captioned 'I DONUT know what I'd do with you')
image sources - instagram, pinterest, own photos