“I love you” is a statement that’s super tough to say when you’re growing up (besides to like, your parents) and something you say all the time when you’ve found “the one”. However, commercials lie – the way into your loved one’s heart isn’t through diamonds or sports tickets. It’s through small reminders and creative, personal touches that prove to your partner that you care, you listen, and you think they’re just superb. These mini-gifts should be given all year round, but since Valentine’s Day was designed to express your love, here are ten ideas you can use to surprise your favorite person.
1. Know that movie or TV show they love, that you never really cared for? Watch it with them.
Even if it’s not your thing, it’ll mean the world to them that you’re taking interest. And who knows? Maybe it’s something that you really would enjoy that just gave you a bad first impression. It took me forever to get into Community, but after a mini-marathon, I’m thanking ‘the powers that be’ that they were granted a new season.
2. Surprise your loved one with Post-Its.
Why do you love them? Is it the fact that they don’t mock the fact that you make up situational songs, or get mad when your red sock ends up in their load of whites? I mean, hey – it helped Ross and Rachel get closer. Put a few post-its around the house that they can find before they head off to work. It’ll definitely make them smile, even if they aren’t a morning person.
3. Make dinner at home together.
It seems so simple, but it’s truly the best way to bond with your boo and avoid waiting 45 minutes for your table to be ready. Get some good wine (if you’re 21 or older), work together, and have a blast. Feel free to have fun with it, too. I don’t think any guy has ever broken up with a girl because she burned the roast. (And if they did, they don’t deserve to be in a relationship at the moment.)
4. Say it with toast!
For some reason, imprinted toast has become something our generation has become fascinated with. Probably because unless your loved one has an intolerance to gluten, there’s a good chance that they’ve consumed a few pieces of bread in the last week or two. AnnieBananniesShop over on Etsy sells a set of two toast stampers that’ll make breakfast in bed even more special.
5. Is your significant other a Star Wars fanatic?
There’s probably a good chance they don’t own A Very Vader Valentine’s Day. Sure, it’s made for kids – but it’s a cute way to celebrate. Also, it includes Valentines that you can send to mutual friends. “You R2 Good to Me”? Come on. That rules. And it’s less than 7 bucks on Amazon.
6. Opt for pixelated flowers.
Personally, I love flowers. I don’t even care if they’re bought in a grocery store. But if your loved one is a gamer, they might appreciate the kind that lasts forever. ThinkGeek sells two types of pixelated flowers that don’t need to be maintained, and are pretty darn cool.
7. Two Words. Foot Rubs.
Seriously, the gift of relaxation is the best gift of all. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a foot rub from their loved one. Unless you have a foot phobia (in that case, go for the shoulders) it’s a free form of affection that your significant other will totally appreciate. Especially since Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, and chances are, they’ll have been on their feet all day at work.
8. Go on a mini road-trip.
Or, make a weekend of it. Now, I’m not talking about anything crazy. I’m talking about setting up a fun goal, and trying to achieve it. Take a road trip to the nearest arcade, and see which one of you rules the household in Skeeball. Go to Chuck-E-Cheese, and relive your childhood. Or try to find a place to play mini-golf that’s farther away than the place a town over. Have a mini adventure, and make some great new memories.
9. Clean the house.
Okay, I’m not saying this in a “happy housewife” way. I’m saying that when your house is clean, your mood improves 100%. So if you have the time to get those Christmas pine needles out of the small crevices that the vacuum didn’t pick up the first time, both you and your loved one will feel more relaxed. Bonus: You’ll also feel productive, and have one less thing on your mind when you stay in and watch a movie together with some blankets and hot chocolate. (It’s not cliché – it’s amazing.)
10. Say it with conversation heart cookies.
There’s something adorable about conversation hearts, even if they taste like yellow chalk. If you want to share the same messages yet satisfy your sweet tooth a little bit better, consider making conversation heart cookies. Get creative with the messages, and feel free to personalize them based on the relationship. “Thanks for being an amazing boyfriend and dealing with my freakouts over my boss that seems to micromanage the office and can’t give me a moment of free time” may be too long of a statement for a cookie, but shortening it to “Thank you” should say it all. All you need is a cookie cutter, your favorite cookie recipe, and some icing. (Cookies with chocolate chips might not get the results you want, but hey – go crazy.)