If you’re anything like me, the start of the year has been so hectic that you’re only just now realising that Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you need to be ready!
Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic, and most stressful days of the year. Movies and media have been telling us our whole lives that ‘V-Day is the day!’ There is so much pressure and expectation wrapped up in this one little square on the calendar. From choosing the perfect gift, to booking the right venue in time, determining your most gorgeous outfit, and creating those truly romantic moments that have an emotional soundtrack running in the background (though possibly only in your head) – there’s so much to think about and so many chances to go wrong! Add to that the possibility of a proposal (for those who are getting very serious about their relationship), and you’re in for a migraine and maybe an ulcer or two. Thankfully for you, you’ve got me! And I have already mapped out the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration, complete with optional proposal.
Step 1: The Date
There is so much focus on the day of Valentine’s Day, but we are real people living real lives, and it doesn’t have to be that way! The important part of any event is the celebration. I think we’re past the point where that has to be on an exact day in order to be meaningful.
With Valentine’s Day, you will be fighting just about every other couple in the region for a booking. Unless you actually remembered to book something a month ago, it will be slim pickings. Instead of trying to work out an early or late reservation at one of the few places that still has availability, you can choose a day or date in the vicinity of February 14th that is more specific to you and your special someone! This is a great opportunity to show how romantic and thoughtful you are, by choosing the date based on personal meaning or consideration for the ease and comfort of the one you love.
- Are there any dates nearby that are meaningful to us?
- What days of the week best suit our schedules?
- Would a different time of day be better?
- When would be a good time for a boost of love and attention for your partner?
Step 2: The Activity
The stereotypical Valentine’s runsheet is dinner, movie, romantic moment. We’ve all seen it a hundred times before. But is a movie and dinner really the most romantic activity for the two of you? You can show your love and appreciation for your partner so much more clearly by choosing an activity that will make them feel seen and treasured. You want them to know how much you love them, how much thought you put into your choice, and how much you treasure them. There is absolutely no reason to stick to the stereotypes for Valentine’s Day. Pick something that will be meaningful and allow you both to create romantic memories! (Bonus points if it shows that you are prioritising them over your personal preference or comfort.)
- What is my partner’s love language?
- Which activities does my partner enjoy but usually without me?
- What is something my partner talks about doing, but we haven’t done yet?
- Which meaningful moment from our relationship does my partner talk about often?
Step 3: The Food
This one will depend on what activity you choose. You might even want a food-based activity like a cooking class, a picnic, or international cuisine. Whatever you decide, make sure that the food is an experience – one that engages all of the senses in a positive way. When we engage all of our senses, it enables us to be fully present in the moment, and experience things in greater detail. This is a great set up for romantic moments that become strong memories, and sets the tone for the rest of the event.
- Which flavours does my partner enjoy (sweet, savoury, spicy, etc)?
- What aromatic foods include those flavours (does it need to be hot to waft a delicious smell)?
- Where can we go that has ambient background audio (rustling leaves, rushing water, live music, birds, etc)?
- Is there a way to make the food tactile (like eating with hands, or a range of textures)?
- How can I present the food in a beautiful way (servingware, arrangement, surface, etc)?
Step 4: The Gift
Traditional Valentine’s Day gifts include flowers and chocolates. However, there are very few people who would prefer those to a more personalised and unique gift. Even better if the gift can last and be treasured over time, rather than wilting or being eaten! Gifts don’t have to be big, or brand new. Something thoughtful carries a lot more meaning than something commercialised. This is a great time to focus on addressing your special one’s love language. If it’s words of affirmation, then a meaningful card or a poem, perhaps presented in a frame, is a good option. For quality time, choose something you can do together. If they love acts of service, you could find a way to make a task easier or even unnecessary for them. Those who feel love through physical affection might enjoy an activity that involves close proximity. If your partner loves gifts in general, make sure your choice reflects what you know about them and what they love. Bonus: If you decide not to celebrate on February 14th, you could still exchange gifts that day if your partner is likely to want some sense of celebration on the day itself.
- What is my partner’s love language?
- How can I make it unique to them?
- How can I present it so that it feels special?
Step 5: The Proposal
So you want to make this Valentine’s Day extra special by proposing? All of the thoughtful and intentional things you’ve planned out above will make the perfect romantic lead-up to your proposal! There are just a few things to add to make this the moment.
- Your history: Have you already discussed marriage? Do you know each other’s intentions toward the relationship? Do you feel that it’s time for this next step?
- The ring: Have you already chosen one? Will you use a clever stand-in for the moment? How will you hide it?
- The wording: You may want a long and heartfelt lead up, or a short prelude. Will you use the traditional ‘will you marry me?’ or go for something more unique?
- Documentation: Do you need to organise someone to covertly photograph the moment? A videographer? A group of friends hiding in the bushes ready to jump out and shout ‘hooray!’?
- Celebration: How will you end the night to celebrate? Champagne? Updating your loved ones? Talking till morning?
If you follow these steps, you will have all the ingredients of a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration, worthy of proposing with! And when you get that ‘yes!’, make sure you let me know!
Happy Valentine’s Day! X
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