Valentine’s Day is around the corner, bringing excitement for some and dread for others. Whether you’re single or taken, Valentine’s Day can be a stressful holiday. If you’re in a relationship, you may worry about finding the perfect gift for your significant other or planning a romantic evening that isn’t too cliché. If you’re single, February 14th may just be another day to you, or it might make you feel a little sad and lonely.
As someone who has been both single and taken on Valentine’s Days over the years, I have a few tips for making the most of the holiday, whatever your relationship status is.
Valentine’s Day? More Like “Treat Yo Self” Day
As February 14th comes around, so does the urge to express love to those you care about. This holiday is the perfect time to show your appreciation for all the wonderful people in your life. Your list might include a romantic partner or crush, friends, family, and even pets. But are you forgetting someone?
As you likely guessed, I’m talking about you! This holiday is the perfect excuse to shower yourself with some extra self-love. And what better way to do that than with a relaxing spa day?
Check out these ideas for planning a spa day or night.
To really pamper yourself, book a massage at a local spa. If money’s an issue, see if you can find a massage therapy school near you. Many massage schools have public clinics where the students can practice giving massages to clients. While the massage therapists won’t be as experienced, they’ll still be able to give you a great massage at a discounted price.
You could also check Groupon and other coupon sites for Valentine’s Day specials. Many massage clinics offer discounted couples massages on this day, which you can take advantage of by bringing a friend along with you.
If you want to pamper yourself and your partner, consider giving each other massages as an alternative to a couples massage. Since you two probably do this anyway, you’ll want to bring things up a notch. First, take the time to brush up on your technique. You and your loved one can watch YouTube tutorials to learn expert massage techniques that will have you both feeling amazing.
For a romantic touch, consider scattering rose petals on the bed. And finally, don’t forget to stock up on massage supplies. You’ll need the following:
- Massage oil. Choose lavender for relaxation or ylang-ylang and rose for romance.
- Place one pillow under the ankles and one under your partner’s head when they are lying face down. When they switch positions onto their back, move the pillow from below their ankles to under their knees.
- Relaxing music. Spotify has several meditation playlists you can try, or you can play some of your favorite romantic songs instead.
Once you’ve gathered all the supplies, dim the lights, light some candles, and get started.
Flowers and Chocolate? Consider These Thoughtful Alternatives
Roses and a box of chocolates are classic choices for a Valentine’s Day gift, but not everyone enjoys these things. And they might not be the most appropriate gift for men. Instead, consider the following suggestions of unique valentines that work well for all the loved ones in your life:
- Significant other. When you’re looking for a romantic yet unique way to express your love, consider a jar of love notes, a scrapbook filled with memories and pictures of the two of you, or tickets to a play, sporting event, or ski resort.
- Family and friends. Show your appreciation to the people who are always there for you with these thoughtful gifts: homemade bath bombs or soap, scented candles, lotion, socks, or their favorite treat.
- Co-workers. Spread office cheer with gifts such as homemade cookies, monogrammed coffee mugs, potted succulents, grown-up coloring books, or cool office supplies (like this ).
You can accompany your gift with a handwritten note to make it even more personal.
Candlelit Dinner? Try This Instead
There’s nothing wrong with a romantic, candlelit dinner at a 5-star restaurant — unless you’re broke, that is. But consider avoiding the crowds and planning something a little different. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
Don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day? No problem! Invite your friends instead and throw a fondue party at your house. All you need is a fondue pot, ingredients for cheese and chocolate fondues, and some food to dip. Ask your friends to bring their favorite fondue accompaniment. Or if you need suggestions, consider these crowd-pleasers:
- Roasted or raw vegetables
- Cooked and cubed meats
- Mini meatballs
- Cooked shrimp
- Sliced fruit
- Sourdough bread
- Shortbread cookies
- Angel food cake
You and your friends might like fondue night so much that you’ll make it an annual tradition.
If you and your sweetheart have been together for a long time, it can be hard to think up fresh ideas for romantic dates. When you want to plan an out-of-the-ordinary date for Valentine’s Day, consider these ideas:
- Couples yoga. Look up yoga gyms near you. Many offer special partner yoga classes around Valentine’s Day that can bring you and your partner closer together—literally!
- Homemade cook-off. Show off your cooking skills by preparing a special dinner for the two of you. One person can prepare the dinner while the other can be in charge of dessert. If necessary, put a money cap on the meal to help you stay on budget, and then head to the grocery store to start shopping.
- If you like the idea of getting dressed up and going out to eat but don’t want to deal with crowds, do brunch instead. Not only will you avoid the dinner rush, but also you’ll save money, too!
I hope this blog has given you some inspiration for planning your Valentine’s Day this year. If you have other ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, dates, or activities, please comment below! We’d love to see what holiday traditions you enjoy.