This year, my only goal in my relationship with my husband is to NOT require him to do something he doesn’t want to do. In Valentine’s Days past, he’s dressed up in a suit, taken me on fancy dinner dates, and just in general been an accommodating person.
But if 2020 taught me anything, it’s that what is authentic is more enjoyable than arbitrary check-the-box things. You know the normal V-Day checklist:
What I’m testing out this year is the idea that if he’s not honestly enjoying the date because his suit is suffocating and the portion sizes are smaller than he likes and the bill is larger than he likes, then it’s not as fun as when we BOTH enjoy the date.
With that in mind, here are 3 Valentine’s Day ideas that you’ll both enjoy!
So, this *might* sound bratty, but I used to get a nice handbag for V-Day every year. Actually, my husband really doesn’t enjoy buying gifts, so I just buy my own gifts on his card, and he gets to be the surprised one when I rip open the wrapping paper.
Similarly, he’s not that into receiving gifts either. So, this year, instead of spending $100 on a gift he doesn’t really like that much but feels obligates to make a big fuss about, I purchased a wooden brain teaser puzzle for $7.99 that he’s going to thoroughly enjoy. Psst — this is a secret, so keep it on the DL, will you?
The point is to gift something that is meaningful to the recipient. Remember when you used to glue macaroni to construction paper and scribble a semblance of your name on it and then run to gift it to your mom or dad? They cherished that dang thing, because it was precious to them. That’s the kind of meaningfulness I’m talking about. Those types of gifts far outweigh the big-ticket items from big-box stores, because the authentic love behind it is so clear.
What’s something that your partner would enjoy that costs little more than your thoughtfulness?
You might be thinking “cooking” and “date night” don’t jive, but hear me out… Cooking as a date in itself is different from: “It’s 7 PM on a work night — what can I throw together?”
For date night cooking, start early and brainstorm some foods you’ve been wanting to try to cook. If you’re ambitious, you could watch a YouTube video of something you’ve never tried before. I recently learned how to roast a whole chicken, and it’s actually wayyy easier than it looks.
For a more manageable dinner, go for something impossible to fail at like adult Lunchables — AHEM! — I mean a charcuterie board, of course.
Cooking allows you to work together, bounce ideas off of each other, and to savor the process as much as the end result. So, put on your chef’s hats and have some fun in the kitchen!
Maybe you’re like us and you work from home together all day, every day. Or maybe you’re back to working at your office, but you’re not socializing as much as you used to because of Covid restrictions & such. Either way, you probably have spent wayyy more time watching TV in your living room and calling that “date night”. So, let’s switch it up.
Here are some playful outdoors activities to do together:
The point is to break out of the normal rut of how you spend time together and do something different and fun! You might find a new activity to add to your repertoire.
I think the most important thing for dates is that you both enjoy them, and you do that by lowering the standards from the overproduced Bachelor-level dates and just enjoy what’s real about your relationship. Your relationship has its quirks, and that’s what makes for an authentically beautiful love story that is yours alone to cherish. So, go on and live ya best life the way you two uniquely like to.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you & yours!
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