Yes, Valentine's Day is the ultimate cliché; I'm not actually going to pretend it isn't. Some call it just another marketing gimmick, while others embrace every little aspect of it from the rose petals to the ten piece chocolate box, down to the bottle of bubbly.
But let's face it, it's getting old and cheesy. If we don't start thinking outside the box, chances are, people are going to stop celebrating it all together. So here are some Valentine date ideas that may just make this day more memorable and less cringe-worthy.
1. Don't book that overpriced 4-course set menu at that restaurant. It's so impersonal. Spending an evening celebrating your love along with 30 other couples says nothing about what sets your relationship apart from the rest.
Instead: Plan an impromptu picnic by the sea, when your partner simply thinks you're going for a cruise. Pull out all the stops: from the fancy basket and the sterling silver cutlery, to the fois gras and delicious macarons. It will show you really put some effort into making him/her feel extra special and will make for some fabulous Instagram photo ops.
2. Ditch the Hallmark greeting card and teddy bear.
Instead: Write him/her a good old-fashioned handwritten note, because we all know one can't stuff an email under a pillow. If you have yet to express your undying love, then at least let your partner know how much you've really been enjoying your time together. Print some photos and stick them in there too. Whether you end up together or not, this is the kind of stuff that goes into a box of memories and leaves a beautiful impression.
3. Don't deliver red roses like a hopeless romantic.
Instead: Plan a romantic comedy marathon session at home. Pick out all your favorite classics, prepare that tub of popcorn and watch away. My personal favorites are Roman Holiday, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Silver Linings Playbook. Throw in some homemade sangria and don't forget the red velvet cupcakes.
4. Don't force it. Especially if you just started seeing each other or you're both not the celebrating kind.
Instead: Have a good laugh about how the entire world has bought into the heart shaped Valentine paraphernalia. Hit the town hard with your significant other and invite all your single friends both male/female to tag along. They'll think you're the coolest couple ever and you'll get to avoid the awkward/forced Valentine's Day ambiance all over the city.