Many of us get bored with the routine of Valentine’s Day simply because no one naturally feels romantic emotions on command just because February rolls around again. A lot of people remember, even while in happy partnerships, think fondly about what it was like being single and infatuated on Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to see everything as routine if you have experienced the chocolate and flower gifts a few times.
Whether the routine has gotten stilted or you just never experienced the holiday, here are some ways to make Valentine’s Day fun while thinking outside the box.
Volunteer at a Shelter or Food Bank
If you are sick of celebrating romantic love, think about some ways to celebrate love for your fellow human beings in need. Most winters are lean times for charities that rely on volunteers, and because the weather is bad, fewer people get out and participate. By deciding to volunteer with your partner on Valentine’s Day, you get to make a person (or an animal) a lot happier, and you bond with your partner in the process. Psychological studies have shown that volunteering is one of the most consistent ways to make you feel happier. Even if you only have a few hours to give, try it out! You might find a new passion that would be one of the common interests with your partner.
Find a Restaurant You’ve Never Tried
Even those of us who prefer a steak and potatoes dinner can benefit from trying a food from a new culture once in a while. Even if you are skeptical about curry, try out the new Indian restaurant near you and let the chef recommend something. Warn them if you aren’t a big fan of spicy food! Most restaurants are experienced with the occasional picky or non-adventurous eater, so they can recommend a dish that you will enjoy. They can help you see a new flavor combination that can become part of your regular routine, or at least make for a good food photo to put in your Instagram.
Take a Night Class Together
You’ll notice that there are classes for everything: you can learn how to do some practical welding, how to cook a souffle, and how to speak Portuguese. Instead of a traditional date, commit to taking a class together at the local community college or a more specialized institution like a cooking school. You don’t have to pick something that will immediately be useful, instead remember the joy of learning something new.
Have a Date Night of Extreme Sports
Ever wanted to go hang gliding, skydiving, or flying in an indoor wind tunnel? Instead of eating a sweet treat, try something truly death-defying (with a safety harnesses, of course). You and your partner will get quite the rush from facing your fears and maybe see some incredible views, too. Sure, it’s a splurge to spend money to try these things, but so are fancy dinner-and-movie dates, and this is an activity you are sure to remember.
Declare a “Cozy Night” and Make a Blanket Fort
Don’t feel like participating in the hubbub at all? Make your date night a cozy night. Gather all the pillows and blankets in the house, a pile of comic books or episodes of your favorite shows, and a thermos full of hot chocolate. Wear your pajamas and slippers, and enjoy a quiet night in. Maybe with a break for a pillow fight! The point is to make your home feel like something different for the evening, and maybe even channel some of those memories from childhood when building a fort meant you were filled with possibility and excitement.
Sure, Valentine’s Day is some people’s favorite holiday. If you usually roll your eyes and wish you could just skip straight to the 15th of February, try to see things from another perspective this year. Find a way to make Valentine’s Day fun again, and in the process, you might just start a new tradition that stays with you for a long time.