Affordable and Practical Ways to Mark the Day for Lovers

If your bank balance is at its all-time low after the shopping sprees during Christmas and the New Year holidays, you probably dread thinking about getting the ideal Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone. But fret not. Here are some frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without losing all the romance.

Eat in on Valentine’s Day

Cooking at home costs very little. Those who are experts in the kitchen should really opt to dine in. A flop in the kitchen? No worries. Get Mum or a friend to prepare the dishes the day before and freeze them first. Then heat the dishes up when it’s time for that romantic candlelit dinner.

To make it more memorable, dress up for dinner even if you and your partner are not going out. Play your favorite songs as you tuck into the delicious home-cooked dishes. You can even convert the living room into a mini ballroom and dance the night away.

Have Coffee Instead of Dinner

If you both really must go out instead of staying in, have a simple meal at home first. Then dress up and have a coffee and dessert at a fancy, romantic café or bistro. This way, both of you will be able to savor the romantic ambiance without paying the hefty price of an expensive meal on this particular day. Remember to make the drink last, though. It will cost just as much as a dinner if there are orders after orders of drinks!

Stage a Movie Marathon

Rent some movies and watch them non-stop after dinner. The neighborhood video store will have loads of choices for you and your loved one. Pick a few that you both have watched in the early days of the relationship and relive the wonderful moments you had experienced before. Snuggle up comfortably on the couch and enjoy the movies. And of course, don’t forget the popcorn, chips and soft drinks.

Make Own Valentine’s Day Gifts

Those who can’t afford expensive gifts can create their own gifts for their partners too. Make use of your talent. Portraits, paintings, framed photographs, cookies and cakes, CDs with your favorite songs, knitted scarves and sweaters are items that can be made by those with the right skills. When you make and present your own gifts, the labor of love is often much more appreciated than a gift bought from the store.

Offer Free Valentine’s Day “Coupons”

Even if you have no talent whatsoever to make anything to give that special someone, you can still create your own free service “coupons” or “vouchers” for him or her. Create coupons for a free foot rub, a free massage, a free car wash, a free day with the boys or just about anything that will thrill the other half. To make the coupons look more original, use the computer and the fonts and colors available to create the book of free coupons.

Buy Valentine’s Day Present in Advance

If you feel the need to buy something, don’t wait until the week before Valentine’s Day to start hunting for that perfect gift. Shops are open all year round and there are great bargains from time to time. Get something special for your loved one during those sales. The same strategy can be applied for birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents. It saves time and money.

Quiet Quality Time Together

Sometimes, you don’t even need a romantic dinner or any gifts. Just some quiet, quality time together is enough. A leisurely stroll in the park (provided the weather is okay), a trip to the library or bookstore to browse books and magazines or even watching TV at home can be memorable as well. If you have kids, leave them in the care of a babysitter or a trusted friend on that day.

There are frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It just takes a little bit of planning and some effort. Impressive gifts are wonderful but entirely unnecessary if the relationship is founded on love, trust and devotion. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

Avoiding Bad Relationships

Let’s be clear; “writing the book” on relationships is nigh on impossible. Experiences and individuals vary too much. Rules we would consider hard and fast can also be complicated.

The “bad behavior” that people see in their partners can as much exist only as perception as well as in reality. For example, without a free-flow of communication, erring partners will carry on with this behavior, ignorant of any impact it’s having. Where minor, issues can spiral into relationship-threatening crises. We all have our own value systems; this is as true of our partners as it is of ourselves.

Here are some suggestions for preventing the reoccurrence of bad behavior.

Boundaries

If you don’t assert yourself emotionally early on in the relationship then you:

  • risk causing unnecessary hurt to your partner or, conversely
  • could end-up being trampled on.

However, we all know that relationships are often heady in the early stages when we are all under the influence of lust and/or love. It is when the stardust starts to settle that problems quietly brewing begin to emerge.

When setting these boundaries, remember that the person sitting opposite you is your partner in this endeavor. Expecting them to act accordingly is not being demanding. Equally, remembering that your expectations of them need also be reflected in your own actions, is also necessary.

Of course, such things don’t have to be rigid and formal. Flexibility and compromise should always be the watchwords that govern your relationship. The important things is not to shrug issues off no matter how small, as these can lead to potentially much larger problems.

Fair firmness

Sometimes, a line will be crossed. However, a tit-for-tat approach is most always a bad idea in relationships. Nine times out of ten the result can throw a couple downwards into a murky place. Rarely does it teach the “badly behaved” a lesson. If you decide to forgive your partner then part of that package is the implicit promise not to retaliate. You cannot truly say you have forgiven that transgression if you still feel the need to square things off.

Choosing that course cedes that valuable moral high ground which everybody scrambles for when the relationship goes “west-side” and it begins to resemble a scene from Machiavelli’s Italy.

Dealing with bad behaviour requires a firm but fair hand; or else you end up in the grey area between sainthood and sinner status. If you show the same lack of understanding and care for your partner then they will not improve their behaviour – they will see no reason to and begin to believe that one set of rules operates for you and a different set for them.

However, no matter how much we would all dearly love to lay claim to absolute moral purity we all lash out at times. It is, sadly, intrinsic to human nature as the desire to love itself. The key here in trying to maintain self-awareness and exercise control, but recognize and apologize for the times we fall short of those standards. Don’t punish, communicate your feelings. In this way they will (hopefully) realize the error of their ways and all will be well again.

Golden Rules

How can minimize your own ‘bad behaviour’?

  • Consideration: As the Sunscreen song puts it: “sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind”. Your partner is human; they have all the same needs, wants and foibles as any other human, including a few peculiar ones. Absolutist demands that you are always considered first will soon find you rejected; on the other hand there are times when it is quite right that you demand your feelings are given due attention . Sacrificial love happens so infrequently so there is always a degree of tension between two competing individuals in a relationship as there is in just about any social unit. The rule here is to be as attentive, accommodating and compassionate as possible – and expect the same from your partner.
  • Communication: Most relationship problems can be solved by more of this; however, sometimes the problems themselves prevent it. Are you and your partner talking AT each other rather than with each other? If communication is breaking down then you are often better ending the conversation…it is likely to become a blazing row very soon. However, if you don’t talk to your other half then there is little to no chance of you ever resolving the problem and sometimes not even of knowing what the problem is. Atmosphere and preparation can aid communication in all sorts of ways but the key thing to remember is to actually do it!! As with the point above, your partner is a human-being, not some three-headed monster. (Although for most people the difference can become a little hard to spot at certain times.)
  • Hard work: This is self-explanatory. The myth of a smooth, uninterrupted path to true love is just that, a myth for most of us. It’s a nice myth to be sure, and comforting. But it can also damaging if couples approach their relationships expecting the fable to become reality. Most, if not all, relationships are laborious. But the general idea is that the rewards outweigh the price you pay. If you are not willing to do the work then it speaks ill of your view of that person. Remember, we can all be hard work at times and a little sacrifice is sometimes necessary.

Bad behavior in a relationship is like weeds in concrete; it can grow in any cracks and undermine something that appears on the surface to be solid. Action is better than inaction and usually it is very much a case of better sooner rather than later. If, however, you follow your heart and apply your head you can have a decent shot at making the ideal real.

Things to Consider Before Having an Affair

There are many ups and downs in dating. Sometimes it takes a lot to determine if the person you’re with is really the one. New relationships, especially, can be filled with excitement and amplified feelings of passion (and sometimes… anger.) Your new mate can set you off quickly by doing a seemingly thoughtless act, and you might feel the need to retaliate. Before you do, however, take a step back from the relationship to consider if cheating is really the way you want to go.

It is still cheating – even if you are not married yet.

Some folks believe that until they have a wedding ring on their finger they can do as they please in terms of seeing other people. That’s incorrect. Acting on this thought will likely cause trust issues for you and your partner going forward. Be clear on the boundaries – cheating is wrong if you are married or not.

Think of how your partner would feel.

Often it only takes the golden rule to drive home the point that cheating will only bring unhappiness down the road. If you’re tempted to cheat, think of how you might react if your partner would to do the same thing as you.

Talk about issues you have with your partner.

If you’re feeling tempted to cheat, there are likely underlying issues in your relationship. Perhaps you feel that the relationship is moving too fast or even that your partner might not be the right one for you. Talk about these concerns with your partner before you begin an affair.

Discover the real reason you want to cheat.

Are you bored with your partner? Do you feel hurt over something they did in the past and you’re trying to punish them? Sometimes infidelity is a reaction to other things you haven’t yet dealt with in your life. Instead of hurting your partner’s feelings and jeopardizing your relationship, work on discovering the underlying issue haunting you.

Do you feel the relationship is over?

If you believe the time with your partner has come to an end, don’t have an affair as an easy to way to end the relationship. It isn’t an easy way. Remember that affairs are hurtful and hard to get over. If you decide that you probably want to break up, be honest with your partner and tell them. If you’d like to stay together, talk to your partner to discover the reasons why you felt compelled to cheat. Decide if you want to break up or stay together. Then work towards that end.

Tips When You’re Dating Again: Get Back in the Mating Game

1) Acknowledge your feelings of doubt

It’s natural to feel nervous and scared about dating again. Even though things seem foreign to you now, you’ll eventually begin to navigate the dating waters like a pro.

2) Take it slow

Give yourself space to learn some new dating skills and practice the art of approaching people. Don’t expect things to click into place immediately. Learning the proper way to go about finding a relationship will take some time and effort, but that’s not a bad thing.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You’d be surprised how many singles just like you have had to jump back into the dating world. Find out their secrets for success and brush up on the basics for dating etiquette.

4) Investigate all the ways singles can meet new people today

Wondering how to meet people? Singles today have more choices than ever, including online dating, matchmaking, set ups, and speed dating, among others.

5) Practice the art of dating

Go on as many dates as you can to learn how to date again. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Look at every new date you have as a learning experience, one that will eventually lead you to the right person.

6) Don’t get too serious about the first person you meet

Falling in love with people too easily is a natural outcome when you’re new to dating again. But remember, truly meeting the right person for you will take time. You can’t rush it.

7) Look at the benefits of single life

When you’re thrown in the dating world again it can seem as if you need to hurry and find someone new or your life just won’t be complete. But don’t sell yourself short by trying to rush something that isn’t right. Being single has many advantages. Pay attention to them and be grateful.

8) Have fun

Dating again can seem like chore, especially in the beginning with you are tentative about the way things work. Remember that dating is a fun activity. You don’t have to fall in love with someone right away to enjoy your date. Even if you suspect that you probably won’t be with your date forever, appreciate the fact that you’re out living the single life, having great new conversations, and meeting different people.

9) Remember that dating is different than therapy

When we’re back in the dating world, it can seem refreshing to talk about our previous long-term relationship and the possible causes for its failure. Singles often want validation that they aren’t to blame for their previous relationship ending, and they feel by talking about it with their current date it will help them feel better. This is incorrect. If you need to discuss your previous relationship, seek out a counselor who will help you sort through your emotions.

10) Learn to go with the flow

If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you can get used to the way you and your former partner always did things. It’s natural for couples to get into a routine when they’ve been together for a long time. But if you’re back in the dating world you need to be flexible. Don’t insist on doing certain activities or eating at one specific place just because it’s what you’re used to. Remember that one of the benefits of dating again is discovering new things to do.

How to add Romance on a Special Occasion

There are a range of things that can be done to increase the romantic mood of an occasion such as Valentine’s Day. If seducing a special Valentine, then tempt all of the senses with the right flowers, a Valentine’s gift and the perfect food.

Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February in most countries around the world. On Valentine’s Day, lovers traditionally express their love for each other. It is also an occasion for a person to ask someone to be his or her Valentine. It’s a good day to ask a special person on a date or express one’s feelings by sending a Valentine card, flowers or confectionery.

Here are some ideas to help in creating the perfect Valentine’s Day.

Romantic Gifts

A romantic gift can be given to that special person on Valentine’s Day. Traditional gift ideas include:

  • Sending flowers (check the list below).
  • Good quality heart shaped chocolates show feeling without words.
  • Jewellery is always welcome. A necklace with a heart shaped charm or perhaps a key. It is believed that a key will unlock the love within the heart.
  • A CD of romantic music.
  • Lingerie to create the perfect mood.
  • Perfume or cologne.
  • Personalised gifts such as inscribed wine glasses or a photo frame that adds a touch of class.

Make the gift special with a hand written note of love and wrap it in beautiful paper.

Flowers of Love

Send or give flowers to a Valentine on February 14. The colour red is the traditional flower colour as it represents strong romantic feelings and is a symbol of love. Here are a few ideas:

  • Roses are always a favourite. A red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love. Send a single rose or go all out with a dozen long stemmed red roses.
  • Carnations represent fascination, distinction and love.
  • Sunflowers are a sign of adoration, loyalty and longevity.
  • Tulips represent the perfect love.
  • Irises are a symbol of faith hope and admiration.
  • Orchids show love, beauty and luxury.

A Romantic Dinner

Going to a favourite restaurant is a popular event on Valentine’s Day. If going out or cooking at home there a few foods that should be on the menu for the loved one. Include oysters, caviar, saffron, truffles, strawberries, and dark chocolate for a successful romantic dinner. Some champagne will also add to a romantic mood, but remember not too much or perhaps make it a non-alcoholic bubbly.

The Perfect Movie for Valentine’s Day

Perhaps take in a movie on Valentine’s Day. Popular choices include Roman Holiday (1953), Ghost (1990), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and Titanic (1993).

Creating a Romantic Mood for Valentine’s Day

Include some romantic music for a special Valentine on Valentine’s Day. Jazz or classical music played quietly in the background creates a romantic atmosphere. Essential oils can add to the romance of the occasion. Use scented candles, incense, an oil burner or perhaps a massage for a valentine. The best scents are jasmine, neroli, rose, ylang ylang or sandalwood. Romance blends are commercially available or create one at home from the suggested scents.

There are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a romantic dinner at a favourite restaurant, a movie together, a surprise weekend getaway or an adventurous activity. Keep it romantic and include a special token of love for a Valentine to treasure. So add some subtle romance for the next special occasion, Valentine’s Day or a significant wedding anniversary.

Creative Ways for Couples to Celebrate February 14th

Valentine’s Day is upon us yet again – A time for candy tarts and cinnamon hearts. It’s also a time for sharing precious moments with the ones we love. For couples, this means an exciting night out on the town, or maybe a romantic night in. But most couples get tired of the same old dating routine. There must be something more original to do than dinner and a movie or a walk on the beach. If you’re looking for some unique date ideas for this Valentines Day then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 unique date ideas, perfect for any couple celebrating Valentine’s Day this February 14th.

Volunteer Together

Why not spend some time together with your sweetheart and make a difference in the world all in the same date. Volunteer at a local community center, retirement home or animal shelter. You’ll be helping those in need while also getting to know your better half.

Cooking a Meal as a Couple

Cooking a romantic dinner for two together as a couple is much more original than simply going out to dinner. Take a stroll through the supermarket and carefully select each other’s favorite foods. Once in the kitchen either work together as a team or cook each other a meal. Remember to pick out something chocolate for dessert as this is known to stimulate the senses and set the mood for romance.

Take a Hiking Adventure

If you and your sweetie are the outdoor type, then taking a hike together through the trails is a great idea. There’s nothing more romantic than a stroll through beautiful, secluded trails. If you pack a blanket lunch, you can have a lovely picnic in a hidden grove. Also, nothing gets the blood pumping and ready for a romantic evening later than a little exercise.

Soar the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon Ride

If adventure is your thing and no one is afraid of heights then consider a hot air balloon ride for your valentines date. While this may take some planning in advance, imagine holding and kissing your beloved while watching a beautiful sunset way up in the sky.

Go Go-Karting

For those that like to move fast in their love life, literally, go-karting is just the thing. Challenge your date to a go-kart race. The loser has to kiss the winner and buy them dinner to unwind from such fast-paced fun.

See a Magic Show

Tired of going to a regular old movie? Try something different like going to see a magic show or hypnotist. Enjoy an engaging night out watching real feats of magic will sharing a meal and a few drinks with the favorite person in your life. If you’re daring, volunteer as a couple in the show – It will be a night you won’t forget!

Visit the Zoo

Zoo’s are not just for children. Often they have fantastic landscapes and amazing scenery. And of course, there are all the amazing animals. Spend the day strolling through the park, hand-in-hand, taking as many photos as you can. Don’t forget to buy each other a souvenir at the end of the zoo date.

Share a Round of Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf

This isn’t ordinary mini-golf, but glow-in-the-dark! Nothing sets the mood better than an evening in the dark. Challenge your date to a game. Without going overboard, a little healthy competition can be good in a relationship.

Visit a Historic Site or Museum

Visit a local museum or historic site. Some historic sites even offer ghost tours of the old buildings. Nothing brings people closer together than a good old ghost story, as your girl will be holding close.

Attend a Sports Game

For the sports fanatic couples why not see a game on Valentines Day! If you both have a love of a sport then see a sports game. Sharing a common interest in activities is healthy for a relationship and can increase the bond between one another.

Romance isn’t just about candlelit dinners, fancy clothes and ballroom dancing. It’s about sharing common interests and spending time together doing the things that you both love, whether that be scuba diving, cooking or relaxing on the beach. According to Online Dating Magazine, unique date nights add just the right spice to any relationship. Have your own special Valentine’s date night by doing something that you both love. Be creative!

Unusual and New Date Ideas: Creative and Fun Activities Help Spice Up the Dating Scene

Sometimes dating can get dull. Perhaps after being in an established relationship for a long period of time, the members of the couple become used to one another and the thrill or mystery is gone. Or maybe the couple has “done everything already” together.

Even in a new and fresh relationship dating can be boring. Someone can have five first dates with five different people but every date is dinner and a movie. Different faces but same routine. Dinner at seven, movie at eight, home by eleven.

The Secret to Revamp

But there are ways to revamp a date while still keeping it simple and intriguing. The secret is being creative while still understanding what kind of date it may be. For a first date, it’s important to remember that both parties are still trying to get to know one another, and the date should be kept towards the impersonal side of the spectrum. A date for the established relationship, however, can still be creative and fun, but a little more intimate since both parties know one another better. For example, a couple could spice things up with some intimate toys or sexy phone sex, or both. This is just one of many potential options to be explored.

New and Unique Ideas

Keeping this in mind, the question gets raised, “what new ideas could there be?” There are a few activities that many people don’t know about, that can make fun dates. Depending on where you live, there are different options available, but the point is to have a fun time.

  • Paint a canvas together. A canvas can be bought at any art store in a variety of sizes. While in the store, each person chooses a couple colors and a couple of different brushes. Then take all the materials to a park and create a painting together. Ideally, you would want to try to learn more about one another as you paint. The tough part is deciding who gets to keep the work of art.
  • Flip a coin. This is for the more adventurous daters. Start by picking a neutral place, a place you both know, or where you first met. Then walk or drive choosing your destination by a coin flip. When you get to an intersection, heads you go right, tails you go left. Keep this up until you reach somewhere with several restaurants. Then flip a coin to see which one you go in.
  • For the less squeamish, donate blood together. Then enjoy a good conversation over cookies and juice.
  • Visit a museum and go on an audio guided tour. Afterwards, discuss favorite exhibits and what you each learned.
  • Go to a flea market or garage sale and have a competition to see who can get the most unusual item for a dollar. The winner gets to keep the item.
  • Go to a local ice cream parlor and share a big banana split, as well as good conversation.
  • For a night date, when you know of clear skies around, check out a book on constellations from the library. See how many you and your date can identify.

These are just a few ideas. Using your imagination and creativity to fuel your dating life will pay off in fantastic ways. A date doesn’t have to be the same thing every time. It’s an opportunity to try new things, have fun, and learn about another person, even if you’ve been with them for a long time already.

Three Valentine’s Day Ideas for Single Women: Self-Love Days for Outdoors-Loving, City-Dwelling, and Nerdy Girls

For those women who don’t have someone special with whom to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but aren’t bothered by it, questions from friends can be awkward. Varying from pity to commiseration, these comments might seem out of place for the woman who enjoys being alone. One way to dissuade them is to declare a Self-Love Day. Going on a fun date with friends or spending time with family can also be a great way to celebrate, but those who don’t have single friends or live near family can follow these tips for a great date without a partner.

The Outdoor Date

Women who are physically active or live near some great scenery can take advantage of the fact that Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday in 2017 and try this date that will get the blood flowing and adrenaline pumping. This date can take many forms, from a day hike up a mountain and a photography session and picnic at the top to a ski day with a hot cocoa and some time at the sauna to finish.

This is a great opportunity to go do a physical activity that there isn’t normally time for, even if it’s just Rollerblading around the neighborhood or going to a local pool and doing backflips off the diving board. This date might include a break for a picnic lunch or a trip to the spa for a massage afterwards to revive those sore muscles.

The Urban Date

This is a good choice for women living in more urban areas. It’s not often that one gets to be a tourist in our own city, or take the time to really enjoy the place where one lives. The first step for this date (or for any of the dates!) is to remove the wristwatch or hide the cell phone. This date is about wandering, not getting somewhere on time.

One way to do this is to get a travel book and pretend to be an actual tourist, or to imagine that out-of-town guests are coming and plan the day to show off some of the city’s best sights. Another tip is to look up popular walking tours online, or to tailor the day to individual interests. Artists might like to spend the day museum and gallery hopping, while shoppers might prefer to take $200 out of the ATM and dedicate the day to the city’s best stores. Foodies can do a tasting tour of the city’s restaurants, cafes, markets, and wine shops.

The Nerdy Date

This is a great idea for women who aren’t athletic and don’t do traditional romance. Rather than a typical date, self-described nerds can hone in on a particular interest and take a day to indulge guilt-free. This might mean spending the day at an independent bookstore reading an alternative romance novel, staying in and watching favorite off-beat movies (Amélie and Paris Je T’aime are great choices for fans of foreign films), or attending a cool community workshop.

With these ideas, anyone can enjoy fun and romance on Valentine’s Day even without a partner! And if none of these date ideas sound right for you, check out some great Valentine’s dates for romantics, artsy types, and anyone who wants to feel like a kid again.