Valentine’s Ideas (When You’ve Been Together Forever)

Yes, I’m one of those people who looks forward to Valentine’s Day. When the cold, dark days of January start to get me down, I love to break out the heart-shaped wreath I keep in the attic. After the frenetic pace of the rapid fire holidays starting with Halloween and ending with Christmas, I start to crave something to celebrate. 

Penn and I have been married long enough, I actually get mad at him when he buys me super spendy flowers for Valentine’s Day. (I’d rather him save the money and surprise me in March.)

Spend Time Not Money 

For us, it’s mostly about finding ways to make each other a priority. Here are some ways to make your Valentine feel special while taking it easy on the wallet. 

Make them a Spotify playlist

Back in the day, I used to sit by my jambox and wait for the perfect song, racing to hit “PLAY” and “RECORD” at the same time to capture that special tune..Mixtapes were the ultimate sign of affection for your special someone.  Then, by the time Penn and I started dating, technology had moved to CDs. (Penn made me a CD for our first date. How cute is that? ) These days, the romantic thing to do is put together a playlist on Spotify (or your favorite music app) and share it with them. There’s something so personal about sharing music with someone. 

Make them a photo slideshow of some of your favorite moments together

This one will take some advanced planning, but go through your photo collection and pick out some of your favorites. There’s plenty of apps you can download on your phone or computer to put them together into a little slideshow. Bonus points if you set the show to your partner’s favorite love song. (Google photos makes these for you and can even scan your photos for your sweetie’s face in your photo library to make it simple.)

Pack a picnic and get away to a favorite hiking spot

If the weather allows, pack up a portable charcuterie board and some drinks and find a spot outdoors. If hiking isn’t an option, find a special, cozy spot where you can get away for a little time just to chat and enjoy each other’s company away from your normal routine. 

Stay in and rewatch the first movie you ever saw together 

If getting outside isn’t for you, set up a special place inside and stay in. Load up the couch with blankets, pop some popcorn, pour some drinks, and take yourselves down memory lane. Surprise them by putting on the very first movie you ever saw together. When we were dating, we had long phone conversations and would hit “PLAY” on a movie at the same time. I’m embarrassed to say but I think the first movie we technically watched together was over the phone. If my memory is right, I think it was “Scary Movie 3”. 

The Gift of an Experience

The older I get, the more I value our time. Having quality time with my spouse is the most special gift I can get these days. 

Tickets to an event 

You can never go wrong by giving the gift of your time. Look in your local area to find an event that you can attend together. Some ideas might be a comedy or improv show, a theater performance, or a cover band concert. 

Get out around town

If it’s been a while since you explored your own city around you, get out for a fun date night. We are guilty of going to the same restaurants and the same parts of town. Set an intention to try something new! There are adult centered arcades, local breweries, but I draw the line at axe throwing (though I hear it’s fun). 

Choose your own adventure

I admit that I learned about this idea from TikTok, but as soon as I saw it I wanted to have one of these ‘choose your own adventure’ days for myself. I’ve seen people do this with their partner or with their kids. Make it whatever you want that fits your life! You can make it as inexpensive or as expensive as your budget allows. To start you’ll need some notecards or paper and something to write with. 

Come up with several adventures to go on throughout the whole day. Write two options for each and have your partner choose a card without seeing it. For an example, you might write notecards that look like this: 

  • Adventure one: (Card 1) Local coffee shop or (Card 2) Starbucks 
  • Adventure two: (Card 1) Go for a bike ride or (Card 2) Play pickleball 
  • Adventure three: (Card 1) Picnic lunch or (Card 2) Have lunch at _____ (fill in with a favorite) 
  • Adventure four: (Card 1) Go to the mall or (Card 2) Visit a local botanical garden
  • Adventure five: (Card 1) Cook a new recipe at home together or (Card 2) Have dinner at _____ (fill in with a favorite) 
  • Adventure six: (Card 1) Watch a RomCom or (Card 2) Binge your favorite show 

Don’t choose your next adventure card until you’ve finished the previous one to keep the surprises going all day. Be creative and make it whatever you want with your partner’s favorites! 

What are you and your partner doing for Valentine’s Day? Tell us any creative ideas you have!