by Alyssa Sanchez & Lisa Martinez
The New Couple’s Approach to Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can come with a lot of pressure for new couples. ‘V-Day 2020’ is the first official one that I’ll spend with my boyfriend, Fernando. Our love story is a bit of a cliché office romance. We were co-workers and good friends for about two years before pursuing a relationship and I would say all signs point to true love. He popped the girlfriend question on our favorite day, Star Wars Day (May 4), making us a nine-month couple this February.
On last year’s V-Day we were not officially together yet, but he wanted to do something small to show his affection. It was a Saturday and I was working. He was off and coming to visit me at work, nothing unusual since he always went out of his way to see me on my 15-minute break. Thinking nothing of this visit, I was not expecting to see him standing in our office break room in a suit! He brought my favorite cupcakes, a Sephora gift card, and flowers. He turned my boring Valentine’s Day at the office into something special.
This year for Valentine’s Day, we’ll be working. Both of us are busy college students, taking classes during the week and working weekends, so it can be tricky for us to find time between our schedules, especially with an hour-long drive between us. As a young couple, I think spending quality time getting to know each other is very important. For Fernando and I, it is our love language, which means spending quality time together is how we need and express our love.
I realized we don’t have to celebrate on the 14th and we can use anytime during the week to plan a special V-Day celebration. We don’t need to have a huge ‘instagramable’ Valentine’s Day moment or feel pressured to top anyone else’s. And neither do you. Just talk to your significant other and do something that you both will enjoy, rather than breaking the bank.
Priorities come into play when planning any date. We try to stick to one expensive, fancy date a month while trying to save money most of the time. Saving money to go to school and pay student loans or car payments take priority over eating a $200 meal at a low-lit, small-portioned restaurant on Miami Beach.
My favorite kinds of dates are atypical and budget-friendly. I enjoy simply spending time with Fernando while doing something fun and unique. See some of our fun ideas below, add to it, adjust it to fit your love language, and let’s make some memories!
The Married Couple’s Approach to Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, yet as we’ve already been sharing, it is not just for lovers. I don’t recall having celebrated Valentine’s with a significant other during the 3+ decades before I met my husband, Mike. Before that, one of my brothers always called or sent me something to sweetly show me that I was remembered. Now, Mike has been my DV – ‘Designated Valentine’ – for the last decade.
February 14th is a day of significance for us for another reason, though, as it is the anniversary of Mike’s brother’s sudden death at the young age of 21. As I’ve shared here before, no matter how many years it has been, it’s a tough day for loved ones; so my approach to Valentine’s is to not have expectations and to defer to what my husband feels like doing. It’s important to take time to do something in his brother’s memory on the 14th, even if it’s just hugging and saying I’m here for you.
There are special things that I still like to do in honor of Valentine’s. Instead of us buying Valentine’s cards for each other from the store, I like for us to hand-make them for each other. We’ve already been busy creating some Valentine’s here, so it’ll be easy this year to just cut and write notes to each other on them. ♡
My Mom was a great cook, so showing love through preparing favorite meals and goodies comes naturally to me. Having a nice breakfast ready before the Hubs goes to work, and baking some sweet treats like this for our afternoon tea are little ways to make the day special.
It’s easy to go buy a box of chocolates and some roses. What is hard is to sacrifice for the other. Going out to dinner is simple, but it can be hard to be fully present and show your partner love in a way that they need.
Mike and I recently talked about how we’ve been so busy the past few weeks that there’s been a disconnect. Partners can be around each other often and still not communicate in a meaningful way, listen, or give/receive what they need. Relationships take work, and while I love chocolate, we just had to have quality time.
Love is comprised of many little things day in and out amidst married life. When you have no desire to do something, yet you do it for the other, that is the gift of self required daily in marriage. While we list several fun things below to do with your loved one, I challenge you to go deeper. What is something you can do for the other person to connect with them and show them how much you care?
Speaking of, to show you how much we care for you, we’ve created an eclectic Valentine’s for Couples Spotify Playlist just for y’all: Couple’s Playlist HERE. Enjoy 40+ songs from different genres with your sweetie.
Valentine’s Ideas for Couples – experiences to share
- Create a memory-making bucket list. See the bottom of the infographic below for more details
- Attend a cooking class (one option at Sur la table)
- Go bowling
- Play mini golf (there are indoor and outdoor options)
- Cook a nice meal together
- Pack and have a picnic (if the weather’s an issue, it can even be indoors)
- Make a charcuterie & cheese board with wine (charcuterie how-to here)
- Do a Wine Tasting: go out for one, or get a few bottles and plan your own
- Go to a small, local Ma & Pa Restaurant that you’ve never tried before
- Make it ‘Fondue Night’: cheese, chocolate, various dippers
- Dress your partner: style their outfit or take them shopping for a new one. Marrieds this could also involve undergarments 😉
- Have a mini film festival: pick out romcoms for #netflixandchill, get movie snacks and make popcorn — here’s a list of Rotten Tomatoes 150 Best Rom-Coms
- Check your local city guide for local events: live music, art exhibitions, etc. Check out likealocalguide.com
- Make pottery or go to a painting studio with wine
- Attend a Pour Party: make your own candles and pour your favorite beverages (in Austin, one option is candlesandcompany.com. Search in your city)
- Recreate a special memory: go back to where you had your 1st date, where he proposed, etc.
- Plan and take a Valentine’s road trip
- Do a couple’s massage
- Pull out your favorites and have a game night
- Find and book local deals on fun things to do at Travelzoo.com or Groupon.com