Flowers, chocolates, a four-course dinner at a high-end restaurant… Forget the traditional (aka generic) gift ideas and date venues and capture your Valentine’s heart with the unexpected this year. After all, nothing says “I care about you” quite like originality and a little advanced planning!
1. Traditional: A card | Unexpected: A love song
Anyone can search store shelves for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day card. But converting your heartfelt emotions into lyrics is sure to make a greater, more lasting impression on your loved one. To score bonus points, grab a guitar (or arrange for a musical accompaniment) and serenade your Valentine!
2. Traditional: A box of milk chocolates | Unexpected: A basket of healthy goodness
Milk chocolate is definitely overdone on Valentine’s Day. Show your crush you care about his or her health with a beautiful basket of smart snacks instead. Include antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, mixed nuts, assorted dried fruits, heart-healthy green tea—even organic jerky!
3. Traditional: A bouquet of buds | Unexpected: An aromatherapy diffuser
Fresh flowers—especially red roses—are as popular on Valentine’s Day as Cupid himself. But sadly, their beauty and fragrance will fade within weeks (if you’re lucky!). Instead, surprise your special someone with an aromatherapy diffuser and some sweet-smelling essential oils. He or she will think of you every time a favorite fragrance fills the air!
4. Traditional: Fine jewelry | Unexpected: Fitness jewelry
If your Valentine is into health and wellness (and these days, who isn’t?!), forgo the fancy jewels in favor of the fitness-focused variety. There are watches, bracelets, necklaces and even rings for men and women at a wide range of price points that count steps, measure distance, monitor heart rate, assess sleep habits and more!
5. Traditional: A fancy restaurant | Unexpected: A romantic picnic
You don’t need to blow your budget to show your love interest that you’re, well… interested. Restaurants often raise their prices on Valentine’s Day, and it really is the thought—and the company—that counts. So, skip the fancy four-course prix fixe dinner and pack a picnic basket with wine, cheese, chocolates and his or her favorite foods instead. And don’t forget the biodegradable plates and utensils!
6. Traditional: The movies | Unexpected: A live performance
‘The movie theater and “date night” go hand-in-hand. But how often do you take your significant other to a ballet, comedy show, symphony or play? Trust us—this out-of-the-norm Valentine’s date will earn you high marks for thoughtfulness and creativity!
7. Traditional: A stuffed animal | Unexpected: A date at the dog park
Ignore that life-sized teddy bear this year and instead treat your Valentine to a fun-filled afternoon with his or her favorite four-legged friend. A day at the dog park will allow you to catch up, burn some calories, take in the fresh air and enjoy quality time together. Plus, you’ll win Rover’s heart as well!