Valentine’s Day is next Sunday, 14 February. It is a date worthy of celebration. It just so happens that it is one of our bi-weekly date nights, so it won’t be hard to celebrate. Getting a restaurant with a free table will be the hard part.
You have heard me say it before, and if you hang around with us for any length of time, you will hear it again and again: “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” I wish I could say they were my words, but Theodore Hesburgh should get the credit!
So how do we keep the spark of love alive? Alicia, a British lifestyle and travel blogger based in Vancouver, Canada has written a great article called, “Keep The Spark Alive This Valentine’s Day”. Who better to remind us how to do it than a woman! (Please translate her talk of snow into Australian summer bliss.)
Alicia’s Six Tips are very practical, and she certainly covers all the bases!
Her stroll along the seawall suggestion is one we practice almost every week. It helps that we live in Wollongong, which is on the East Coast of Australia. The challenge, for you, is to find your own seawall experience wherever you might be. Let’s hear from Alicia now!
When you’ve been together for as long as we have, it’s easy for the Valentine’s Day flame to die out and for the celebrations to become a bit stale. But V-Day is actually a really lovely holiday, and while it’s easy to dismiss it, it’s the perfect excuse to set a bit of time aside and give your undivided attention to one another…
1. RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE
If you’ve been together a long time, one nice way to celebrate this day of lurv is to recreate your first date. A few years ago, on our anniversary, Matt took me to the restaurant where we had our first “proper” date and it was so lovely to be back there and reminisce about what we were like all those years ago. If you can’t go back to that exact spot, improvise and find cute and creative ways to go back to the very beginning. This is a really great way to keep the spark alive this Valentine’s Day, and nostalgia will no doubt make you fall in love with each other all over again.
2. GO FOR A HIKE!
I love romance just as much as I love adventure, and sometimes it’s nice to combine the two. Take your Valentine to the backcountry this year for a cute day exploring the wilderness. Whether you’re an outdoorsy couple or you just want to mix things up a bit, an adventure date is a beautiful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and connect – or reconnect – with one another. I also think a hike is perfect for first dates, as there is no pressure to buy each other pricey gifts and you’ll inevitably create some really lovely memories. Make it even more romantic by going on a snowy hike (I love Joffre Lakes at this time of year) and bring along some lunch and a small bottle of bubbly so you can set up a picnic. I know that the weather in February can be a little unpredictable, so even if it’s a bit cold and miserable, there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t just embrace it and go for a walk together in the rain.
3. HAVE A ROMANTIC NIGHT IN
A lot of couples don’t like dining out on Valentine’s Day (myself included), and a night in together can actually be just as – if not more – romantic and special. Grab your favourite bottle of wine, decorate the house with roses and candles, make dinner together, and devote the night to one another. This is the perfect way to reignite the spark in your relationship if things like work, kids, or everyday stresses have been getting in the way. Make it a no-phone night to completely eliminate any distractions, put on a soft playlist, and just be present and in the moment with your lover. If you’re looking for a romantic dessert, chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect treat, and we all know that they’re an aphrodisiac too. They are really quick to make and if you find yourselves getting carried away with the melted chocolate, well, it is Valentine’s Day after all…
4. GRAB A COFFEE & STROLL THE SEAWALL
There’s a lot of pressure to buy expensive gifts and do something extravagant on Valentine’s Day, when actually, all it’s about is celebrating your love! If you’re stuck for things to do, or if you’re in a new relationship and you want to keep it low key, grab a coffee to-go, pick up your favourite take-out or picnic food, and go for a stroll along the seawall with your sweetheart. There’s nothing more romantic than getting bundled up for a wintery walk, and it’s a low-cost option which is a win-win. And if you’re a singleton, there’s nothing to say you can’t go for a Valentine’s seawall stroll with your bestie instead.
5. ARRANGE A SKYPE DATE
Not everyone gets to be with their loved one on Valentine’s Day, and Matt and I had our fair share of anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Days apart when we were long-distance. Whether you met your lover on an online dating site and you’re both from different places, or due to other commitments it’s not possible for you to be together, being apart is tough but things like Skype and WhatsApp do make it that bit easier. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Skype date and cook together, watch the same film, or spend the evening planning your next reunion to feel the V-Day romance. You may be cities or countries apart, but Skype is the perfect way to stay connected and embrace Cupid’s day of love.
6. TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM!
Nothing says “I heart you” like a handmade gift or Valentine’s Day card. I’m a bit of an old-fashioned romantic, and I think there’s nothing nicer than leaving cute little notes for each other and simply expressing your love. Why not grab a pack of Dough-Notes and hide a few messages for your partner to find around the house throughout the day? Another really cute idea is to write down 10 things you love about your other half to show them just how much you care. As J-Lo once said, love don’t cost a thing, and there are plenty of ways to show your passion without spending a large amount of money.
The beauty of Alicia’s suggestions is that they are not going to break the bank. I am not saying you should not break the bank, but the point of the exercise is that an act of true love is not necessarily expensive. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day all year round. We do! Why don’t you?
You know what you have to do now, so as a great man once said, “Just do it.”
Yours for Keeping the Spark Alive,