Ah love, ain’t it grand? The long walks, hand holding, having a backup plus one for every event and lazy Saturday night in, it’s romance and convenience rolled into one!
But with every relationship comes one overarching responsibility: Valentine’s Day.
Just when you thought your wallet was recovering from Christmas, BAM! Cupid comes in with a right hook and knocks your bank balance right back down.
Australians spend just shy of $800 million dollars every year on Valentine’s Day, and no surprise here, that figure is climbing year on year.
IBISWorld expects each person to spend an average of $86 on their significant other on V-Day. But with Cupid’s arrow landing the big day on a Saturday this year, that means expenses sky rocket, what with a cosy breakfast out, lingering lunch, and romantic dinner with matching wine.
Any other weekday and all you’d need to worry about is the after dark activities. But keeping up with The Joneses is overrated, and instead of buying up lavish gifts and waiting an hour for a table at the swankiest restaurant, why don’t you go the thoughtful (and budget) route? It’s not hard to do well and requires no crafting, I promise.
Write from the heart
Never underestimate the power of a thoughtful, well written card. Cards give you license to be sappy and romantic and say all the things you’re too embarrassed to say out loud. They earn pretty big brownie points and leave a lasting impression.
Hey, I’m sure Shakespeare got laid at least a few times purely off his…verse.
Valentine’s Day is about love, not money, so don’t feel like you have to splash out on expensive items. It’s the thought that counts and no one was ever disappointed by a simple bouquet of flowers, chocolate or their favourite bottle of wine.
And Ladies I’m talking to you here as well, the day is not reserved for you to be spoilt without any vice versa, you feel me?
The comfort and possibilities within your own home are severely underrated. Instead of eating out, why not stay in, but make it unlike a normal night. Clear the house of mess, friends and housemates (if possible).
Spruce it up with a few candles and flowers and create a setting – this could be a lounge room picnic with blankets and pillows or a restaurant style table just for you two.
There are few things more romantic than having someone cook for you, so treat your favourite person to their favourite meal. And if you’re both doing it, take turns with the courses.
Don’t forget to choose a soundtrack to set the mood and finish it all up with an appropriate movie, more Notebook than Happy Gilmore. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
… Or Get Out
On the complete other side of the coin, you could go out, but not normal out.
Get in the car, put a good playlist on and just drive. Go exploring somewhere you’ve never been or to your favourite outdoor spot that you don’t visit as often as you’d like. Pack the picnic basket and take the night au natural.
Plus everyone looks much more attractive in the moonlight so that’s bound to have an affect somewhere along the way.
Always remember gifts don’t always have to be physical.
You could treat your partner to an experience, or better yet make it a couple outing so you reap the benefits too! You could go to the movies, get a couples massage, or to a concert. And if that’s stretching the budget, why not make your own gift cards for services to be redeemed?
Before your mind goes to the gutter this could be things like five home cooked meals, a month’s worth of being designated driver or a shoulder massage every night for a week.
At the end of the day no one would ever break up with someone over not getting a good enough Valentine’s Day present, and if they do, well then that person is an asshole and better you find out now rather than later. And always remember, in the wise words of Jenny From The Block, my love don’t cost a thing.
Valentine’s Day Cards: @vday_card, Twitter