loving your partner

Say, “I Love You,” with a Little More Heart This Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. It’s best not to wait until the last minute to decide what to do for your special someone. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing the same old thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with the standard: dinner, flowers, card and chocolates. But why not put a little more heart into it and make your loved one feel extra special and adored? Remember, it’s the gifts that require time and imagination and that come from the heart that say the most. Following are some ideas that are simple and cost very little, but they say so much because they require more from you besides your money; they require your whole heart–or at least a little piece of it!

1) SURPRISE DATE: Give your lover a card and state that you’ve planned a surprise date, something they will know nothing about except how to dress. You plan everything and do all the work. If you feel like really making a statement commit to planning a surprise date for your love once a month for the entire year! Try to make the dates something unique that you and your lover haven’t experienced before or at least something very special. Ideas: an elaborate picnic in a special location; an overnight trip to a town you haven’t been to before; the opera; his/her favorite performer in concert; a picnic at sunset on a secluded beach; a couple’s workshop. The ideas are endless. A wonderful idea is to give each other this gift and take turns; one month you plan everything and the next month your partner does. You can even blindfold your partner while driving to the destination!

2) LOVE NOTES: Buy a pretty box and put it by your lover’s bedside. Give a card to your lover that says your gift will be 365 love notes, one each day for the next year. Find a package of assorted scraps of beautiful paper in the scrapbook section of your local craft store or go to a scrapbook specialty store. Provo Craft has a large package for under $15 called, “Paper Palette: Hand Crafted Paper by Artisans,” which is a wonderful assortment of romantic paper in various sizes. These so called “scraps” are the perfect for love notes and letters. Also be sure to use colored gel pens of various colors to pen your love letters. Then each night for the entire year, put a love note in the box. Your partner will “check the mail” each night in anticipation. What a treat to read your sweet, loving, sexy, creative love note on a different kind of paper each night. I did this for my husband year before last, and I have to say it became a wonderful bedtime ritual. He even began writing love notes to me and placing them on my pillow! It’s now become a fun thing we do to surprise each other now and then. But it is wonderful to do it every day for a year. Even if it’s after a squabble, it’s a great opportunity to apologize and say, “I love you,” and it insures that you don’t go to bed angry.

3) LOVE LETTER: Nothing says, “I love you,” quite like a romantic love letter. Write a long, expressive love letter to your lover on a beautiful piece of stationery. You might sprat your perfume on the paper. Women, not only sign it with your name, but with a kiss wearing your favorite lipstick. Mail it a few days before Valentine’s Day so that your lover receives it on time, but write on it, “Don’t Open Until Valentine’s Day.”

4) FLOWERS: Give the gift of one beautiful flower for your lover every day for 365 days. If this seems like too big of a big commitment, try doing it for just do it for one month. Or perhaps on the 14th of each month this year, you could bring your lover a beautiful bouquet.

5) HOMEMADE CARD: Make a homemade Valentine. Buy romantic paper, find some gold hearts, ribbon or lace. Use gel pens, paints or colored pencils. Use your imagination and have fun!

6) SERENADE: Make a tape singing a love song to your lover. You can find a local studio that will record it for you and even provide you with the music. OR just sing a cappella and do it at home.

7) POETRY: Compose a poem for your lover on beautiful paper. You can even write it in calligraphy. (Or, you can cheat and use stencils or pens that give the look of calligraphy.) Another idea is to use your computer and print it out with fancy type. You can even frame it. If you’re not much of a writer, try using a famous poet’s love poem. Some poets of famous love poetry include, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Browning, John Dunne, Kahlil Gibran, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Pablo Neruda

8) TOUCH:  Give the gift of touch by giving your partner a one or two-hour massage. Set the room with a scented candle and meditative, relaxing music. Use sensuous oil and make sure you get every single spot of your lover: from the earlobes to between the toes.

9) BUBBLE BATH: Take a long, sensuous bubble bath with your lover. Be sure to set the ambience: light a candle or two (or twenty ) and have some romantic music playing; put some lavender, jasmine or any favorite essential oil in the bath. You might decide to forgo the bubbles and use rose petals instead. Once you’re in the tub, serve your lover: Wash your lover’s hair and entire body, and, well, use your imagination! 10) COLLAGE: Take photos from the last year and make a collage. Collecting your favorite memories into a collage, framing and hanging it doesn’t take that much time but think of the joy that will be added to your lives every time you look at it. Your lover will appreciate the gift all through the year.

11) MAKE A LIST: Using beautiful paper, list all of the things that you love about your lover, all that you appreciate, even the little things. Consider framing it.

The gifts people remember most are those given from the heart. They aren’t necessarily the most expensive, but they require the most investment from the giver. Gifts that require thought, creativity, planning; gifts that last all year; and things made by you speak a lot more deeply to your lover’s heart than dinner and a box of chocolates. And remember, the most important thing is to be romantic and have fun!

Here’s to you having the best Valentine’s Day ever!

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