Valentine’s Day is a love-filled day to celebrate your relationship. But how do you express that burning love for your date? You may want to shout it from the rooftops, but we thought we’d give you some other ideas from relationship experts.
We’ve compiled the best relationship advice to help make this the best Valentine’s Day ever, and keep the flame burning throughout the year. You’ll find thoughtful tips, unique date ideas, and more in the list below.
Relationship experts claim that even though giving gifts on Valentine’s Day isn’t essential to maintaining a healthy relationship, they’re still a thoughtful gesture. Small gifts and kind words go beyond extravagant purchases such as diamond or gold jewelry. A kiss, flowers and a simple “I love you” are often enough to express your love.
1. “Make a gift really special by adding a personal message that says more than just “love” or “xoxo.” Take a moment to write something personal like, “I love the way you make my mornings so great,” or “I cherish our weekend walks.” A little extra touch can say a lot about how much your partner means to you.”
— Stephanie Buehler from The Buehler Institute
2. “For Valentine’s Day, look at photos when you were first dating, while sharing a glass of wine and exchange a heartfelt note. Don’t forget the flowers! They’re always special, romantic and sweet.”
— Susan Trombetti from Exclusive Matchmaking
3. “If you’re single and looking or in an existing relationship, flowers can add passion and/or pizazz. Pink or red flowers placed on your bedside tables will attract new and loving relationships or restore older ones.”
— Ellen Whitehurst from EllenWhitehurst.com
4. “Don’t forget! Think of what your partner likes, what makes him or her happy, and make it happen. It isn’t important to spend a lot, or make a big statement. Just focus on creating a smile and a kiss.”
— Tina Tessina from TinaTessina.com
5. “We believe that the best gift you can give your partner this Valentine’s Day is a happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationship. Remember that Valentine’s Day is not about buying an expensive gift or planning the most extravagant date. If you wish to do something special that’s fine too! High expectations on Valentine’s Day are a source of conflict in many relationships, so if you wish to celebrate, do it in a way that is comfortable for both you and your partner.”
— The Gottman Institute
6. “The best thing to do is to plan well enough in advance that you can both take the day or weekend off. Pick a location where you can be together to enjoy each other. Each of you should bring something, a gift you created that reminds you of something special about the other.”
— Parthenia Izzard from Alternative Medicine Therapies
7. “Know what your partner likes and remember it’s the little things that are the most special! Also, you can never go wrong with some flowers!”
— Marckens Pierre from Seriously Maybe
8. “The absolute best, most romantic gifts to give at Valentine’s Day (or any day) are gifts that come from the heart and have some significance behind them. Flowers and chocolates are, of course, always wonderful, but instead of going for the classic dozen red roses or chocolates, choose something that really means something to your significant other. Does she love orange tulips? Does he love chocolate fudge because it reminds him of days with his Dad at the Jersey Shore? That’s the kind of gift that really shows how much you care, and is sure win their heart forever!”
— Jane Garapick from Getting To True Love
9. “People often get caught up in the dream Valentine’s Day celebration. They are looking for the perfect gift, perfect activity and even the perfect outfit! I encourage my clients to be in the moment and focus on the LOVE! Make the memories today that you will cherish tomorrow when all the material things and possessions are gone.”
— Tracey R. Cobb from Living Authentically You!
Make Every Day Valentine’s Day
It’s not about being romantic only on Valentine’s Day. It’s about being romantic everyday, according to relationship experts. If you’re not expressing love and gratitude toward your significant other every single day, use this Valentine’s Day to jumpstart new habits with everyday romance.
10. “February 14th is certainly a fine day to acknowledge and express love toward your partner, but, it’s only one out of 365. So when you conjure up that romantic Valentine’s Day gesture, set an intention to act on it often, not just on Valentine’s Day. This way you can integrate more joy, love, spontaneity and appreciation into your relationship.”
— Leora Fulvia from LeoraFulvio.com
11. “Communicate and express your love (on Valentine’s Day) but the actions should be very similar to any other day, because if you are in a loving and stimulating relationship this should radiate from each of you throughout the year.”
— Justin Kelly McClure from The Online Dating Critic
12. “Make your sweetheart your Valentine 365 days a year by the little things you do to let her know she matters; these little things make a big difference, e.g., a compliment, a cute text, a flower or a special hug for no reason.”
— Dr. Karen Sherman from DrKarenSherman.com
13. “Make time every day to connect with your loved one. It’s simple as that.”
— Paula Levy from Couples Therapy CT
14. “The objective [of Valentine's Day] is to spend special time with the one you love without any distractions and to share something special that will linger beyond the day.”
— Parthenia Izzard from Wellness, Wholeness & Wisdom Radio
15. “Bottom line for Valentine’s Day: Show them how you have felt the entire year, then keep it going. Plants need water. If you stop watering them, they wilt and die. No matter how many years the plant lives, it will always need the proper amount of water… never less. Relationships are the same, but not with water… with effort and passion. They won’t need less because years have passed… and they don’t need it only once a year.”
— Charles Orlando from The Problem Is Men
Valentine’s Ideas from Romance Experts
Anyone in a relationship has probably dreamed of coming up with an impressively creative Valentine’s Day idea. To get your creative juices flowing, we asked our romance experts for their own ideas, which could be the most romantic thing they’ve done, had done for them, or something else completely original. Here are their answers:
16. “Face a fear and have fun together with hot air balloon ride, skydiving or scubadiving lessons! Get a couples massage together to increase intimacy and romance. Buy a dozen roses and put hearts on each one with loving messages or coupons such as ‘one free massage.’ Take your sweetheart to a place you love together or plan a trip to where you were married or fell in love.”
— Shannon Rios Paulsen from In Love With Me
17. “When I visited my husband in Australia and he met me at the airport with a rose, took me to the hotel and fixed a bubble bath with Champagne and strawberries, followed by a day of visiting some of the beautiful gardens in Sydney.”
— Sue Brans from Should I Stay or Should I Go?
18. “I would whisper my feelings of affection to my partner’s ears and affirm that he has that unique special place in my heart that no one could ever replace. I’m talking from a place of 29 years in marriage where spontaneity is no longer present. Yet, deeper and mature love is in place.”
— Liesel Nadela Aranoysa from Liesel Counselling
19. “The best Valentine’s gift is one that is personal. The longer a couple is together, the more information you have about each other. But even if you are a relatively new couple, if you pay attention and use your imagination, you can still hit out of the park. If your partner has a hobby, you can surprise them with a planned experience for the two of you. Giving flowers in your love’s favorite color or to match their birthstone also shows thought and attention to detail. Leaving small notes or gifts throughout the day or planning a treasure hunt to the final destination with clues meaningful to your relationship is always fun.”
— Lesli Doares from Fearless Marriage
20. “Gifts need not be expensive. A slide show of images of the two of you together set to a favorite song or a hand-constructed playlist given on a thumb drive are extremely romantic. One of the most romantic gifts I ever received was a small time capsule that included photos, music, a small scrapbook and a poem that told the story of the relationship to that point in time.”
— Dr. Lori Bisbey from Wolf’s Fire
21. “I think that the traditions we have are fine demonstrations of love. Flowers, a box of chocolates or a dinner out are great! If you want to tell the other person what they really mean to you though, a card with your own attempt at a love poem would be a cherished gift forever.”
— Bonnie Olson from BonnieOlsonLifeCoach.com
22. “Plan some quality time with your significant other and throw in some genuine, thoughtful words of appreciation for them! But if your lover’s love language is affectionate touch, then plan an elaborate seduction—chocolate-covered cherries, Champagne, lingerie, candles—in order to convey your love in a way that will be remembered!”
— Nancy Landrum from NancyLandrumBlog.com
23. “The most romantic Valentine’s Day I ever had was the first one I celebrated with my current boyfriend. He surprised me by taking the day off work and letting himself into my apartment early that afternoon to start cooking. When I arrived home, he had a full vegetarian meal prepared. He pulled out the chair, gave me a single rose, and poured me a glass of my favorite white wine which he had picked up that day. It was simple and sweet, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
— Charlotte Klein from My Pixie Blog
Thank you to all of our relationship experts who contributed ideas!