Showing how much you care about the special person in your life shouldn’t be complicated or stressful. The thought and the effort go a lot further than the dollars spent. You can avoid the high cost and crowds of soigné restaurants with a little advanced planning and creativity.
Do it yourself
The idea of a romantic home cooked meal by candle light may be short on originality, but it still can be one of the most enjoyable and economical options. This is especially true when the person being cooked for is typically the one doing most of the cooking for the household. But, both people can plan and prepare the home cooked meal and have a movie marathon…or actually talk to each other. The main thing is to not go overboard trying to make it romantic. Creativity favors the relaxed mind and romance favors a relaxed mood.
Get it to go
I’m not a fan of eating in the car. But, when the payoff is a road trip to one of my favorite destinations, I’m game. There are lots of low cost entertainment options and great short trips that can be squeezed in, when you plan ahead. Don’t feel that you are locked in to having a romantic evening. It is Valentine’s Day, not just Valentine’s Evening. Many parks, colleges, and communities have Valentine concerts. You can go the drive-thru route or, an even better option, have a picnic. The weather may or may not cooperate with your plan. But, a picnic in inclement weather can be enjoyable, romantic, and memorable. You probably will not have to deal with much of a crowd either. Give it a try.
Eat light, focus on the night
You do not have to make the meal the centerpiece of your time together. Whiling away the evening star gazing and chatting can be done at home for some folks. Most people can find great destinations with amazing views within driving distance. If your date is a day date, bike riding or a short hike are fun activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. Dancing and indoor rock climbing are there for you in the evening. There are lots of dances and many indoor climbing facilities, fitness centers, and spas have Valentine’s Day specials. There are many 5K races, too.
Lastly, remember, it is your time together. The two of you decide when to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You do not have to cave to the commercial pressures of making February 14 any better than every other day. The candy and flowers can still be bought on February 15. And it is a lot easier to get a reservation, too.