Design your perfect Valentine’s Day
by Sigourney Young
I know, I know, you have half a mind to just cancel Valentine’s Day altogether. I feel you. We’ve had some decidedly disappointing Valentine’s Days.
The first Valentine’s Day that my husband and I shared was actually a total bust. He booked a table at a swish degustation in the city and we paid through the nose for something neither of us actually wanted.
We felt totally out of place in the dim lights and cocktail attire. Even though we’d been dating for almost a year we’d apparently never discussed our actual expectations for Valentine’s and what a perfect day would look like for us. If we had we would have known that neither of us liked fancy set menus.
Here we sat realising that he thought I’d like Valentine’s to be special, and I’d thought he wanted the same. Tell you what, by the end of the night when the bill came, we felt pretty silly.
So yeah, we’ve had some bad Valentine’s, but we’ve also had some good ones. And the best ones are the ones where we forget about the rest of the world. We don’t have to acknowledge Valentine’s at all, but if you want an excuse to make a random day in the middle of February a little more joyful than the days either side of it, then I’m all for it.
And if you are still searching for Mr or Mrs Right, Valentine’s is a great time to tell others in your life how much you love them. The more love you give out to the world, to yourself and others, the more that comes back around. Most of these tips apply to anyone you want to show a little more love to, or you can check out my Galentine’s Day post for tips celebrating your lady friends.
Decide what Valentine’s Day is to you
Valentine’s Day can be whatever you make it! It can be big and fancy or small and quiet. You can make big gestures or leave a note. Think about what it is you value about Valentine’s Day. To me, it’s a chance to practice a little more gratitude and a little more love. It’s cosy and private and doesn’t require big gestures. I love exchanging cards and making some extra time together. Think about what you want to get out of the day and share it with your partner!
Talk about your perfect day
Start by talking about what your perfect date day or night would be like. What is important to you? Do you love going out on the town, exploring somewhere new or curling up on the couch? Valentine’s doesn’t mean that you have to change. We look at ads for Valentine’s Day and think that all of a sudden we must want the fancy meal, giant teddy bear or heart-shaped brownie. Scrap all that. Go back to basics and forget what the media wants you to want.
What do you love doing together and how can you bring more of that into your day? Even if it’s little things, like cooking together, or reading a book together, find something you love and make space in your schedule. Or if your perfect day is a whirlwind adventure or a surprise, tell your partner that too. Find out how your perfect days intersect!
Think of small gestures and meaningful gifts
One of my favourite things to do on Valentine’s Day is to make little notes and cards. We made kitschy medallions for each other with things like ‘best tea maker’ on them and leave little notes around the house. Valentine’s is a great day to practice gratitude and to think about what you can do for your partner to make their lives a little easier. Perhaps bring them an extra cup of coffee in the morning or send them a text telling them you’re thinking of them. You might do this every day (and I think we all should), but Valentine’s Day is as good a day as any to start, or to keep it up. We also only do gifts if we find something that is truly meaningful for us. We aim for items that are handmade and close to our hearts, that will transcend the current trends or add colour and joy to our home. If you’re looking for something special I recommend Etsy for beautiful items from makers around the world, and of course I’d love to paint you something special (do check out the shop if you’re still looking for the perfect thing!).
Make the perfect playlist
Music has the power to transform any moment. Make the perfect playlist for your night and fill it with songs you love, not about love (though that’s okay too!). Remember driving back from a day out and singing in the car? Add it to the playlist! Heard your partner listening to something on repeat lately? Add it to the playlist! Fill it with songs that bring back memories and bring you joy. I’ll be drawing on our wedding playlist this year. Especially all the perfect dance songs at the start.
I’m a synesthesia artist that will be forever found with paint on my nose, dancing around the studio in my yoga pants. I love travel, gluten-free brownies and working from the home studio I share with my husband. My goal? To bring you into the world of synesthesia and to create a space online that celebrates the colour and meaning of music.
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