5 Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Your SO


5 Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Your SO

Rebeca Santiago


For many years now, Valentine's Day has been known for the odd gift-giving of chocolates, flowers (more commonly, roses), jewelry, and dinners between couples (stereotypically, from the man to the woman). These gifts tend to be more superficial and maybe even easily forgotten, and sometimes our budget can be a little tight for grand, meaningful gestures. It might be a grand gesture, but is it meaningful?

So, here are five non-traditional (and some inexpensive) ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with your significant other:


1. You can stay in.


It has become a tradition to go out on Valentine's if you have a SO and to stay in if you're single. The truth is, sometimes, between studying, working, and the stress that life brings in general, going out can be exhausting even if it is with your partner. Staying in together can lead to intimate conversations and a relaxed night of enjoying each other's company. There are plenty of things you can do when you stay in: watch movies (but we'll get to that later), do a puzzle, cook together, or taste-test a bunch of chocolates.

It removes pressure from both parties and can become a more honest and genuine way to express your feelings towards the other person. The superficialities of dressing up and going somewhere “nice” no longer become a prompt for a compliment, therefore something like “you look great tonight” is more sincere.


2. A book:


J. K. Rowling once said, “If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book.” I find this to be surprisingly true, due to the fact that I have witnessed stubborn people that insist reading is boring find a book that enthralled them completely.

If you know your SO well enough, you might be able to find that book that will convert them into a bookworm; or if they already love reading, a book they don't already own. Books can become treasured gifts and are definitely more long-lasting than a rose or a box of chocolates.


3. You can have a movie night!


Having a movie night is probably still a common way to spend Valentine’s Day or any date night, really, but there are ways you can give it your own touch. You can go out or stay in, but the idea is to steer clear of rom coms and other cheesy equivalents. Pick something new or out of your comfort zone, you might surprise yourselves. You can discuss what you liked about the movie, what was over the top, what the movie could've done with or without; debate, have fun.

If you’re watching films you’ve already seen, then do a movie bingo! Or a movie drinking game. That last one works great with the Percy Jackson movies: take a shot at every movie mistake or every time Percy says ‘woah’.

Bottom line: enjoy the movie and the time you spend together.


4. Gift your significant other a  memento.


Whether it's a picture, a drawing, a poem, or even a ticket stub from a play or movie, if it's a pleasant memory or an allusion to a dear moment or achievement, it's always refreshing to remember. It could be a picture of your first anniversary or, if you haven't been together that long, something from your first date. The important thing is that it’s a fond memory or an important moment for both. You can talk to each other about how you felt when you went there and how you feel now. It will be a beautiful trip down memory lane.


7. Show your partner your appreciation:


It's nice to be appreciated, especially by your SO. This is something to do throughout the whole year, not just a few nights a year. An emotionally significant relationship (this naturally excludes casual affairs, flings, and interactions of that nature) needs to be nourished. That means getting into arguments (good or bad), being each other’s friend and cheerleader, having honest conversations, and appreciating each other. This goes both ways: compliments go a long way for anyone (especially guys, who don't hear it often enough).


Valentine's Day can be a special occasion, but that doesn't automatically mean that we have to go on a spending spree to obtain the perfect gift. We should normalize sincere and meaningful gifts, not superficial remedies that can be forgotten with time. Going out of your way to remind someone what they mean to you is always worth it.

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5