10 ways to make Valentine's Day special - but not expensive!

Chocolate, champagne, roses...

But what next?

There is a certain expectation which comes along with Valentine's Day, whether you are in a long-term relationship or are embarking on a new romance. Either way, Valentine's Day is one to make special. It is often, also, a day where it is all to easy to fall into the realms of predictability. I'm not saying that roses and chocolates aren't fantastic (as I woman, on the contrary, I can say that they are!), but what I love even more is when my partner makes the effort and does some different or unexpected. The very idea that someone has really thought about it is far more romantic than any bottle of champagne. In the same way, Valentine's Day does not have to be expensive. There are far more ways to make your loved one feel special than flashing the cash. Here are my top ten Valentine's Day ideas - some of which involve money and some which really don't!

  1. Run your partner a romantic bubble bath. Sensuous smells and candlelight. Open a bottle of wine and offer your services as a back masseur....
  2. Buy tickets to a musical or show. Maybe even a comedian. As well as taking your partner out for a romantic meal, you can twin it with an unexpected trip out. Just make sure that it is something that you know your partner would be interested in!
  3. If your partner is a shopaholic (and if you are brave enough!), offer your services as a 'shopping servant' for the day. Yes, for one day only, you promise to follow her around, without complaining, and carry her bags. Come on, it is only one day!
  4. Stay in and watch romantic films - it doesn't need to be about going out. Sometimes staying in can be far more romantic.
  5. Make your partner a present. It could just be a CD of songs that mean something to you both. Again, the thought means so much more than the cost.
  6. Cook your partner a lovely romantic meal at home. Set the lights low, put candles on the table and play romantic music in the background.
  7. Give your partner a photo album, full of photos of your times together. If you prefer a more hi-tech option, do the same with an electronic photo frame.
  8. Make your partner breakfast in bed.
  9. If you have been together for a while and live with your partner, go out on a date. Get dressed in private and agree to meet somewhere, without seeing the other one until you get there. Make a real effort. It may remind you of the days when you first got together!
  10. Take a romantic walk - after all, Valentine's Day is about spending quality time together. I always find that my partner and I have lovely conversations while we are out for a walk.

Whether there is something in this list for you or not, hopefully it will have prompted you with ideas for Valentine's Day. In addition, I would like to add that if you are not with a partner, why not invite some like-minded individuals around for a meal? You never know - you might find that you start a new romance for one of your friends.

Please add any more ideas in the comments section!