CandleCredit: morgulefile: sioda

You've hit a rough spot and find yourself in a bind.  Do you want to take that special someone out for your Friday night date. Or the biggest date night of the year... Valentine's Day?  But... you're still feeling the pinch from the last winter holiday season.  So you're not sure you can pull something off.

This day in age, we have so many gadgets and mediums of expression.  We're constantly doing "something."  So it may feel weird to not have to spend money to do "something" or buy "something" for someone to express our feelings.

Long-stem roses and fancy Belgium chocolates are nice, but it's your sincere effort that will have a lasting effect. Self-expression goes a long way.

 Here are a some ideas which might spark up your special night.You might have your own favorites to add to this list. 

  • Write a love letter/Make a card - ditch the texting, emailing, Facebooking, Tweeting.  Go old school and find that piece of paper leftover from the 1990's.  This is a way in which you can reveal your feelings, emotions and appreciation of eachother. 
    • Making a card can be a lot of fun.  You can use magazine clippings or those memorable moments that were photographed from your last vacation and make them into a card. 
  • Pick a flower or two - one simple flower plucked from your yard or your neighbor's is sufficient.  Two flowers are a nice symbolic gesture of "being a pair."Flower PairCredit: morguefile: ronnieb
  • Cook a meal/Bake something - another simple yet personal gesture.  It makes one feel special, to have someone cook for them.  If you are domestically challenged - give baking a try.  It requires placing ingredients in a bowl and then pouring into another baking pan and then placing it in the oven, for the most part.
  • Ask your local florist for loose petals or flowers about to be thrown away - spread them on the bed, make a trail from the front door of the home to... wherever the destination (the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, etc.)
  • Massage each other - find out where your loved one would enjoy a massage, their neck, back, shoulders or feet?  A nice foot massage can make one melt.  And take the time to give them a nice, relaxing, enjoyable massage. 
  • Light candles and turn out all the lights - simply setting the mood can cause romance to sift through the air.  If you have an oil warmer, bring that out as well.  This can enliven some of our other senses, such as smell and sight.
  • Go for a walk and hold hands - not only does it cost next to nothing, it's also exercise.  Depending on the destination, some parks are only accessible by parking in a paid lot.  Beaches are a great place to walk, offering many options of a boardwalk, pier or street performers sometimes. Or picnic in some of these outdoor settings. Bring a blanket, a basket with goodies and a carafe of your favorite beverage.  You can enjoy a special moment in the park while having a meal and stretching out your legs.
    • Extra tip: Valentine's Weekend, which is also President's Day Weekend in the U.S., is also a National Park Free Weekend for the United States.  Beach walkCredit: morgue file: nadejdam
  • Watch a sunset or sunrise - the sight of all the colors brings a sense of beauty and sharing that moment can be very special.  If you both are more night people and the moon is full - go look at the moon while you hold each other.
  • Do an activity together - do you share a passion for arts, a hobby or cooking?  Set up a session where you two can indulge in your passion together with a romantic twist - by using any of the ideas above (lighting candles, loose flower petals, etc.)
  • If you stay at home play music - another enlivening of the senses.  Use the sense of hearing to play music that sets the mood. It might be softer music, jazz or the right kind of classical music or whatever song brings back special memories of your love.
  • Dance a slow dance while in each other's arms - going along with the above suggestion.  While the music plays, enjoy a nice slow dance. 

CONCLUSION: It's the little things that count.  The personal touch you put into your dates can stir up passionate memorable moments.  Don't let your bank account stop you.

Two hearts draw in sand
Credit: morgueFile: deegolden