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What to do When You Hate Valentine’s Day

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a cheap date.

You have to be when you own a business called $30 Date Night. When Den takes me out on the town, it barely ever sets us back more than $40 – and that’s when we’re splurging. Ditto when I take him out.

Who can afford to be going on lavish nights out all the time anyway?

It stopped being ‘his’ money and ‘my’ money a long time ago.

While we still have separate accounts, it’s painfully obvious that any money either of us spend is at the expense of our mortgage – and when there’s a kitchen and bathroom renovation on the horizon (can’t wait), it’s even harder to justify spending hundreds of dollars when we can have fun at a fraction of that cost.

Cue Valentine’s Day in all its commercial glory.

You all know how it is – people grumble to me about it all the time. “Not in the spirit of romance”; “Every day should be Valentine’s Day”; “Should rename it Hallmark day”

Is it the high prices (and high interest rates?) that are making us all Valentine scrooges?

Let’s learn to stop hating Valentine’s Day by peeling all the shiny, commercialised layers off it and pare it back to what it is supposed to be – a day to show your sweetie how you feel about them.

Let’s learn to stop hating Valentine’s Day by peeling all the shiny, commercialised layers off it and pare it back to what it is supposed to be – a day to show your sweetie how you feel about them.

Infinitely thoughtful, exquisitely simple gestures and gifts are the best way to wear your heart on your sleeve this Valentine’s Day:

Handwrite your lover a letter, or make them a card yourself. It shows you’ve put thought and work into their gift. Meaningful words they can keep are worth much more than the first stuffed toy you grabbed off the shelf.

Cook a three-course meal at home. Why sit in a restaurant eating the set menu with every other couple in the neighbourhood when you could impress your sweetie with all their favourite things to eat in the comfort of your own house? Don’t forget to set the scene with laidback music and a few candles. And turn the TV off. Otherwise it could just be any other night.

If you want to get the romance out of the way upfront, serve breakfast in bed. Blueberry pancakes, fresh-squeezed OJ and a coffee is all it takes to melt your partner. Throw a single flower from the garden onto the tray for extra brownie points.

Whisk your partner away from the office in their lunch hour for a picnic in the park. Pack a basket ahead of time with soft cheese, fruit and frittata. Don’t forget the blanket. A romantic interlude in the middle of the day will leave them floating over their keyboard all afternoon.

If you’re feeling particularly anti-Valentine’s, head to a seedy pool hall or a loud bowling alley and spend some quality time drinking beer and playing ball games.

Perhaps you just want to be alone? Jump in a row boat and head out into the middle of a lake or river where you can leave the cardboard Cupids behind. Or get tickets to the drive in where you can watch a movie from the privacy of your very own leather interior… and maybe even make out a bit during the previews.

If your partner has a sense of adventure, surprise them by waking them up at 6am and take them somewhere picturesque to watch the sunrise. Grab breakfast from a bakery on the way home, where you croissants will be still-warm from the oven.

All low-cost, anti-establishment Valentine’s ideas. There is no excuse to not celebrate. Valentine’s Day comes but once a year – take the opportunity to show the object of your affection how you feel about them. Why wouldn’t you?

There are many more ideas where those came from. Be creative, but keep it simple. Sometimes the simple things are the most romantic of all… don’t you agree?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


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