Thoughtful Ways to Show Gratitude this Valentine's Day


I believe in experiences and I feel no differently about this on Valentine's Day.

I hear too often that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday.” I’m not even sure what this means. I think sometimes we may get caught up in the costs of flowers or chocolates, but this holiday isn’t about those gestures. For me, Valentine’s Day is a day to slow down, revisit what makes your relationship so special, and share your gratitude for one another.

If Valentine’s Day isn’t for you, that’s totally okay! I do think, however, that it’s important for you and your partner to be on the same page about the day or to make compromises if you aren’t.

Here are some ideas for how to spend this Valentine’s Day with the person you love:

  • Plan carefully for a special dinner or dessert together
  • Help one another with a household chore
  • Make a game night out of the evening
  • Cuddle to a movie with popcorn
  • Pack an indoor picnic
  • Plan time for romance
  • Escape work and meet for lunch or coffee
  • Send an unexpected email
  • Write a note and leave it in a surprising place
  • Wake up early and workout together
  • Wake up early and share a big breakfast together that you wouldn’t normally make
  • Reminisce over wedding photographs or other pictures
  • Turn off all distractions and simply be together with a glass of wine (you’ll be surprised where the conversation may take you)
  • Get dressed up and create your own happy hour
  • Create a wine tasting
  • Head out on an overnight getaway
  • Have children? Make it a fun family evening

Sometimes, just one gesture can make the day feel out the norm. 

Here are things Dustin and I have given each other in the past. We don't believe in buying gifts, so most ideas are special things we’ve made or something that led to an experience.

  • Make a book of why you love your partner. Each page can be a different reason. Be silly and romantic!
  • Make a small booklet of what you learned about your relationship and your partner over the past year.
  • Send your love on a traveling scavenger hunt through the places you love to go together.
  • Create a personalized at home scavenger hunt. One year, I made one that brought Dustin through books that we both loved!
  • Develop a menu for your partner and let them choose what they’d like while you treat them and make it.
  • Create a menu of options for the day: cross country skiing, happy hour, arcade, the list could go on!
  • Curate a personalized board game.

Whatever you choose this this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to share your gratitude with your partner. Spend quality time together, share words of affirmation, help one another, and if it’s for you, give a small gift.