Well, it’s here. Valentine’s Day (landing on a Friday) has arrived and whether you’re looking to bust out the full romance works to turn up the heat tonight, chill with something low-key or you kind of lost track of time and are freaking out about how to not royally upset your SO, we’ve got a few ideas about how you can make the day special.
Though you might be hard-pressed to find someone who will actually turn away a box of chocolates, there are plenty of other things you can do to show your love that are a million times more meaningful than buying things (especially if your love language isn’t gift giving). To help you lovebirds out, we’ve come up with 100 small, easy and inexpensive ways to show a little love and affection this Valentine’s Day. (Pro-tip: You can do a few of these smaller ones any day and instantly be a more thoughtful partner.)
Remember, the simplest things can go a long way in your relationship.
100. Send your sweetie a sweet, short and sexy text or email. (Not to a work email!)
99. Leave a little note in his/her briefcase or laptop bag so they will find it when they get to work.
98. When your significant other gets home, be waiting in the bedroom dressed in your favorite sexy lingerie (or nothing at all!)… you know what happens next.
97. Plan a surprise outing! Start with dinner at your partner’s favorite restaurant, then reveal tickets to a show or sports game.
96. Do the chore he/she hates the most. Acts of service are no joke! Taking on the work that they wouldn’t want to do (icky dry food on dishes? unclogging the drain?) is a sweet way to let them know you’re a team and you get it.
95. Surprise him/her with that special something they have been coveting (no matter how big or small).
94. Send flowers or cookies for no reason at all.
93. Take the dog for a walk or complete another “chore” your partner usually tackles.
92. Stock the fridge with his/her favorite beer or wine and the shelves with his/her favorite snacks.
91. Stop by your sweetie’s office around lunchtime with his/her favorite noontime nosh.
90. Take a drive together — car trips provide some of the best time for talking one-on-one.
89. Snuggle after sex — even if you are tired.
88. Give a back massage.
87. Offer a foot rub — without asking for one in return!
86. Fill up your partner’s gas tank.
85. If he/she comes home after a night with friends way past the time he/she said they would, let it go.
84. Make breakfast in bed.
83. Stay in bed all day — pajamas optional.
82. Take a late-night, hand-in-hand stroll around your neighborhood.
81. Sign up for a class you know he/she has wanted to take together.
80. Make up silly nicknames for each other that you only call each other in private!
79. Make a mouse pad (or a mug or a calendar) with your picture on it (or your pet’s picture).
78. Start a new hobby together.
77. Do something nice for his/her mother, brother, sister, etc.
76. Let him/her pick the movie this time.
75. Make a special dinner.
74. When your sig-o gets home, hand him/her a glass of wine, sit down together and talk about your days.
73. Do chores or errands without being asked and without complaining.
72. Put the toilet seat down (or up) with a funny/cute/snarky Post-it note.
71. Leave a note on the bathroom mirror so he/she will see it first thing in the morning.
70. Send a sexy picture message.
69. Leave a note for your sig-o to meet at his/her favorite bar or club. When he/she arrives, do some fun role-play and pretend you are meeting for the first time.
68. Wash his/her car and leave a love note on the air freshener.
67. Do his/her laundry if you don’t usually own this chore.
66. Recreate your first date — then recall all the feelings you had for each other that very first night.
65. Make a creative coupon book (free massage, free night out with the guys, etc.) without an expiration date!
64. Book a couple’s massage.
63. Plan a romantic getaway to a bed and breakfast.
62. Dedicate a day to the one you love — plan a day filled with his/her favorite things.
61. Plan a surprise party.
60. Send him/her a nice (or naughty!) card. Even if you live together, mail it!
59. Take out the trash. Again, this only works if you don’t usually do it.
58. Buy a calendar and fill it with important dates (our first dinner together, our three-year anniversary, etc.).
57. Have a romantic/sexy photo session done together or have sexy pictures taken of yourself and make a private album for your partner.
56. Make a big deal out of the holidays.
55. Scatter rose petals on the bed
54. If he/she has to work late, have his/her favorite takeout delivered to the office, and prepay, of course!
53. Have a talk about the future and let him/her know that he/she is a part of it (even if you’re married, this is a nice reminder).
52. Buy his/her favorite perfume or cologne, and simply put it in the medicine cabinet for him/her to discover.
51. Declare a day of the week “your” day — always spend that day together, even if you just snuggle on the couch together.
A version of this article was originally published in February 2011.