How to celebrate your first Valentine’s Day together

Feb 11, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET

The first Valentine’s Day you share with your new sweetie is always the hardest. Do you make it a big deal or treat it like nothing special? What kind of gift is appropriate?

Valentines day couple

We’ve got you covered — here are some ideas for you and your boyfriend to have a great first Valentine’s Day together.

Step 1: Stay casual

The most important rule is to keep it casual. If you’ve only been dating a short while, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself (or him) with enormous expectations of a perfect night. Talk about Valentine’s Day in advance so you can both plan the day together. Collaborating on a casual day will take the pressure off both of you.

Step 2: Nix the spending

Don’t spend a ridiculous amount on money on a holiday before you’ve even had your first anniversary! Do yourself a favor and set a strict spending limit for gifts. Your relationship is still young, so keep it fun. Cap the spending at $20 so your gifts are silly and unique rather than expensive. You may even start a new tradition for your relationship.

Step 3: Catch a show

Spend your first Valentine’s Day catching a show. Scour your local pubs for an unknown band you can discover together or buy tickets to hear a great classic band. Not only will you enjoy a unique date together, the presence of a crowd will take the focus off the daunting day. If you and your guy are still in the beginning stages, this is a fun alternative to an intimate dinner setting that may be way too much for your budding relationship.

Step 4: Date in the daytime

Dating in the daylight will automatically make your Valentine’s Day lighter and more casual. Spend the day together on a hike or ice skating if you live in a colder climate. You want to make your Valentine’s Day date feel natural, not forced or contrived, so taking the day off to spend a few flirty hours with your boyfriend is a perfect way to spend your first Valentine’s Day together.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun. It’s a day to celebrate all things love. As long as you’re having fun with your guy, it’s going to be the best first Valentine’s Day for both of you.

More on Valentine's Day dates

10 Casual Valentine's Day date ideas
12 Alternative Valentine's Day ideas
How to have the perfect first date