Exchanging Valentine's Day Gifts doesn't have to be like birthday gifts - you give him one and he gives you one. I mean, the whole point of Valentine's Day is to be together as a couple, to reconnect, to embrace your relationship and your love. Some of our -- and our readers -- favorite Valentine's Day gifts are actually gifts that you can use as a couple rather than individually.
A Night -- or two -- Away.
When I polled our readers, the #1 most desired Valentine's Day gift was a night or weekend away. Nothing recharges your relationship and keeps the magic alive like an escape from real life. While the gift may, on the outside, appear to be the actual getaway, what you're really giving your partner is the gift of yourself -- time together and the chance to recharge and reconnect.
While the logistics may take a little more planning than your average Valentine's Day gift and the cost make be a bit more as well, the end result is priceless.
I know, I know, this sounds so cliche': A romantic dinner, roses, and perhaps some candy. But really, a romantic dinner date out at your favorite restaurant can be incredible, despite it's seemingly uncreative vibe.
If you want something with a little more creativity to it for Valentine's Day, try dinner out and then an even more intimate dessert at home. Or try one of my favorites: the progressive dinner! Drinks at one restaurant, appetizer at another, main course at another, and finally dessert at another. You'll need time to work your way through this, but you'll have so much fun together visiting different restaurants and trying the different options.
If you're on a budget or just want to shake things up a bit though and try an intimate and romantic dinner at home together. First, find the perfect recipe. You may choose several courses, or simply a new take on an old favorite. Whatever you choose, don't skip dessert! ;)
A Couple's Massage
Without a doubt, one of the most favorite things that my husband and I have done together were the open air beach cabana massages in the Bahamas while on a cruise. There was a warm breeze, the smell of the ocean, and my husband next to me. It was one of the most relaxing and intimate experiences that my husband and I have had and a chance to reconnect and bond. My husband's not really a spa-going type of man, but even he admitted that he couldn't wait to do it again!
While our setting was perhaps a bit more exotic, I'm not suggesting that you need a Caribbean vacation, because you can achieve the same results at any local spa. Most full service spas offer couple's massages as a standard on their menu of services.
If you want to surprise your sweetie with a couple's massage, book it at their favorite spa (if you know it!) or try a program like SpaFinder, where you purchase a universal gift certificate and then pick the actual spa at a later date.
If you're on a budget, try giving each other massages as home as you don't need much to create a romantic spa experience in your own home. First, I'd start with some technique tips. Even if you consider yourself a skilled masseuse when it comes to your partner, even the most experienced can learn something here! My favorite book is Connecting through Touch.
Once you have the technique down, pick up some essential massage oils and other mood setting accessories, such as candles. One of my absolute favorites, and most often recommended, is the JimmyJane massage candle, which offers sensual scents and is perfect for pouring on your partner as you massage.
While Valentine's Day is a great way to start with massage, don't leave it behind once the holiday passes. Instead, commit to practicing and perfect your massage technique together throughout the year!
Classes & Workshops
Most days fly by in blur for both me and my husband. Between work, keeping up with 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats, plus the house, and just everyday responsibilities, we sometimes lose track of each other as a couple.
While I could write a book on making time for one another and connecting, despite your "to do" list, I'll instead suggest another of my favorite gifts ideas: take a class together!
This gift is essentially the best gift you can give -- the gift of time. Take a break from your busy schedules and learn something new together. It'll not only be fun, it'll bring you closer together as well. In fact, research shows that couple's that play together, stay together!
There are so many great options out there from photography, to cooking, to gardening, and more that you're sure to find something that you'll both enjoy!
Look at local businesses and see if they offer anything -- for instance, we have a store that sells kitchen and cooking products and they offer a couple's cooking course. You can also check out the local community college for classes like photography.
A really cool site that I discovered a few months back is called Giftybox. They have a wide selection of classes and workshops to choose from together.
Photo Memory Book
If you're looking for a timeless gift that documents your romance or something with a more personal touch, try creating your own scrapbook or photo memory books.
Creating your own relationship scrapbook is easier than you may think. Start with a book, photos documenting your relationship, and your own thoughts put to words and you have the perfect Valentine's Day gift.
If you struggle in the creativity department, try the photobooks from the various online photo services.