Is it more important to love … or to be loved?
Most of us would agree with George Eliot’s words, “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.”
Valentine’s Day is the occasion when you can experience both. We asked FamilyLife Facebook friends and Marriage Memo readers to share some of their favorite Valentine’s Day ideas.
With a little help from our friends, here are 25 creative ways to tell your spouse, “I love you.”
1. On small pieces of paper, write down every kind of kiss that you can think of (examples: passionate, on the cheek, etc.). Then fill an inexpensive red felt bag with your “kisses” and give it to your spouse. Ask your spouse to pull several pieces of paper from the felt bag, and then give your sweetheart whatever kind of kiss is described.
2. Make a book about why you love your spouse and why you are thankful for him/her. The woman who sent this idea wrote, “He loved it! Said it was the best gift he has ever gotten. And it helped me to focus on the things I love about my husband and not his shortcomings.”
3. Take your sweetie on a scavenger hunt. Ask him/her to answer riddles to find the clues to items that you placed somewhere around town. The last item should give instructions that lead to your Valentine’s Day activities.
4. After enjoying a candlelight dinner for two at home, give your spouse a massage and watch a romantic movie. The woman who suggested this wrote, “Last Valentine’s Day when I got home from work, my husband … had our bedroom set up with a candlelit table for two. He is NOT a cook but he made an awesome meal … grilled steak, sautéed shrimp in lemon, garlic, and butter, a vegetable, and [he] bought a chocolate fountain that was flowing—surrounded by fresh fruit for dipping. After dinner he led me over to his homemade massage table. … We ended our special night with a romantic movie.
5. Surprise your spouse with a special getaway together. The man who suggested this made reservations at a bed and breakfast, arranged for childcare, asked for time off from work for himself and his wife, and packed his and her bags. When he asked his wife to go to lunch on Valentine’s Day she was in for a wonderful surprise. “The little bit of effort I put into that weekend paid off huge for weeks to come.” (For an extra special experience, take your spouse to one of FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. It's one of the best investments you could make in your marriage. Find an event near you.
6. Give your wife a dozen roses. On each stem attach a note for a future date—to do something that she would enjoy (example: Go to the symphony).
7. If possible, go on a date with your spouse to a restaurant that you enjoyed when you first met. After you order your meal, take some time to write down favorite memories from the past year. Then share your lists.
8. Have 11 roses delivered to your wife, and then give her a 12th yourself while reading her a love poem.
9. Fill a large box with helium balloons and special gifts for Valentine’s Day. The woman who suggested this said that her gifts included “new sleep shorts for him and a new nightgown for me, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries and red napkins ... some new candles, and a romantic CD. He got the hint. And loved the weekend.”
10. Create an intimate Valentine’s Day evening at home, without the children. The woman who suggested this idea said that she and her husband “enjoyed planning the menu, shopping for the meal, and ultimately preparing the meal together. Cooking to soft, romantic music can really be a turn on! While dining, the same soft, romantic music is a wonderful mood-setter. Dinner was followed by just the two of us having the whole dance floor, our den, to ourselves. I won’t say what all this led to, but it was a truly romantic night that would not have happened at the local restaurant!”
11. Order food from a take-out restaurant and have a picnic for all the Valentines in your family on your living room floor. The person who suggested this said, “The kids look forward to this every year. When we tried to change it, they wouldn’t allow it ... it has become a tradition. The kids see the value of family and a loving marriage.”
12. Privacy and weather permitting, watch a romantic movie on your deck or patio.
13. If you are separated across the miles, send a care package filled with things that are red.
14. Make a meal with symbols of love. Examples: Write I love you with string beans, make a tart in the shape of a heart …
15. Hide little heart candies in your spouse’s shoes, coat, car, etc. The woman who suggested this said that she’s been doing this for decades. “Now a couple of the grandkids help me with delight.”
16. Wives, show up at your husband’s office before lunch. Call him from the parking lot and tell him you are going to take him for a lunch rendezvous and that you will be waiting for him whenever he can take a break. Wear a nice outfit and tell him you have something sexy on underneath for when he gets home. Take him to a nice place for lunch and back to the office. Give him some great kisses telling him how glad you are to be married to him, and tell him you will be waiting for him when he gets home.
17. Fill a jar with Valentine candy and notes for your spouse. Examples of notes are: Good for a backrub, 10 kisses, etc. Notes could also express your love and respect: “I am so glad that God blessed my life with such a great husband like you.” Individually roll each note and tie it with a ribbon.
18. Surprise your spouse by taking a vacation day from work and enjoy Valentine’s Day at home. Have a relaxing morning together on the porch, deck, or patio. Then go to a favorite restaurant for lunch. The man who suggested this idea had also reserved a spa treatment and tanning session for his wife. “While she was doing that,” he says, “I went home and made her a special dinner.”
19. Write a poem for your spouse and frame it.
20. On individual note cards, write why you love your spouse. Insert these cards in a small photo album. The woman who suggested this idea began her album with a honeymoon picture and introductory note card, and ended it with a love note.
21. Surprise your husband when he comes home from work on February 14. Place a welcome sign on the kitchen table and leave a trail of red foil-wrapped Hershey kisses to your bedroom.
22. With roses in hand and permission from your wife’s boss, go to her workplace and read a love poem to her. The woman who shared this idea said, “I am a teacher in an inner city school. Last year my husband dressed in my favorite suit and tie, came to my school with roses in hand. He got permission and assistance from the office staff to open the speaker system into my classroom and proceeded to read a long and beautiful love poem to me. He then came to my classroom and presented me with the bouquet of roses which I received while wiping my tears of joy and love for this wonderful man whom I have been married to for just under 30 years.”
23. Make a special “14 Reasons I Love You” Valentine’s Day breakfast for your sweetheart. On his/her plate, leave a letter or card listing 14 reasons that you love your spouse.
24. If possible, send a card postmarked in a town that has a romantic name such as Loveland, Colorado; Valentine, Texas; or Romance, Arkansas.
25. After your spouse goes to bed, tape notes to his car’s steering wheel with reasons that you love him, or decorate the bathroom mirror with lipstick kisses or Valentine’s window clings.
Have fun on February 14, and remember: Love is not meant to be given and received on just Valentine’s Day. Instead, it’s to be practiced every single day of the entire year.
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