- Throw a party: There’s no hard and fast rule against involving your friends in your Valentine celebration—just make sure your significant other is OK with it first. And if your relationship is somewhat new, this is a fun and easy way to take some of the pressure off. If you’re not much for party planning, just hang up a few tacky decorations, tell your guests to BYOB and let the good times roll. This one works if you’re single too, of course.
- Volunteer: Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to give back. There are lots of charity events hosted on Valentine’s Day so you can pick one.
- Create DIY gifts: Instead of blowing your money on expensive flowers and candy that will last a few days at best, agree to give each other homemade presents; or work on a DIY project that you’ll both enjoy.
- Plan a theme night: This year you can decide to forget the hearts and roses and center your Valentine’s Day around one of you and your better half’s shared interests. Whether it’s a favorite city, TV show or sports team, try to go all out on the theme for maximum enjoyment. Not to mention that planning the night will be half the fun if it’s something you’re both enthusiastic about.
- Indulge in an extreme experience: For the thrill-seeking couple, Feb. 14 is the perfect day to live on the edge. Choose from skydiving, driving a race car or hang-gliding. After all, nothing says, “I love you,” like jumping out of a plane together.
- Nothing: Part of the reason that Valentine’s Day often doesn’t live up to the hype is that people have such high expectations. If you decide beforehand to treat it as just an ordinary day, it’s much more likely to be a relaxing — and non-argument-inducing — experience. Binge-watch that show you’ve been meaning to check out. Lay in bed reading. Nap. Order a pizza. Seriously, whatever floats your boat.