Wondering what you can do to let your partner or new crush that you recently met on a dating app know that you like them? Good news: You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or buy two tickets for a romantic getaway on a tropical island to do it!
Here are 10 small ways to show your date some love this Valentine’s Day.
1. Buy them a bouquet of flowers
Women aren’t the only people who enjoy getting flowers. Nope, everybody does! No matter what your gender identity is, who you’re dating, or how long you two have been together, you can’t go wrong by buying your date a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Red roses are traditionally considered the most lovely flower to give somebody to symbolize your affection, but any type of flower will work (even weeds, as long as you pick the pretty ones). Bonus points if you know and buy their favorite type of flower.
Dried flowers are stunning, too. They also last forever, which can be super romantic, especially if you want to get the hint across to them that your love is for forever, too.
2. Write them a love letter
It might be anxiety-inducing to open up and get vulnerable with a new partner, especially for the ones who don’t feel comfortable getting mushy or sentimental with anyone. But sharing your feelings doesn’t cost a penny, and it can really help to strengthen your connection with your date.
Consider writing your person a letter that highlights some of the things that you admire about them, the ways that they make your life better, and what you like most about your relationship or the time that you’ve already spent together. A few words of affirmation can go a long way in making your date feel appreciated and loved on Valentine’s Day, and beyond.
3. Cook them a meal
Of course, you and your date can go out to eat at a fancy (and probably crowded) restaurant on Valentine’s Day. That’s a great, classic way to celebrate the holiday, and you know that you’ll enjoy a nice meal without the need to clean up or wash dishes after. But you can also cook them a nice meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner from the comfort of your own home, depending on when you two can spend time together that day. Plus, it’s a lot more affordable to eat in than dine out!
Think about something delicious that you can make for them. What’s their favorite dish? Or what’s a new meal that they’ve been saying they want to try lately? Surprise them with breakfast in bed. Have a home cooked dinner waiting for them once they get home from work. Try whipping up a fun recipe that you found off Pinterest. Whatever you do, win them over by playing chef for the day.
4. Bake them sweet treats
Chocolate covered strawberries, heart shaped sugar cookies, and cupcakes with pink icing and sprinkles are classic Valentine’s Day treats. What does your partner like to snack on? Or what’s their favorite dessert? Whatever it is, consider baking them a yummy treat as a Valentine’s Day gift. Sweets are sure to please anybody and everybody.
Certain chocolates are thought to be aphrodisiacs, too. A 2021 study published in Cureus suggests that this could be due to chemicals like the “love chemical” phenylethylamine and the “happy hormones” like serotonin that eating chocolate releases in the brain. So if you make something for them with chocolate in it that day, this might just lead to things getting hot and heavy later on in the night!
5. Make a photo album
But if you’ve been with your partner for at least a few months or you’ve had enough time to collect pictures together, you can make them a custom photo album. This is a special way to document your memories and experiences over the course of your time dating. You can get crafty and creative with it by adding in stickers, art, and other mementos or tokens of love saved throughout your relationship.
6. Gift them a box of chocolates
Who doesn’t love getting chocolates on Valentine’s Day? Those delicious goodies are sure to boost anyone’s mood. Plus, a 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology suggests that people positively perceive red roses and chocolate more around Valentine’s Day than other times of the year. So what better way to show your love than to give your date flowers (which we also recommended doing above) and/or a box of chocolates?
If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll even split the box with you. If not, don’t sweat it. You can always head to a supermarket or convenience store on February 15th and buy a box (or five) for yourself to enjoy since they’re usually discounted up to 50% off!
7. Remember something small that they mentioned
Has your long-term partner recently mentioned that they really want something without insinuating that they’re expecting you to get it for them? Did the new person who you’ve been crushing on tell you in passing that they like a certain type of candy or have a specific book on their to-read list?
Think long and hard for ideas or even look back in your text threads to come up with something, then go get it and surprise them with it! Remembering small hints that they’ve dropped in the past will prove that you listen when they share things with you and let them know that you pay attention to the little things, care about them, and want to make them happy.
8. Give them a massage
Couples massages can be incredibly romantic, but they’re also very expensive. So why not save all that money by staying home and doing it yourself?
A great way to increase intimacy with your date is to give them a sensual massage. Turn on a playlist with sexy or relaxing music, light some candles, turn off the lights, and help them feel good at the end of the day with some loving physical touch.
You can use massage candles that burn oil or massage oil that’s specifically intended for this purpose. Bonus points if it’s edible! Who knows? Maybe they’ll even return the favor.
(Pro tips: Actual massage oils tend to work a lot better than massage candles, which sometimes feel a little bit waxy instead of oily. But they can definitely still be fun to play with. Also, remember to always check the ingredients list and do a product test on the back of your hand before putting them all over your or your date’s body to avoid any allergic reactions.)
9. Help them out with a favor or act of service
A small act of kindness or favor can brighten anyone’s day. Acts of service is also a main love language for many people. So if that’s your date’s love language, or you just want to do something nice, this gesture can really stand out and be appreciated by them.
Need some ideas on what to do? If your partner works on Valentine’s Day and you live together or sleep together that night, set your alarm, get up a bit early, and cook them a nice breakfast or make them a pot of coffee to take on the road. You can also do the dishes (if you don’t already), make the bed, clean your home, or take care of one of the chores on their to-do list that they usually dread doing.
10. Spend time together
Flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and handwritten cards are all great gift ideas that can successfully show your love. But two of the best gifts of all are free: Your time and presence.
The experiences that you share will last for a lifetime, so chat with your date and figure out a fun or romantic plan to enjoy together based on what you both like doing or have been wanting to do for a while. Time is invaluable. Memories are forever. So make this year’s Valentine’s Day a special one to remember by putting your phones away, avoiding distractions, and spending your undivided attention on one another.
Remember, you don’t have to go all out to prove your love. Some of the best gifts are free or cheap and come from the heart, like handwritten love notes, home cooked meals, and flowers. Spoil your partner or crush with any of these gift ideas to show them that you really care. If you don’t have anybody to date this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry! It’s never too late to meet someone new. Try any of the top online dating sites today to get one step closer to celebrating next year. Until then, you can celebrate self-love and friendships. Happy Valentine’s Day!