Valentine's day is great, but it can be so predictable, and expensive too. At the end of the day, the only ones who really benefit are the chocolate and card companies, and fancy restaurants that make a load of money.
Don't get me wrong, it's still nice to spend time with your loved ones. However, if like many other people, you’re fed up of shovelling your money into the pockets of card and chocolate companies, and booking expensive restaurants, here are some alternative ideas.
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Get your thrills at a theme park
Why do we take Valentine's day so seriously? Let yourselves go, and get that adrenaline pumping on the big dipper. Not only will it set your hearts racing, the feel-good hormones will bring you closer together. The Ghost House and Tunnel Of Love also provide great opportunities for further "togetherness".
Laugh the night away at a comedy show
Another way to let yourselves go is at a comedy show, it'll release any tension, and if it's a first date it'll give you plenty to talk about afterwards and make you feel much more relaxed. Also, laughter makes us more attractive to the opposite sex. FYI.
Have dinner in the dark
If you really want to, you can still do the whole dinner or cinema thing, but just do it differently. In London, there's a restaurant where you eat your dinner in pitch black, you can't see each other, you can't see what you're being served - you simply can't see anything. The point of this is that it's meant to heighten all your other senses, making you appreciate your meal more, and appreciate conversation. You'll also feel less nervous if it's a first date, and you'll have lot's to talk about it. As an alternative to eating out, (or if you don't live near London) you could try to re-create this at home. Just be careful with the sharp knives.
Turn Valentine's Day on its head and instead of staying up late, get up early. Get up and find a nice place to watch the sunrise together, then go for a lovely breakfast. It's up to you what you do with the rest of day. (wink wink)
Do the cinema, but do it differently
The Cinema experience as we know it is being transformed right under our noses. Not only are we getting a blast from the past with drive-in movie theatres, we're getting cinemas with armchairs, sofas and double-beds, and 4D experiences, as well as the new 'ediblecinema' experience that allows viewers to experience the film through aroma, texture and taste. Why not try any one of these for a different take on the tried-and-tested cinema date.
Feeling spontaneous? Open the newspaper at the events and gigs section, close your eyes and point, whatever you land on is what you'll be doing. It could be something terrible or it could be something interesting that you never thought of trying before.
Get back to basics
Our favourite electricals often act as barriers in relationships, so why not get rid of them for a whole day. I know, I know it's hard, but it'll be worth it when you're both interacting more and having fun finding alternative things to keep you occupied. (I meant board games. Tut tut. Dirty minded....)
If you're a couple who tend do a lot of dates sitting down, then get out of your comfort zone this Valentine's day and get active. Various places offer rock climbing, snowboarding and ice-skating, or you can go for a bike ride, or even a country walk or hike. It's probably the healthiest way of spending Valentine's day, and great if you're both still on your 'New-Year-New-You' diets.
Don't celebrate it....Until the week after
Lastly, it's probably a good idea to hold off on the celebrations until the week after Valentine's day. Not only will it be a lot cheaper, you also won't feel like your celebrating it along with the rest of the world.