Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s a stressful time for many, even if you’re blissfully head over heels. There are roses to order, cards to make, and tacky stuffed bears to buy. In short, it’s a lot. And that’s not even considering those who are single, ‘consciously uncoupled,’ or in that gray area we call ‘on a break.’
Worry not: We’ve created a handy flowchart that will guarantee* a happy Valentine’s Day. So, whether you like to turn up the passion or simply want to bide your time until it’s over, dive in and start planning your romantic (or otherwise) evening.
*A happy Valentine’s Day not actually guaranteed
How to guarantee a happy Valentine’s Day — a flowchart
Valentine’s Day remixed: how to please different personality types
We hope our Valentine’s Day flowchart sparked some fantastic ideas. But if not, we have a few more suggestions on how to please your special someone. It wouldn’t go over well if you bought candy for a health nut or publically serenaded someone who hates being the center of attention. So, while these timeless options might seem like a safe bet, it’s far more thoughtful to tailor your plans to your sweetie’s interests or personality.
Here are alternative ways to plan a memorable day your loved one won’t forget.
1. Athletic: try an adventure date
If your significant other loves fitness or extreme sports, plan a high-energy activity, such as zip-lining, rock wall climbing, or cycling. You can weave in moments of romance and intimacy or make it part of the overall experience. A cozy picnic, for instance, is the perfect way to end an exhilarating hike.
2. Master of tranquility: aim for relaxation and bonding
For many people, romance is about bonding over meaningful experiences — not material items. Does your sweetheart love tranquil environments and opportunities to relieve stress? Book a couples yoga session and enjoy getting up close and personal while ‘blending your energies’ with your partner.
3. Happy homebody: pull out the board games
If a night out on the town sounds like your worst nightmare, opt for a laid-back evening of fun at home. Either go shopping for Valentine’s Day-themed board games or mine your current inventory for games that are good for couples. Add in a home-cooked meal and a healthy dose of competition, and you have a recipe for an entertaining date.
4. Curious problem-solver: arrange a scavenger hunt
If your better half is an analytical thinker who loves a good mystery, get creative by planning a romantic scavenger hunt. Use clues that are significant to your loved one or your relationship, and make fun riddles for them to solve. Just make sure you don’t leave a trail of clues while you plan, or your Valentine might crack the case too soon.
6. Fandom addicts: get your LARP on
Have you lost count of all the fan communities your sweetheart is involved in? No worries. Pick one, and create a themed Valentine’s Day experience based on your loved one’s favorite show, movie, game, or book series. Fully commit to the role-playing theme by dressing up in costumes. That way, you can make your date feel transported to the fictional world they love.
Get Valentine’s Day planning done early
We’ve all seen the ransacked holiday displays leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you don’t want to be part of the mad dash, start brainstorming your plans early. Charts and diagrams are a great way to organize your ideas; and when you’re done brainstorming, you can save unused ideas for next year. Thinking outside the box with your Valentine’s Day plans gives you more options, so there’s no need to scramble for the last teddy bear.
This post was originally published on February 10, 2020, and updated most recently on February 11, 2022.