As February rolls in, the pressure of mounting a kickass Valentine’s date for your significant other intensifies. After all, it IS the most romantic day of the year, add to this the silent expectation of you to top last year’s Valentine’s Day gift. We know there’s only so many new things you can do every year for a change of pace, so if you and your partner have been there and done that – wined and dined in the most charming restaurants, exchanged gifts and chocolates, prepared a breakfast in bed – here are some date ideas to keep you one step ahead in delighting and surprising your SO.
Studies show that sharing in a new thrilling activity or physical pursuits make for a more fulfilled relationship and a happier and more content lover. One such activity that has brought couples closer throughout the years is hiking. Perhaps getting all dirty and sweaty in the great outdoors is the last thing on your mind, but hiking together will allow you to learn to truly understand and communicate with each other. If your partner is not a fan of hiking, ease them into it by starting small such as a one-day hike in your local park, and if both of you enjoyed it, start planning multi-day thru-hiking in world-renowned trails like the Tour du Mont Blanc in Europe or the Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S.’ west coast.
Before embarking on a challenging trek, plan and prepare for the certain and uncertain parts of the journey. Bring lots of food, water, and patience, as well as a tent and a couple of pillows for a comfy sleep. (Also, ever heard of glamping?) Talk to your partner about their expectations and what they’re open to doing in terms of dividing the work. Who will set up the tent? Who will make the fire? Who will set the pace? Most importantly, keeping in mind that you will encounter many scenic views along the way, are they willing to take some photos of you for your Instagram?
Through hiking, you will discover facts about your partner that may only manifest when faced with a situation as challenging as Mother Nature herself. You never thought your girlfriend is afraid of a small squirrel? Yeah, expect a bunch of small revelations like that on the trail. It will definitely test your relationship because what you will find out about each other can either make or break your relationship, but as philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said (and recently Kelly Clarkson), what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.
Growing a Plant
For many couples, what was supposed to be a one-day celebration of hearts and kisses are becoming a week-long showcase of their love for each other. Why not take the extra mile and give your special someone a living thing that will last for years?
No, we’re not talking about a baby nor an animal. If both of you think that raising a child and adopting an animal is too big a responsibility for now, go the low-key route and grow a plant for the two of you to
“raise” and nourish. For a more significant gesture, plant it on Valentine’s Day. Growing a seed to even a small plant is no easy feat, but should you succeed – and even if you don’t, it’s the thought that counts – your patience, perseverance, and dedication will shine through, which translates to more points in your partner’s “Impressed” department. There are lovely houseplants that are easy to grow and would look beautiful as a décor at home. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry, Snake Plants, Jades, Rubber Plants, or Norfolk Island Pine (if you’re feeling fancy) are some of the indoor plants that are least likely to die on you.
The plant signifies your everlasting relationship and remind your partner about you in times when you’re away for a long time. Growing a plant together is just like adopting a pet without the tedious requirements of expensive and high maintenance care.
Cue the image of men grudgingly sitting outside the store or the fitting room waiting for their partners to decide what they’re going to buy. Shopping together doesn’t have to be this daunting, but if you’re really not the kind of person to brave long queues for the fitting room or the cash register, you can still enjoy shopping with your partner online. If you’re inside the United States, you’re in luck as you’re living in the second largest e-commerce market in the country, which means more options and free shipping within the U.S.
But if you and your partner are shoppers outside the U.S., you’ll encounter retail barriers, the biggest of which is international shipping fees, which costs almost as much as the item you bought! The first reaction would be disbelief, then questioning the universe why most of the good stuff are in the U.S. Fortunately, freight-forwarding company comGateway is breaking down these barriers by providing cheaper international shipping fees. Register for free to get your own sales tax-exempted U.S. address which you can enter as your shipping address when buying from online stores based in the U.S. You’ll be notified once your package arrives in the warehouse where you can consolidate it with other items you ordered or save even more in shipping costs by putting all your items in one box or bag.
Another buzzkill in online shopping is the limited payment options. Due to heightened fraud security, most local credit cards are rejected by US stores’ payment systems. But no worries, comGateway’s BuyForMe feature will literally buy the items for you and your loved one.
Valentine’s Day comes second in being the most commercialized holiday of the year. Shopping together strengthens you and your significant other’s bond, tests your patience, and helps you get to know your partner’s tastes in clothes, make-up, grooming, and other items – sans the long lines and crowds of people.