Valentine’s Day can rub people up the wrong way: couples feel the pressure to make the day special, whilst singles are annoyed by seeing romantic fuss at every turn. However, Valentine’s Day actually offers a lot of room for interpretation – from date night, to a self-love ritual or even a girls’ night. 13 people offer us some fresh Valentines day ideas and inspiration on how to celebrate the day of love.
In their unconventional and personal takes on the tradition, these people actually offer up some super cool unusual valentines day date ideas…
Strip clubs, meditation & ferris wheels: A twist on the traditional “valentines day ideas for her”
#1 Sonja (29) Frankfurt am Main: My (personal) Independence Day
I resisted this American trend for a long time. I almost outright demonized it – maybe because I hated the lame “valentines day ideas for her” in the media… and never had a partner on this particular day. It seemed to act as a mirror to my seemingly sad life as a single, which obviously didn’t make me feel great. At some point, I began to see the positive side of my single-status. I love my freedom and my independence – and I celebrate that on Valentine’s Day.
#2 Anne (34) from Bremen: A strip club instead of dinner by candlelight
My most unusual Valentine’s Day was spent with two friends in a strip club.
We were all single and had no prospects for a romantic date, so we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different way. Who needs rose petals and hearts, when they are artificial and only because of a specific date?! Instead, we celebrated ourselves and our friendship.
#3 Maja (32) from Wellington: Meditation for open hearts and self-love
As a yoga instructor, I use Valentine’s Day as a chance to incorporate self-love into my yoga practice. This year, I will lead a self-love class. It features a meditation that should connect the hearts of all participants and, through some Asana exercises, open their hearts. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to consider love through a spiritual lens.
#4 Yeong (53) from Singapore: Valentine’s Day with our own traditions
My wife and I have celebrated Valentine’s Day the same way for 27 years: I take her on the Singapore Flyer, the tallest ferris wheel in the world. We had our first date there on a Valentine’s Day, so this is an important tradition for us. It also reminds me to show my love for her daily. It isn’t always easy every day. I find it especially great to use Valentine’s Day as a reminder of how precious our marriage is.
#5 Tina (32) from Cottbus: A salute to friendship
On Valentine’s Day, my girlfriends and I celebrate our friendship. We support each other through all of life’s ups and downs, through good times and bad. Friendships are similar to romantic relationships in a lot of ways. Social expectations are of no interest to us. The day should simply be an opportunity to celebrate love. It doesn’t matter whether it’s romantic or platonic love – or, most importantly, self-love.
#6 Heike (36) from Sydney:
My husband and I unfortunately don’t get to spend much time together, because he’s a freelancer and therefore travels a lot. We always take Valentine’s Day off and spend the whole day at the beach – with all the bells and whistles. Champagne breakfast, surfing and a romantic barbecue dinner for two. A few Australian clichés are okay on special occasions, right?
#7 Frank (38) from Berlin: My Cupid and I
My partner and I love all things kitsch and cliché, so we celebrate Valentine’s Day by the book. We give each other flowers, write cards and go for a romantic dinner. We don’t really take it all that seriously and we see it all as a bit of fun. I find it totally fine to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s actually nice when everyone spends one day being completely cheesy and running around with hearts in their eyes – whether it’s a marketing gimmick or not.
#8 Antonia (42) from Dortmund: Me, myself and I – a day for self-love
Instead of Valentine’s Day, I celebrate the International Day of Self-Love – which is actually one day earlier on the 13th of February. I was inspired by Womanizer’s “You. A Lifelong Romance” campaign, as well as their Me-Month. I enjoy this day in a number of ways. This includes going to the day spa for an extended visit. Afterwards, I buy myself something nice that I might have had my eye on and spoil myself with a delicious dinner. To this day, despite now being in a relationship, I still continue this tradition. It is especially important to not to lose yourself in a relationship.
#9 Cara (27) Bologna: Pasta-Amore
On the day of love, I treat myself to my one true love – pasta! I come from Bologna, the home of good food. And on this day I celebrate this even more intensely than usual. I take the whole day off and cook the classics recipes handed down from my Nonna. I have a glass or two of wine, Paolo Conte streams from the loudspeakers and in the evening I feastf. I like to invite friends, because pasta tastes even better with company.
#10 Jerome (38) Bad-Saarow: Motherly love
I send flowers to my mother on Valentine’s Day. I know that my dad doesn’t take note of the day and forgets about it. However, my mother loves to receive flowers as a gift on this day. I tell her far too rarely how much I love her and how thankful I am for her. I consider Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to pay tribute to my mother and, hopefully in the future, the mother of my own children too.
#11 Toni (22) London: Love your work
Everything in our office is all about love. We decided as a team to share homemade cards amongst ourselves, which describe things we appreciate about our work. I consider my relationship with my colleagues and with my work as incredibly important. Our team event is about appreciation and interpersonal relationships – these are the values that should be celebrated on Valentine’s Day, instead of consumerism and artificial romance.
#12 Christa (79) Baitz near Potsdam: Flowers for my husband’s grave
My generation doesn’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day. When this tradition arrived in Germany, my husband would often give me flowers as he wanted to seem modern. I felt so special, because he was the only man in the village who brought his wife flowers on Valentine’s Day. These days, I bring the flowers to him at his gravesite and remember him fondly.
#13 Leni (34) from Cape Town
Every Valentine’s Day the hiking boots are laced up, because it up to Table Mountain. That’s where my husband proposed to me last year and now we have decided to make it a tradition to spend Valentine’s Day overlooking beautiful Cape Town. Of course, a delicious picnic and a bottle of Prosecco is also included. In the evening we go out for a nice dinner, because hiking certainly works up an appetite.
So let’s go forth and get imaginative, people! In moving away from lame Valentines Day ideas for him or her that are trying to do their romantic duty and more towards Valentines Day ideas for couples or singles who want to just have fun and celebrate love in its many forms, we can actually increase joy and decrease mindless spending. When it comes to Valentines Day dinner ideas, for example, don’t just automatically go for somewhere expensive, but choose somewhere with emotional significance – a picnic somewhere you had a memorable date, perhaps? On Valentine’s Day, it really is the thought – and the effort – that counts.