Roses, chocolate, jewelry not as meaningful as simple gestures

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Valentine’s Day doesn’t automatically mean buying an expensive, expertly-phrased Hallmark card, some overpriced gift (probably involving chocolate), or an expensive dinner at a restaurant with a whole bunch of couples doing the exact same thing.

If you want to show your significant other exactly how much they mean to you this Valentine’s Day, why not plan a special, unique day for you both to enjoy?

You can tell him or her exactly why you fell in love without the roses, jewelry or chocolate, and you might find that simple, heartfelt gestures are often more meaningful and romantic, especially when they’re not over-the-top extravagant and mushy.

You may spend a lot of time with your significant other, and even say “I love you,” but does that person know exactly what they mean to you, or what, specifically, you love and appreciate about him or her?

Instead of simply settling for a generic Valentine’s card with a few terribly sappy lines about love, try your hand at a homemade card.

Make a list of reasons why you love that special person and include anything from little, endearing quirks to how that person has changed your life for the better. It doesn’t have to be anything breathtakingly romantic; just be honest.

Write down all of the reasons in a blank or handmade card, or divide them up and hide notes around your Valentine’s dorm room or apartment as little surprises throughout the day for a heartfelt, personalized message.

If you plan on eating a Valentine’s Day meal with someone, why bother getting all dressed up, driving to a restaurant, waiting and then paying an expensive check?

Plan a meal with your significant other, or make a favorite dish or dessert in advance; everyone loves eating their favorite foods, and if you plan the meal together, you can spend time with one another while experimenting with a new, hopefully successful, recipe.

Eat the meal at your place; you can listen to your favorite music, get seconds if you want and not be bothered by a server’s constant interruptions and the ceaseless chatter of a restaurant dining experience.

Or, if it’s nice enough outside, pack up a cooler and walk, hop in the car or ride your bikes to a nearby park and have a picnic. Bring a blanket to spread everything out on and you’ll be all set. What’s better than good food and good conversation with someone you love, warm sun on your face and beautiful scenery?

It’s fine to make a romantic gesture on Valentine’s Day, but don’t feel any pressure to create a picture-perfect Valentine’s date. Trying to make it all too perfect and movie-romantic is no replacement for planning a simple, fun day with your significant other, doing things you both enjoy.

If romantic gestures are your style, do something with meaning; frame your favorite photo of the two of you, make a CD of special songs, or show up at your significant other’s workplace with their favorite cup of coffee and a snack.

The impact of simple gestures of love and appreciation will mean more and last far longer than that of chocolate and flowers.

Kaylea Pallister is planning on attending graduate school fall 2012. Please send comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com.

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