Just like our Christmas gift ideas, I highly recommend learning what your spouse's love language is and tailor your gift giving to that. If you have picked up any clues or hints she's been giving for a gift she really wants, of course, go do that instead. Score points for hearing her and remembering to pick it up. But alas if you have not picked up any hints, then check out these suggestions below.
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1. Love Language: Words of Affirmation
Sit down and write out your feelings for her. Then print those words in a homemade valentine's day card or in an actual hand written letter folded up in an envelope. Make or order her favorite meal (without asking her what she wants to eat that night) and have the card and some flowers ready. When you pull out the card or letter, first read it to her so she can hear your voice saying those words. Then give her the card and enjoy the meal. It's a gesture full of meaning for the person who has a love language of words of affirmation. This personal message and heartfelt explanation of your feelings for them will mean everything.
Pro tip: In the letter, focus your thoughts on what she means to you EMOTIONALLY. Talk about how life is better with her and what your future may look like years ahead. Let her know the trouble you have gone through until now and how she has made that better. Explain how. Focus it on her.
2. Love Language: Acts of Service
This may sound odd but any chore or service you can pamper her with will be romantic: take her car to a detailer; clean the house top to bottom while she's out; do all the laundry and make a nice meal. If you already do all of those things, congrats you are one amazing husband. But if you don't, then these will be seen as special gestures. Think of something that gives her less work, no cleaning up, nothing to maintain and do that for her.
Here's a game plan you can follow: seeing as this Valentine's day will be a Sunday, plan ahead to make a nice big breakfast: eggs, bacon, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, coffee or OJ, bouquet of flowers as a decoration, the works. Amongst the breakfast is a handmade "Relax Day" coupon. Ask her if she wants to redeem it today and if so, you will take care of EVERYTHING: the kids, the chores, the meals, bath-time, all of it. When the kids are in bed, she will think the relax day is over. Run her a bubble bath and open a scented candle in the bathroom. Leave her alone to soak and relax. When she's done, give her a foot massage with a good lotion and after all of that attention, she will melt.
Pro tip: During all of these great things, you may get stressed trying to keep up. Make sure you don't snap at her or say anything stupid. Your stress and effort is endearing until you open your mouth. She may even make small jokes or jabs. Just take it. If this was a movie, the whole thing looks heart-warming and nice until the husband opens his mouth and snaps at her. Keep your cool and remind yourself that this is for her. It's HER day. Suck it up for ONE DAY.
3. Love Language: Receiving Gifts
A gift for the lady who loves receiving gifts, easy. Just get something she can wear out and show off: clothes, jewelry, shoes, accessories, etc. Think of something she doesn't have or something that is worn out and needs to be replaced. If you replace a thing she has, make sure it's with a better version or the same exact version but brand new.
If you can't think of anything that she needs, then follow this suggestion:
Step 1: Find her clothes size by checking a shirt, a pair of pants, a dress and a pair of shoes. Write these numbers down and take that to a retail store with good name brands.
Step 2: Ask for help from an employee to put together an outfit with one of each. You know her style, so you can pick a dress or blouse and jeans. Then pick a pair of shoes that match the outfit. Then pick out a purse that matches the outfit and shoes (mostly shoes). Reminder: make sure all of these pieces are of a good name or good quality or both.
Step 3: Carefully wrap all these items. And hide them until Valentine's Day. Have a simple Valentine's Day Card and small bouquet of flowers ready and then spring your surprise with the wrapped gifts.
Pro tip: Make the gift wrapping a very shiny and special looking paper and a big bow. The presentation and act of receiving a gift is half the point. Don't take the short cut of leaving it in the store bags. Make sure you get all of those bonus points for presentation as well.
4. Love Language: Quality Time
The woman who loves quality time would rather sit with you around a fire or be out with you at an event than receive a gift. Think of a place she would love to go. If you're on a budget, make your place the destination and think of something romantic but not sexual that could be done together. For example, camping under the stars, enjoying a bon fire, playing a game together or cuddling with a good movie (and no cell phones). No matter what you pick, make sure she has your undivided attention.
If you can't think of something to do, then try this: locate an outdoor recreation spot near you (lake, river, beach, hiking trail) and also locate the nearest cafe, diner or restaurant near that recreation spot. Plan a day out of the house exploring something new together. Make sure she knows where you guys are going so she can dress appropriately. If it's a windy beach, she may want a nice jacket. If it's a hiking trail, she may want comfy walking shoes. Plan it all out and give her all of your time and attention.
Pro tip: Depending on her age and style she may want to take a lot of photos and videos for memories or she may prefer the peace of shutting off electronics to enjoy the experience uninterrupted. You know her and her style, so play off of that. If she wants lots of photos, pose with her a lot and offer to be the cameraman. If she wants the peace, then shut yours off too and talk with her while you guys check out that new place.
5. Love Language: Physical Touch
The person who wants physical touch could be perfectly content just cuddled up with you all day. So we need to think outside the box on how to make that special. Consider this, a checklist of places to "cuddle". Check out this checklist full of places you could visit and be physical:
Talk it over with her to see how she feels about it. And if all seems good, then take off on your first adventure to one of these places to safely and discreetly begin your adventure. Fall back plan if she doesn't feel into it, is to just cuddle up in your normal comfy place and give your time and attention to her that day.
Pro tip: Add to the list and print it out before hand. Give it to her with roses and a small gift and discuss the list together. Make it look cool and add squares next to each one so you can check them off as you go. Make sure she's totally on board for this and she can help by carrying protection and other items in a purse for discreet use in public places. Also, you can have large beach towels or blankets in the trunk of the car for impromptu use if one of these opportunities presents itself.