Whether this is your first Valentine's Day together or the tenth, it is always a red-letter day in the calendar of lovers. Some things in life just get better with age!
If time has rolled on towards your 10th Valentine's Day together, chances are that the two of you have already exchanged your wedding vows, or are probably living together. The fact that you are still together is itself a huge cause for celebration and what better day than Valentine's Day to reinforce your love for one another?
On your 10th Valentine's Day, surprise your sweetheart/ better half with some mushy, spicy and out-of-the-ordinary gifts that will linger on in her memory for a long, long time. And the best gifts don't require you to break the bank, just your head! For creative and original ideas, of course!
1. A romantic Valentine's picnic -- right in your home!
February is still pretty cold in most parts of the world. And the perfect time for getting cuddly on the hearth. Throw some comfortable rugs near a roaring fire, keep champagne flutes handy and raise a toast of sparkling wine to each other. Chocolate-dipped strawberries make a great accompaniment -- they are also a known aphrodisiac. Snuggle against each other and watch the leaping flames stoke the fires of your own passion.
2. Turn your home into a love nest
Nothing like a romantic touch (or two) to turn an ordinary evening into a sizzling hot one! If she is at work, start your preparations early and if she isn't, send her out on some errand. Once you have the run of the place, get down to work. Turn off all the lights in the house, leaving the one that leads to the bedroom switched on. To create a really sensuous ambience, consider having that light dimmed or replace it with a pathway of candles. Leave a trail of rose petals from the front door till the bedroom. In the bedroom, concentrate on the bed itself. Sprinkle rose petals on the bed as well. Have plenty of aromatic candles lit in the room, and soft music playing in the background. Keep a bouquet of red roses on the bed and your gift tantalisingly left half-open. And wait for the fireworks!
3. Get seriously romantic!
This means a no-expenses spared Valentine's Day that she'll recall in wonder long after the day has become a memory. In layman's language, this roughly translates into an elaborate candlelight dinner, complete with food for the tongue and soul! But, not in a boring restaurant. If weather permits, have a private candlelit dinner on the beach, besides the crashing waves.
If you have the moolah, splurge on a surprise romantic dinner at an undisclosed destination. Send her a cryptic message if she's at work, that simply says, "Be dressed and ready at 7PM". Arrange for a limousine to pick her up from home and whisk her to where you would be waiting for her. The moment she steps into the private room that you have booked for her, let unseen musicians softly serenade her even as a hundred candles light up all around her. Even as she is recovering from the surprise, appear by her side and slip your gift into her hands -- it could be a diamond ring, a gold and diamond necklace or a pair of ruby and diamond earrings. Just make sure it is precious and rare -- just like her.
4. 'Memory Album'
Women are known to be sentimental creatures, but show her your softer side as well with a gift that is as priceless as it is special. Compile a scrapbook of sorts that has photographs of all the past nine Valentine's Day. Devote one page to each. Stick memorabilia of those moments -- maybe the wrapper of the first chocolate that she gave you (you may feel silly, but we guarantee that she won't see it that way), or her lipstick-stained tissue which you have still preserved. Write your love messages below each photograph, praising and referring to some quality of hers. Wrap the book in soft velvet or satin and, for a greater impact, tie it with a strand of freshwater pearls.
5. A Valentine's gift that celebrates her passion
Apart from you, what else turns her on? Is she crazy about collecting porcelain objects? Stun her with a surprise visit to Tuscany, home to the famed glazed pottery. Revel in her delighted squeals as she handpicks some truly exquisite pieces of the renowned Deruta, Gubbio or Montelupo ceramics to add to her collection. She might even turn your home into an Italian-themed heaven!
6. Recreate your first Valentine's Day
The two of share a special bond that time or proximity has not managed to weaken. If anything, the two of you have only grown closer over the years, chalking up one milestone year after another (as far as you are concerned, each year spent together is a landmark year). You have often talked about the very first Valentine's Day, and those shared reminiscences can well be the foundation for this year's rocking celebrations. Try and recreate the first Valentine's date all over again, down to the dress you had been wearing that day (if you remember and still fit in!). Visit that place/ restaurant and enjoy the waves of nostalgia that engulf you. Then, do something special so that you can recreate the 10th anniversary date ten years hence!
7. Naughty and playful Valentine's Day
Sure, the flames of passion rage as brightly and fiercely as they did when you first met. The years have added more depth to your relationship. Still nothing like something naughty and spicy to add sizzle to your romance! Create a personal coupon book, to be 'cashed' whenever presented. Fill the pages with favours, ranging from softly romantic and tender to the seriously erotic and steamy. Cover the gamut from 'I'll clean and bathe our dog for a whole week', to 'A long, lingering kiss' or 'Your feet just told me they needed some massaging!" Be playful, be tantalising and experience the same rush of adrenalin-pumping emotions like the first time.
8. Valentine's Chocolates -- but with a difference
There are chocolates and then there are designer, gourmet chocolates. Ordinary, corner-store bought chocolates are an obvious no-no. There isn't a woman alive who can resist delicious, melt-in-the-mouth French chocolates. But, you are a smart man and always a step ahead of the herd. So, what you do is to replace a couple of the centre chocolates and replace them with a diamond anniversary ring or an eternity pendant. Slip a love note inside and make her fall in love with you all over again.
9. Sensuous and intimate gifts
Sexy lingerie is always a great gift -- for both of you! Why, even a pair of heart-covered red silk pyjamas can be a big hit. Is there a particular deodorant that you use and that simply drives her crazy? Now is the time to make liberal use of it. Spray it on the slinky lingerie and have it packed attractively. Keep a single red rose and your love note on the packet and leave it for her to find when she comes out of the bath.
10. Gourmet gift hamper
The last place you want to be in is a crowded place filled with overzealous couples, loud music and non-stop chatter. Well, your home may be several notches higher on the romantic sweepstakes if you just know how to go about it! Get ready for a sizzling night in by giving her a superbly packaged gourmet gift hamper. Fill it with her favourite wine, delicious snacks, scented candles, aromatic bath oils and salts. Enjoy the snacks and the wine while watching a good romantic movie in bed. Later, offer your services as a masseur, using all that exotic paraphernalia and then head for a long soak together in the tub later!
Being romantic may be that elusive quality that sometimes that stays tantalisingly out of reach. But, once you figure it out, you'll be pushing all the right buttons! This handy list is just for starters!