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For many men, the romantic holiday on February 14 otherwise known as St. Valentine’s Day can be highly intimidating. Valentine’s Day carries a certain weight that doesn’t exist on the average Friday- or Saturday-night romantic outing. The boyfriend or spouse might feel that his girlfriend or wife has additional expectations of him; that is, the standby dinner-and-a-movie routine may need something extra. Try one of these ideas to create a unique, memorable evening for that special loved one.

Indoor Picnic

Picnics have long been considered one of the most romantic outings for new lovers; however, February might not be the ideal time to embark on a picnic with a loved one – so, bring a picnic indoors! Turn off or soften all indoor lighting and use unscented tea lights to create atmosphere. Play a romantic CD by an artist like Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald. If possible, use a checkered blanket to increase the picnic “feel” of the evening. Set the picnic blanket with good china, not paper plates, and order a fancy restaurant meal to go – or if the man’s a cook, he can create something himself!

Middle School Date Reenactment

Try planning an evening as though in middle school. Find an old middle-school picture and try to recreate the outfit as much as possible. Send Miss Right an email or note asking her to wear an outfit inspired by her middle-school years as well.

Begin the evening at the rollerskating rink, making sure to indulge in all the usual treats – buy her a frozen drink, share a plate of nachos. Ask the DJ to play memorable middle-school songs. Enjoy dinner at a fast-food place like a burger drive-in or pizza restaurant (Bonus: The waits will be much better at such restaurants on Valentine’s Day!). Head home to watch a favorite movie from the appropriate era.

Theater Production

Instead of a movie, consider buying tickets to a local theater production, such as a touring play or musical. Find tickets for local shows at Ticketmaster.

Poetry Reading

Check local coffee shops and bookstores to see if there will be a Valentine’s Day-themed poetry reading in the area. Most poetry readings are free of charge to the public, so consider grabbing coffee and hitting up a reading after dinner for a cost-efficient evening.

Bring her to a Concert

Buy her tickets to see her favorite artist in concert on February 14 (or the prior/following weekend) and surprise her with the show.

Just Desserts

If one’s significant other is famous for her sweet tooth, consider planning an all-dessert evening for her enjoyment. Begin the evening with chocolate fondue and pretzels. Then, take her to an upscale dessert establishment for the decadent offering of her choice, along with a cup of coffee or espresso to cut the sweet flavor. End the evening with a fresh fruit plate and bottled water or cookies and tea.

Scavenger Hunt

Place clues in various places around town to keep a significant other guessing. On Valentine’s Day afternoon, drop the first clue off at her workplace or home. The clue should reveal little; for example, if the first activity is dinner at a fancy restaurant, the clue might read: “Clue #1: Choose a fancy dress for the first stop of the evening. Be ready by 7:15.”

Go to the restaurant in advance and ask if the host/hostess can place another clue inside a menu. The next clue might offer hints regarding a dessert or coffee place. An additional clue might be under her car seat, and could include an envelope with tickets to a movie or production in town. Create clues for each activity of the evening.

Camping Out

Transform the living room into a campground with a makeshift tent, sleeping bags, flash lights, and plenty of marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers for S’mores. Place a TV directly in front of the door flap, or a makeshift opening, in the tent and indulge in a movie marathon in sleeping bags. (Note: If not used to sleeping on the floor, add an air mattress or mattress pad beneath the sleeping bags for extra comfort.)

To amplify one’s Valentine’s Day date, mix and match a few of these ideas (e.g., Camping Out/Just Desserts date) for the ultimate unforgettable evening.

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