St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you are still
wondering how to make this holiday memorable for that special person in your
life, we got you covered. The following women share what made their Valentine’s
|Photo by Michelle Leman
“People normally want to go all out for Valentine’s Day, but my
favorite dates ever have been the simpler ones. We made dinner, watched some
movies, and talked about how much we cared about each other. I even got him to
take the Love Languages test!” Ariti, age 32.
“A few years ago, my now-fiancé and I were planning a trip to
“My first actual date with my high school boyfriend was on
Valentine’s Day! Obviously, we did not really plan for it to be a V-Day date—it
just happened that way. However, he still showed up that night with a single
red rose for me. Some might call that a little over-the-top, but I thought it
was incredibly sweet.” Alexandra, age 26.
“My boyfriend and I rarely celebrate Valentine’s Day because our
anniversary is only a week later. But one year I wanted to do something
special, but still keep it low-key, so I ordered in a bunch of sushi and
surprised him with a little at-home V-Day date.”
“My ex and I both loved going out to eat. However, since we went out
to pleasant restaurants regularly, it would sometimes feel even more special to
spend a night in. On our first Valentine’s Day together, he cooked an amazing
meal for us at his place and we just enjoyed a romantic evening in.” Elissa, age
“I have a major sweet tooth, which means my favorite V-Day tradition
is the post-Valentine’s Day candy sales! Regardless of what I do and/or who I
happen to be dating on the actual day, I always plan a full day of me-time for
the 15th, featuring as much discount chocolate as my heart desires.” Julia, age
“We went to my favorite band’s small little venue concert, picked up
fish tacos on the way home, and baked cookies together that night.” Jaylon, age
|Photo by Tim Samuel
“This was, like, ultimate bougie, but my girlfriend and I went to an
all-inclusive resort in
“I found myself in a bit of a Situationship with this girl around
Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago and was not sure if we were official or
not, so I was not really expecting to celebrate V-Day with her. (I did not want
to get my hopes up.) Well, she ended up surprising me by not only making plans
with me but also cooking a very fancy dinner with pasta, bread, salad, and some
of my favorite desserts. Like, she did not cook regularly, so this was a Big
Deal. It was so sweet because it was her way of showing me she cared, and we
became official that night.” Michelle, age 25.
“My favorite Valentine’s Day was cooking a new recipe together (
“My best Valentine’s Day ever happened last year when I was single.
I had the ultimate ‘treat yourself’ day and got my favorite lunch, a mani-pedi,
and then bought my favorite coffee. Instead of being sad that I was alone, I
created an opportunity to celebrate the love I had for myself. I even made it a
promise to myself to do it every year. Even though I have a boyfriend this
year, I will still do it!” Catherine, age 25.
“My boyfriend jokingly used to complain how men don’t get the same
treatment as women on Valentine’s Day by receiving cards and chocolates, so I
surprised him by making an edible arrangement of bacon roses and gave it to him
in the morning before waking up so he could have breakfast in bed. I also gave
him a card where I wrote the biggest surprise of all: tickets to a helicopter
tour of our city. Ten years later, we are still together, got married, and that
is still one of the best Valentine’s Days we’ve ever had.” Rachel, age 29.
“Several years ago, my boyfriend at the time (now husband) earned
major points on Valentine’s Day. First, he dropped me off at a salon to get my
hair and nails done. Then he picked me up, brought me to his place, and made me
dinner. From there, we went to a comedy club and laughed the night away. It was
such a thoughtful date that I will remember forever.” Jacqui, age 28.
“The cutest Valentine’s Day idea that I had was making a time
capsule for our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. In three years, we
get to open it up and we’ll get to relive so many glorious memories.” Alyssa, age
“My partner’s birthday is the day after Valentine’s, and our
anniversary is just two weeks later, so for our first Valentine’s together, I
wanted to do something special. I am a firm believer in more is more, so I
surprised her with a trip to
|Photo by Marko Klaric
“Last year, for Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I celebrated a little differently than most. We are both individually very serious about getting out of student loan debt in one to two years, so we added an extra couple hundred dollars onto our February debt payments so we could get that much closer to becoming debt-free. To me, it was so sweet because it’s so us!” Joanna, age 23.
“In college, my boyfriend went out and bought a bottle of champagne,
two glass champagne flutes, chocolates, and flowers for me. I got him cigars
and chocolate cigars. We still lived in the dorms, but his roommate had moved
out, so we took both mattresses and put them side by side on the floor to make
one giant super-bed. We drank champagne, ate lasagna, and watched A Walk to
Remember from the floor on the super-bed. All these years later, I still have
the boyfriend, the champagne flutes, and the cork from the bottle that night.
We use the flutes every Valentine’s Day.” Rebecca, age 26.
“We’re broke and in our early 20s, and we do not spend much
money. However, on Valentine’s Day, we like to go out to eat for dinner,
wherever we want, and buy whatever TF we want. Our normal $30 to $40 bill is
about $120 with multiple drinks, apps, main courses, and desserts. We just
treat ourselves, and I love every minute.” Santina, age 22.
“My girlfriend at the time surprised me with a staycation in our own
city. She booked a hotel downtown, reserved seats for us at the rooftop bar,
and had our bed decorated with rose petals and champagne when we returned.”
Alicia, age 36.
“The guy I was casually hooking up with—not even really
dating—surprised me by making a reservation at a trendy restaurant in our city.
The weather that day was extremely cold, but we layered on coats and went out,
anyway. When we got to the restaurant, they lost our reservation and did
not have any available for a few hours. We went to a dive bar around the corner, shared some beers, and had a super-laid-back dinner at a
restaurant with a prix fixe menu and open seating. It was all super, unexpected, and just being together, even if we were hungry and freezing, made me realize
this was significantly more than a hookup thing.” Caitlin, age 25.
“One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories is when my boyfriend
made a home-cooked meal. He surprised me with a dozen roses, a giant fuzzy
heart with chocolate inside, and a handmade card. We had little money back
then, and he still lived with his parents, so he brought up a bunch of chairs
to his room and used his nightstand as our table. He also lit candles, put on
Frank Sinatra, and opened a bottle of Moët. We spent the rest of the night
watching the first movie we ever saw together and playing video games. It was
the best.” Riley, age 20.
“One year, my girlfriend surprised me with a super-romantic
wine-tasting tour. It was such a shock because I never even thought about wineries
being open during the colder months, but many are! We had such a fun time
getting tipsy and drinking delicious wine together, and then we took the train
home, watched a movie on our laptop, and had a nice dinner together. And I got
to be in bed early, which is honestly my favorite thing.” Sarah, age 27.
“You really can’t go wrong with breakfast in bed, which also is the
best Valentine’s Day I ever had. My husband makes me chocolate chip pancakes
with extra chocolate chips just the way I like them, and I do not get up until
|Photo by cottonbro studio
“The best Valentine’s Day I’ve had was the first one with my boyfriend. We knew it was supposed to snow later that day, so we had to alter the plans we had previously made to go to an extravagant dinner at a fancy restaurant, instead went out to brunch, and spend the rest of the day at home. We exchanged gifts after brunch and spent the afternoon simply being together and enjoying our uninterrupted time. That night, we made a delicious dinner at home and watched many corny Valentine’s Day movies. It was perfect because it was simply us spending time together and enjoying the love between two people.” Rachel, age 21.
“We started the evening by cooking a meal together and it was
amazing. Getting to create something romantic together was beautiful. After we
finished dinner, he brought us to the same place where we had our first date,
“My long-distance boyfriend was too busy with his new job to visit
me regularly, but on Valentine’s Day, he mailed me a plane ticket and told me
to come and visit him. He even rented a hotel, so we could be alone without his
roommates. When we got there, he had laid roses all over the bed and there was champagne
and a fluffy robe. We ended up ditching dinner reservations and staying in all
night with room service. It was like a movie.” Amanda, age 21.
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“My girlfriend surprised me with a downtown tour of our city. It is
hilarious because we have both lived here our whole lives, but we got to see
the city from a tourist perspective and learned things we never knew. It was
cheesy, but that’s what made it so freaking fun.”
“My boyfriend at the time had left the cheesiest teddy bear in front
of my dorm room on Valentine’s Day along with a note that said, ‘I’ll pick you
up for dinner at 6. Dress warm!’ We ended up having a super-romantic peanut
butter and jelly sandwich dinner with a bottle of wine on this giant hill that
overlooks our campus. It was probably the sweetest date ever!” Kelly, age 20.
“My high school boyfriend asked me to come over to his house on
Valentine’s Day weekend to help him with chemistry homework, which I thought
was really weird because he was taking chemistry classes and I was obviously
not, but I didn’t hesitate to come by. I went to knock on his front door and
there was a note saying ‘walk in’ on it. I walked into his house and heard my
favorite sappy love song playing, and [there was] a huge trail of rose petals
leading into his living room, where he was sitting with all my favorite things.
There were candles, and Disney stuffed animals, and it was so romantic. Even though
we’re not still together, it will definitely be in my top Valentine’s Day
memories!” Jessica, age 21.
|Photo by Lisa Fotios
“I was out of town on business for Valentine’s Day and it really bummed my boyfriend because he had this whole big thing planned. When I came home a week later, he ended up making a whole Valentine’s Day meal and celebration, anyway. He cooked steak and even bought a super-sweet cake that said ‘Happy (kind of) Valentine’s Day.’ He also got me flowers and chocolate. It was so sweet, especially because he sucks at keeping secrets and I did not know he was planning this.” Sally, age 23.
“Last year was the first Valentine’s Day my long-distance boyfriend
and I got to celebrate together in person. He came to visit me on Valentine’s
Day and we went on an amazing hike. When we got to the top of the mountain, it
had a beautiful view and we got to sit down and eat a late lunch together while
watching the incredible sunset. Before we hiked back down, he grabbed my hand
and told me he wanted to be together forever and gave me a promise ring. I was
so surprised!” Lauren, age 21.
“My boyfriend and I had made plans to go out for dinner, but we waited
too late to make reservations. He told me to leave it up to him and that he
would find us a place. The morning of Valentine’s Day, he showed up at my house
with roses, and bags full of groceries, and told me he was making me dinner instead
of going out. I was hesitant about his cooking because he had
never done it before, but it turned out pretty well. He made some yummy
enchiladas, and best of all, I did not even need to get dressed up. Afterward,
we cuddled and watched a movie. It wasn’t the most extravagant date, but it was
the sweetest.” Michelle, age 22.
“The most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I showed up at my
boyfriend’s house and he led me downstairs to his basement, where he’d prepared
an indoor picnic. He knew I was tired from my week and did not feel like going
out, so we stayed in. He does not really cook, so he went around buying all my
favorite foods from different restaurants like chicken and beef skewers, Indian
bread, and chicken Caesar salad. I was so surprised because I had never
actually told him my favorite foods, but he had figured it out from the times
we went out to eat. Then for dessert, he made chocolate-covered strawberries.
We ended the date by watching the movie we watched on our first date. It
brought back memories of when we first started dating and we were both so
nervous that we did not hold hands until the very end. There were no dimly lit
mood candles or expensive presents, but it made a lasting impression on my
heart.” Kim, age 21.
“My boyfriend’s birthday is only a couple of days before Valentine’s
Day, so usually we skip celebrating V-Day. A couple of years ago, we went up to
“I know it sounds so simple, borderline tacky, but the most
wonderful Valentine’s date I ever had was spent in a dorm room. We picked a
movie we both loved, and to surprise each other, we each ordered a Seamless
delivery with the food we thought the other would love most. It was lazy and
comforting, but still cute and romantic!”