Cliches are half the reason people love Valentine’s Day. The flowers, the chocolates, the Champagne, all finished with a candle-lit dinner. These are all lovely things to bring to the table, and I wouldn’t hold it against anyone who looks forward to such gestures.
But thinking outside the box can be just as, if not more romantic.
Here are nine non-traditional ideas that will truly make this Valentine’s Day one to remember.
1. Become "Starbucks Lovers"
It only took a couple misheard lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” for the internet to swoon over the potential of “Starbucks lovers.”
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that one in three first dates takes place at a coffee shop. Starbucks even paired up with the mega-dating site, Match.com, last February to host a special day dubbed World’s Largest Starbucks Date.
2. Picnic At A Cemetery
While some may find this idea insensitive, so long as you are respectful we’re sure the dead would love to have young lovebirds hanging around.
Long before the celeb-studded rom-com, Valentine’s Day, featured Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, The Addams Family were portraying cemeteries as a romantic hideaway.
Taking a stroll or enjoying a picnic while being reminded of your mortality may not be conventional, but it’s sure to spawn some interesting conversations.
3. Be A Class Act
Channel your inner Demi Moore a la Ghost, and take a pottery class together. If getting covered in clay isn’t quite your style, polish up your culinary chops with couples cooking class. Who knows? Next Valentine’s Day you may be ready to host your own Iron Chef competition, home-style edition.
4. Head For Fast Food
Saying, “I love you” for the first time under fluorescent lighting may not be for everyone, but couples across America have proven that it’s the sentiment, rather than location, that counts.
White Castle’s across the country are continuing their tradition of hosting a reservations-required red tablecloth dinner while slews of budget-conscious couples have chosen to host their nuptials at other fast food restaurants.
5. Make a Permanent Mark
For those looking to join the legions of love-struck couples before them, make your mark with a couples tattoo. But be forewarned, relationships can fade, but a tattoo is forever (or by way of expensive, painful removal).
If you’re not willing to brand yourself quite yet, customizable fake tats may be the way to go.
6. Get Back to Nature
For those in colder climates, consider hitting the slopes or fumbling around an ice rink. Rosy cheeks never looked so good. For those in unseasonally warm locations check out a State or National Parks for a hike.
If the great outdoors truly aren’t an option, a rock climbing gym is a great way to test out your adventurous side, while staying inside.
7. Find Out Your Future
Head to a psychic or get a Tarot reading as there’s nothing like finding out if you and your boo – or beau – is the one right from the get-go. Also, avoid any antique fortune telling machines with names like “Zoltar Speaks.”
8. Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen
Volunteering at a soup kitchen, dog walking at your local shelter, getting down and dirty at a community garden, reading to the elderly at a nursing home. Whatever your charity work of choice, there’s nothing sexier than selflessness.
9. Skip It (Kinda)
Well, not entirely. Instead of stressing over pricey prix fixe menus, wait until the 15th when restaurants will be less crowded, and florists will bring down their prices. You’ll be breaking status quo, plus all that heart-shaped candy will be on sale.