Forget the mass-marketed, red-hearted Valentine's Day pressure that starts heating up about now. Steer clear of high-priced flowers, tasteless candy hearts and stuffed bears. Follow these tips to make a significant other feel cherished. Show that Valentine's Day means more than romance and gifts. It means that person is the focus of your caring attention, dutiful doting and loving affection.
1. Concentrate on your partner. Focus on how special they are to you. Instead of stressing about the perfect Valentine's gift, think about all the fun, silly, spunky, sexy, serious and loving things that this person does for you. Think about who he or she is. What makes them smile? What are they truly passionate about? What small little things could you do every day that would make them feel more loved?
2. Under-promise and over-deliver. Make promises early and make them often—just keep them. No emergency is more important than love. Show your love and respect by honoring your time together and your commitments. Leave work early and call them on the way home to say you just couldn't wait to see them. Ask if they'd like you to pick up something special before you get there.
3. Be a mirror. We reflect the world around us, the good, the bad and the ugly. Be mindful of your partner's moods. When you're approached with love and joy, mirror it back and they'll feel especially loved and close to you.
4. Note it. Love notes are a sure way to inspire a loving connection every day of the year. They don't all have to be sappy poems. Buy a calendar, keep it in the bathroom and write a reason a day that you appreciate and admire your one-and-only. Follow the object of your affection to the store or the dry cleaners and leave a note on their car in the parking lot. Drop them in a purse or write them on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase pen for a pleasant surprise to wake up to.
5. Plan a dream date that won't cost you a dime. Tell this person that the only topic of conversation is to hear about their dreams, what they love, what they want to do before leaving the planet, what they'd like to learn, where they'd like to travel, and who they most admire. Let them talk freely without stopping and then write a few down later and help create those dreams.
6. Prepare a romantic meal or just pick up restaurant delivery on the way home or have one of the online gourmet delivery options deliver a five-course meal to your doorstep. Dim the lights. Play Sinatra or another one of their favorites and tidy up the kitchen , too!
7. Make the very last moment of your day together special by kissing them softly, accommodating a simple request like water or Kleenex, pulling the covers up to their chin, touching their forehead and telling them how much they're valued.