- Don’t leave the bed
Remember what sleeping in felt like? Try dozing on and off with someone you love while refusing to leave the bedroom this Valentine’s Day. Have coffee in bed, binge-watch romantic comedies on Netflix and stay between the sheets. Throw on your pajamas and light some candles, couples. You’re not going anywhere.
- Try something new
This Valentine’s Day, ask your significant other about what they’ve never done. Take a road trip to that one city in California you’ve always wanted to visit. Try a new type of food. Trying something new with your boyfriend or girlfriend with strengthen your trust and show each other how you deal with the not-so-familiar or scary. Sky diving? Sure. Matching tattoos? Maybe next year.
- See a free concert
More than ever, small and intimate, free gigs are popping up all around Southern California. Nearly every weekend there is an upcoming artist stepping onto the stage at a local pub or record store. On Valentine’s Day weekend, support a local musician or group with your sweetheart. Go in with no expectations to create a space of excitement between the two of you. You’ll get out of the apartment, get a quick bite to eat before the show and maybe meet new friends in the crowd.
- Take a long walk on the beach (Really.)
This Valentine’s Day, take your girl or guy on a walk around the perimeter of California State University, Long Beach. Just kidding! Instead, spend an entire day at the beach. Take a blanket, pack a lunch and soak up the California sunshine that, like your love, never seems to leave. If both of you get annoyed with the sand and the sound of crashing waves, go to a local park instead. Sit on a bench or in the grass looking out across a lake. Peaceful places make for successful dates.
- There’s more than one?
All right, die-hard Star Wars, Harry Potter and Rocky Horror couples – this Valentine’s Day take a break from the outside world, get used to your couch and cuddle up to your fellow Jedi and have a movie trilogy, pentalogy or ennealogy marathon. You’ll bond over Anikan’s transition to the Dark Side or hold each other as Harry plays his first Quidditch match. You will be stoked to watch your favorite epic in its entirety with your other half. May the romance be with you.
- Make a pizza
Go to your local grocery store this Valentine’s Day and pick up pizza sauce, cheese, pizza dough and you and your lover’s favorite pizza toppings. Then, fly home to your love nest and follow the directions. Soon enough, after a cute food fight and a cohesive choice on your favorite wine or soda, you’ll have a homemade Valentine’s Day dinner. Cooking with your significant other is a great way to learn how he or she works under pressure and follows directions. Plus, in the end, you get a pizza.
- Write a letter
For those couples who are unable to be with each other this Valentine’s Day: write. Grab some stationary and a pen, sit down, play Sam Smith and jot down what comes to mind. Hand written notes pull hard on the heartstrings. It will mean the world to see a hand written note from someone who cares for you, especially on Valentine’s Day. So this year, pull your eyes away from your phones and create something personal that someone can hold and re-read when they miss you.
There are many bars across Los Angeles County that host karaoke nights. Suck it up, get on stage and sing your heart out to classic love songs while professing your love to your boyfriend or girlfriend. They’ll appreciate your bravery reward you with support, or they might laugh in your face and make fun of you for the rest of the night but who cares! You’re out at a bar taking a creative risk with that special someone in the crowd. Just ‘Shake It Off.’ In the end you might ‘Get Lucky.’
- Book a trip
Get out of here! This Valentine’s Day sit on your computer with your sweet heart and book a trip. After you’ve chosen the dates, picked the place and got the tickets, start planning your getaway. Hiking around the Cliff of Moher, stuffing your face with pastries in Cologne or seeing what Canada is really like could give the next year of being together a boost. You’ll have something to look forward to together, plan together and pack for together. Plus, couple’s trips make for cute, annoying social media posts and stories to tell to the family during the holidays.
- Give back
Before buying the champagne, the overly-large teddy bear and the roses, give back to your community with your love this Valentine’s Day. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, rescue a new pet or help at a beach or creek clean-up. Yes, this is not the most romantic option on this list but spending a day watching your special someone lend a hand will fill your soul with butterflies and accomplishment. “That’s my shnookums,” you will say. “Look at her filling that garbage can.” “Look at him holding that three-legged puppy.” Assisting those in need will remind you both that, these days, people need each other to lean on, and if things get tough, you’ll know your “shnookums” won’t hesitate to be there for you.