For a day that’s all about love, Valentine’s Day gets a surprising amount of hate! In 2019, 64% of Americans aged 18-36 called the holiday “overrated.” According to an article by The Balance from the same year, only 51% of overall Americans planned to celebrate it.

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There are a lot of reasons that people choose to ignore or even protest Valentine’s Day. Some of the most common objections were compiled in a humorous article by The Guardian in 2016, along with some pretty fantastic responses. This catalog of grievances against the holiday includes the insufferable tendency of couples to flaunt their relationships, the pressure to be romantic on command, and the overwhelming presence of materialism.  

Some of these complaints are understandable. No one should feel expected to express their love in a way that doesn’t feel right to them, nor should anyone have to feel bad about not having a significant other in their life. 

At the same time, it’s not fair to write off the whole holiday as shallow based on some of the typical ways that people observe it. Climbing onto the “I hate Valentine’s Day” soapbox doesn’t make you any cooler or more authentic than someone who chooses to shower their sweetheart with candy and flowers. The point of Valentine’s Day is to appreciate the people you love most, and you shouldn’t miss out on that because of a few naysayers.

Instead of looking at it as external pressure to perform romance, think of it as a wonderful opportunity to express the love you feel. If heart shaped cards and prix fixe menus aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. 

There’s nothing wrong with showing your fondness for someone in an over-the-top-way as long as it comes from the heart. After all, if there’s someone in your life that makes you want to declare your love with a grand gesture, why should you pretend to feel anything less? 

This Valentine’s Day, embrace romantic traditions and make them your own. ArtPix 3D is here with gift inspiration and date night ideas to help you personalize your approach. Here’s our guide to planning an unforgettable, sincere Valentine’s Day celebration.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Gifts

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Contrary to popular belief, Valentine’s Day isn’t all about proving your love with extravagant purchases. It’s totally fine to opt out of exchanging gifts on February 14 if that’s not your thing. However, if you think your partner would appreciate a small token of affection, we have some thoughtful gift ideas that put a personalized twist on traditional V Day offerings.

Unique Flowers

“Genuine” Arrangement from The Bouqs

As far as traditional Valentine’s Day gifts go, you can’t go wrong with the delivery of a fresh bouquet of flowers. This arrangement of pink roses and purple phlox from The Bouqs puts an eye-catching spin on the time-honored standard of a dozen roses. You can also take your bouquet to the next level by doing a little floriography research to find out what secret message you might be sending based on the colors you choose.

Chocolate Gems

Variety Rare Facets Box from KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates

The classic companion to a lovely bouquet on Valentine’s Day is a box of chocolates. Whether or not you believe that chocolate actually enhances romantic feelings, we can all agree that there is almost nothing more indulgent than biting into this velvety, bittersweet confection. Give your partner the royal treatment with a box full of jewel-shaped Rare Facets chocolates from KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates. These brightly colored, ganache-filled gems are as delightfully unusual as they are creamy and delicious.

A Chocolate Explosion

Firecracker Bonbons from Chuao Chocolatier 

If you’re looking for a decadent sensory experience that goes above and beyond even the luxury of cream-filled chocolates, these Firecracker Bonbons from Chuao Chocolatier are sure to delight your adventurous taste-buds. It’s not just the chipotle caramel filling that earns these truffles their name; they’re also stuffed with popping candy that creates an actual flavor explosion in your mouth!

A 3D Crystal Diamond

3D Crystal Diamond from ArtPix 3D 

Jewelry is probably one of the most popular gifts to buy for a significant other on Valentine’s Day, but expense doesn’t always equal thoughtfulness. If you want to wow your partner with a luxury item, consider something a little more personalized. Let ArtPix 3D turn a meaningful photo of you and your special someone into a detailed engraving inside a breathtaking crystal keepsake. Our 3D Crystal Diamond shines as brilliantly as any precious gem, plus you can customize it with a romantic message!

A Book of Love Poems

Love Poems Barnes and Noble Collective Edition

While it’s important to express your love in your own words, most of us could use a little help now and then. Who could be more qualified to lend exquisite language to your romantic confessions than great poets like Emily Dickinson, John Keats, and William Shakespeare? This little red book of love poems from Barnes and Noble has compiled everything you’ve ever wanted to say about your aching heart into one conveniently-sized volume.

Valentine’s Day DIY 

The best way to ensure that a gift is 100% original is to make it yourself! Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to dig out your craft supplies or kitchen tools to create something one-of-a-kind for someone special. These love-themed DIY projects are not only sure to impress your S.O., but they’re also a lot of fun!

Handmade Valentine Cards

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Trying to find the perfect valentine in a drugstore aisle full of greeting cards can be a long and painful process. Even the biggest valentine hearts or wittiest puns aren’t quite enough to express the way you really feel about someone. Your love story is unique, so you should tell it in your own way. A homemade valentine allows you the creative freedom to do just that. Need some ideas? Check out these adorable DIY valentine cards from Real Simple.

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate-covered strawberries are one of the most tried and true staples of Valentine’s Day. The perfect combination of rich chocolate and fresh fruit, anyone would be pleased to receive a box of these luxurious treats. Lucky for you, they’re not as hard to make as they look! Check out this recipe for Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Tastes Better from Scratch.

DIY Sugar Scrub

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Homemade desserts are always a wonderful gift, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If you’re looking for something creative you can whip up for your partner without giving them a sugar buzz, try this Vanilla Love Sugar Scrub. While your S.O. won’t be able to eat this sugary treat, it’s still the sweetest self-care gift they could receive.

Homemade Conversation Hearts

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Conversation hearts are fun to read out loud and even more fun to eat, but they’re not the most heartfelt or personal gifts. That is, unless you make them yourself! This recipe lets you create custom heart candies with your own stamped messages. Whether you choose to write romantic love notes or reference your favorite inside jokes, these homemade candy conversation hearts are sure to delight your significant other.

DIY Decor

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No holiday would be complete without decorations, and Valentine’s Day is no exception! If you and your S.O. live together, or if you’re planning to invite them over, turn your space into a love nest fit for Cupid himself with a few DIY projects. Make an extravagant wall hanging out of real roses with this tutorial, or use candy hearts to create a unique floral centerpiece. If you still haven’t taken down your Christmas tree, or if it’s stored someplace accessible, you can turn it into a Valentine’s Day tree! Check out this article for inspiration.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

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As far as Valentine’s Day traditions go, some form of date night is pretty much essential. While a lot of couples elect for a standard upscale meal at a trendy restaurant, this could be an opportunity to try something a little different. Consider taking the opportunity to create a meaningful bonding experience with your S.O. by planning one of these interactive dates.

Local Live Music

Nothing has the power to move people quite like live music. Whether it’s a big name band at a large venue or an up-and-coming act in the corner of a restaurant, experiencing the in-the-moment joy of a live performance is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day with someone you love. Any event that requires a ticket around February 14 is bound to fill up fast, so the sooner you start planning, the better!

An Escape Room 

For the adventurous couple, it might take a little perceived danger to create a memorable date night. Escape Rooms simulate the thrill of peril without actually putting you in harm’s way. They allow you to bond with your partner by working together to solve a series of puzzles in order to reach a shared goal: escaping before time runs out! If you’re not entirely sold on the idea, check out this article from Escape the Room on why this is one of the best date night ideas ever.

A High-Concept Bar

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To some, the idea of spending the evening at a bar on Valentine’s Day might sound like a nightmare rather than a fun date idea. However, it all depends on the bar you choose. Sampling specialty cocktails at a high-concept bar or an old-fashioned speakeasy lends a little romance to the outing. Do a little research on your local bar scene and see if any niche venues catch your eye.

A Dance Lesson

Dancing is an excellent way for couples to build intimacy, trust, and cooperation. It’s also a lot of fun! If you’re looking for something a little more active to do on Valentine’s Day, check to see if a local dance school or other venue is hosting a public dance class.

A Progressive Dinner

Maybe you and your S.O. still prefer a night of fine dining to these other activities. That’s totally fine! But why not kick things up a notch? If you think you’ve got the stamina, we challenge you to a gourmet adventure: the progressive dinner. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a several course meal in the format of a bar crawl, meaning that you enjoy each course at a different restaurant. This article by Carey Jones provides an excellent example of how to plan one.

Stay-at-home Date Ideas

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The downside of going out on Valentine’s Day is that pretty much every other couple will be doing the same, meaning that you may have to deal with massive crowds. If that’s not really your thing, you don’t have to leave the house to have a fantastic date. Here are a few ways you can make staying in magical.

Cooking together

Eating out can be a lovely treat, but cooking at home with your S.O. gives you the opportunity to work together and create a delicious meal that you can both enjoy. Minimize the dishes you’ll have to clean up afterward by cooking this Steakhouse Sheet Pan Dinner for Two, designed to fit inside a single pan.

Getting to Know You Game

Even if you’ve been together for years, you’ll never stop learning new things about your partner. Try playing this Getting to Know You Game, complete with fun, printable questions. You’ll both be touched to find out how well you know each other, and you’ll probably make some surprising discoveries, too! 

Mood Music

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

Every couple has at least one song that symbolizes an important moment in their relationship. Whether it’s the first album you bought together or the song that was playing in the background during your first kiss, listening to music that means something to both of you is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day. Try making a special playlist of meaningful songs to play during your stay-at-home date. If you’re drawing a blank, don’t worry: the Valen-Times Machine from iHeart Radio can help you out. Just type in a significant year in your relationship, and this handy tool will provide you with a list of the top love songs at the time.

Movie Night

There’s nothing like staying in with a good movie for a relaxing date. However, if this is your Valentine’s Day plan, there are a few things you can do to make it a little more special. First, choose an outstanding romantic film. You can never go wrong with a timeless black and white classic, but you might consider an arthouse or indie film, as well. Next, treat yourselves to some gourmet movie snacks, like this chocolate-drizzled popcorn. Finally, snuggle up on the couch, dim the lights, and enjoy the movie!

Indoor Stargazing

DIY Night Light Baby Star Projector from Amazon

Staring up at a sky full of stars with someone you love is incredibly romantic, but any activity that depends on cooperation from the weather is a difficult one to plan a date around. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea entirely; it just means you might have to get a little creative. Turn your living room into a starry landscape with this constellation projector from Amazon, and you won’t have to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy a picnic under the open sky. 

We hope that these fun, romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day 2020 have convinced you to celebrate love with abandon. If you need more gift inspiration, you can check out our shop here.
If you’re single this year, don’t pass up a perfectly good opportunity to exchange cute cards and enjoy delicious chocolate. In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about great ways to show your friends and family some appreciation this Valentine’s Day, so stay tuned!