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By: Dr Afiniki Akanet, author of Fortitude and Life Without Coffee (Choosing Happiness Over Stress)
Posted on: Feb 3, 2020

7 Affordable Ways to Say 'I Love You' This Valentine's Day

Published author and TCH guest blogger, Dr. Afiniki Akanet, shares 7 ways to say 'I love you' without breaking the bank.

I have never really looked into the history of Valentine’s Day, but any day that celebrates love and kindness is a good thing in my books. I remember how stressful it was in high school when teenage girls would be wondering if they would get anything for Valentine’s day, and boys wondering if they were supposed to give anything to their female friend. I have no idea what happens in schools these days, because my little daughter just looks forward to getting a card for her dad, and one from him.

As adults, we are free to choose how much attention we pay to the date. Some people hate the commercialisation of these dates, while others go all out with cards, expensive gifts and fancy dinner dates. In my opinion, a good relationship does not need Valentine’s Day as an excuse to show love, but it is nice to have special days, where we remember not to take each other for granted. People like to feel loved, and we know that actions speak louder than words. Here a few ways to express romantic love without breaking the bank.

Give them them a real hug

Not the quick ones we give in a rush, not the ones that have ulterior motives, or the cold hugs that finish before they start. You can give a good warm hug, because we all need one sometimes. Really be there and watch for a response, stay as long as necessary and hear the words unsaid. It is amazing how many people lack physical loving contact, and suffer loneliness, even in a ‘marriage’.

Help them out with something that you never normally get involved in

This shows that you have noticed what they do, and gives them one less job for the day or week. Just make sure you do it well! My husband would be amazed, and probably pinch himself, if I did something like mowing the lawn (not that I will be going for this option this year!) A 10-30 minute chore can say so much, if we choose to do it with love. We can all think of something to do that will impress them and make their day.

Present them with a bag of small but meaningful gifts

It won’t cost much, especially if they are snacks or everyday items in his/her favourite colour, for example. It is the thought that counts. Just pick a good moment to give it, and you will be scoring 10/10. Nice scents, ‘toys’, make-up, chocolate, jewellery and handy gadgets are a few things that can make them smile and feel loved. Personalisation (e.g. engraving) can make gifts even more special.

There are many ways to spice up a game of poker this Valentine's Day. Be sure to use Microban-treated playing cards from AMPC Global for the 'all-nighter'.
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Take them somewhere they have always wanted to visit

You don’t have to book the most expensive restaurant there. It is the fact that you listened to their desire and made it happen that shows love. Even a walk in Hyde Park (London, UK) can be romantic! Take a picnic if you want, or just enjoy the view with some hot chocolate. A lunchtime trip to a museum or an old school can be romantic, if you take into account what they like, and show you have been listening.

Don't overlook the gift of time

Instead of more presents, while we are still trying to de-clutter after Christmas, you could arrange some quality time together doing something he/she likes, something you’ve always wanted to do together or something romantic that lets you talk and reconnect. Everyone is so busy these days. Most mothers would love a date night and pamper session if they knew good childcare was sorted. Most men would love some time to just enjoy their wife, without mental or physical distractions, just like in the honeymoon days.

Make it yourself

My husband’s favourite scarf for many years was the one I personally knitted for him. It took me almost a year to finish it in those days, before we had children, but he loved it so much and used it every winter, until I accidentally lost it. I promised to knit another one, but it is still not finished after almost 4 years! It does not have to be perfect if you choose to make gifts, dinner, clothes etc yourself - it just needs to be made with love!

Remember the basics

If they like cards and flowers, get whatever type you can afford, and use your words well to say just how much they mean to you.

And for the singletons...

If you are not currently in a relationship and find yourself getting jealous of or irritated by all the loved-up couples, remember that you would probably be doing the same if you were in a relationship, and there is time for everything. Maybe this is a season to rediscover love for yourself, and choose to be happy for others. You could spend an evening pampering yourself too, and appreciating that you do not need to be in a relationship to be happy. No one knows you better than you know yourself, so love yourself and do something that makes you happy this Valentine's Day.