relationships

Best Valentine’s Day Gifts And Activities For the Love of Your Life That Aren’t Just A Dinner

It’s okay to admit that you take your partner for granted. We often forget how love began simply because it’s been so long. This Valentine’s Day shows your partner that you do truly love them by giving them more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates or flowers. Because while all of that is nice, doing something extra such as giving them a unique gift that not only says “I love you” but rather “I love you more today than the first day we met.” We’ve featured some really special gifts that will make your partner feel loved like never before.

A group Valentine’s Day party.

Unsplash

Who says Valentine’s Day has to be just between two people? Instead of having a dreadful dinner for two at an overcrowded restaurant, host a party with other couples and celebrate love with a real bash. It’ll be a lot more fun, we can assure you.

A scavenger hunt.

YouTube

If you’ve seen the movie “Amelie,” you’ll know there’s lovely scavenger hunt seen in which the protagonist leaves a trail of clues for the man she desires. Think about that kind of concept for your partner. Leave notes and questions with clues to the next location that will lead them back to you.

Personalized book for couples.

Instagram/@lovebookonline

Do you always get asked, “so how did you two meet?” Instead of retelling the story, show them the actual story through LoveBook — a printed book with your personalized story. Go to lovebookonline.com to submit your story and get a published book with the story of how you met.

Recreate the day you met (or your first date).

Unsplash

For those that have been together for a while, have you ever gone back to that one restaurant where you two had your first date? This Valentine’s Day goes back to that city, that bar, or wherever your first date was to remember how it all started.

Personalized mixtape pillow.

uncommongoods.com

No one makes mixtapes anymore, which sucks so bad because that was one of the way’s you could tell your crush that you liked them. For $58 you can lay your pretty little head on a soft mixtape made just for you and your love. Bonus points for listening to your favorite tunes while using the pillow.

The Lovebox Spinning Heart Messenger Box.

instagram/@lovebox_love

This personalized “love box” is basically like a regular text message only it’s more special and saved in a special love box. Get it? You buy the love box, send a message via the app, and your person will get an indication (via a spinning heart) that they have a message. They open it, and bam. Love delivered, just go to en.lovebox.love. 

A personalized map that shows your two worlds coming together.

Etsy

These days, it kind of rare that two people fall in love who happen to be from the same area. Thanks to social media, people from all over the world are coming together all in the name of love. Commemorate these two worlds coming by framing your individual cities, or hoods, or countries in one picture. You can purchase them on Etsy for $45.

Hire a mariachi to serenade your love.

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“Ay, ay, ay, ay/ Canta y no llores,” imagine hearing those words from a mariachi that is hired to sing just for you. That is the ultimate gift that no one would expect.

Give them the moon.

Amazon

The next time your loved one says “I love you to the moon and back” respond by saying “Oh yeah? Prove it!” Now you can. For $20 you can get a 3D LED dual color light in the shape of the moon that will light up any room. And more importantly your lover’s heart.

Luminous dice game for a little sexy time.

Amazon

Let’s get real for a second. Your sex life probably needs a jumpstart, and that’s only natural especially for a couple that’s been together forever. These dice will help you the boost you need. You just can’t beat a $13 deal on Amazon.

Go on a long weekend getaway staycation.

Instagram/@curiocollection

If you truly can’t get away for a trip somewhere abroad, why not just take a break for a couple of days without getting on a plane. Don’t you deserve at least a night away at a grand hotel? We suggest visiting a Curio Collection hotel (they have 74 beautiful hotels all over the world and probably near you) where it will feel like you’re in a world far far away.

Play the Fog of Love.

Facebook/Fogoflove

Love is magical, sometimes even not of this world. Fog of Love — a board game — that tells a “powerful, cinematic love story that will leave a lasting impression and the best way to experience any great movie is to not know how it will end, so we won’t give any spoilers away.” Now that’s a game we can get into, especially on Valentine’s Day.

One book for all of your special meals.

Amazon

One of the things couples do more than anything is else is go out to eat. But are their certain meal experiences that stick out more than others? Certianly! That’s why this book — Menus: A Book for Your Meals and Memories — is a perfect gift. You will be able to keep forever those special meals and recipes that you can pass down your children, and be remembered forever. The book is available for $14 on Amazon.

Forget tattooing your lover’s name, get a personalized ring instead.

Amazon

We know you’re in love, but do you really have to get a tattoo to prove it? Nah. Get a cute tiny ring with your love’s name on it instead! These rings are available on Amazon for just $24.

A rain shower head will change your life.

signaturehardware.com

There’s a reason why we people love going to hotels, one of them being the bathroom. Bring a little piece of heaven with you and present your partner with this incredible gift that will transform both of your lives.

Talk to each other.

Amazon

We know it’s hard to talk to your partner after years of being together, but TableTopics can change that. They have a TableTopic for all kinds of situations including for family and friends, but for Valentine’s Day, we suggest you get the one for couples. It’s just $25 on Amazon.

A personalized liquor bottle.

Amazon

If your partner likes a fine glass of liquor, this personalized gift on Amazon for $45 is perfect for them.

Get to know each other again as if you were on a first date

iciclesgame.com

Is it possible to break the ice with someone you have been with forever? Yes, in fact, it might be harder than if it was the first date. The Icicles Game is a fun question game that will help you learn about your lover all over again.

Hire a cleaning crew for a month.

Unsplash

Sometimes the everyday stuff gets in the way of really enjoying life and your partner. Why not give them a treat of no work at home? If that doesn’t say “I love you” nothing will.

Get them a celebrity shoutout.

cameo.com

For as little as $50 your partner’s favorite B-list celebrity will send them a special message right on their phone. We did this for our loved one, and believe me they cannot stop telling all of their friends about this unique gift.


READ: 20 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For All The People You Love In Your Life

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From No-Sleep Lifestyles To ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey,’ People Talk About The Toxic Things We Tend To Glamorize

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From No-Sleep Lifestyles To ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey,’ People Talk About The Toxic Things We Tend To Glamorize

“Being able to function with minimal levels of sleep. I know I used to do that, it feels so much better to get a full night of rest though.”- iimuffinsaur

“This is my mom. I’m a very heavy sleeper. I don’t function without at least 8 – 9 hours a night. She often makes snarky comments about how she was awake at 3:30 am and working while I slept until 5. God forbid I stay in bed until 6 on a Sunday! Then I’m no better than a bum!”- Smart-Connection6154

“When I was in middle school I had stayed up all night like with friends or something and thought the feeling the next day was pretty cool and funny. did it in high school a few times here and there especially in the summer and again I was so cool. Stayed up all night a few times throughout college, either partying, hang out with friends, or studying. I would still function the next day so obviously it was no big deal just sometimes be sleep deprived. I knew what sleep deprivation felt like, I knew what exhaustion felt like. It wasn’t that bad.

Fast forward to early 30s and I’m a new mom. On more than one occasion I can recall sitting on the bathroom floor with my knees drawn up to my chest, sobbing, I can hear my daughter crying in her crib middle of the afternoon, I can feel my organs wanting to shut down and my whole body desperately trying to turn off. Mentally I was absolutely terrified that I was never again going to get to sleep. That’s no exaggeration. I was terrified out of my mind. I really did truly believed that I was dying. It had been months of nights where I was woken up every 45 minutes, only to be up for at least an hour. I was truly considering myself lucky if I got 3 hours of very broken sleep. Even before my daughter came, the third trimester I was up four or five times a night because I have an overactive bladder that was made worse by pregnancy.

When my second came along, I would have anxiety attacks about the impending sleep deprivation that I knew was going to be coming. My kids are older now, they sleep through the night no problem, if they have to get up and go to the bathroom they go themselves and if they do wake me up it’s maybe once a month. And yet I still start to panic if I can’t fall asleep at night or if I wake up during the night and can’t go back to sleep in a timely fashion. I’m so afraid of ever experiencing that level of sleep deprivation again.

Sleep deprivation is no joke.”- girlwhoweighted

“And boasting that you work 60 hours a week and never take any holidays or sick leave.”- _harro_

“If you work super duper hard and dedicate your entire life to your career you become rich! Everybody knows that! All the rich company owners told us that’s how it’s done so it must be true. They are rich after all.”- DarthTheRaider

“My job says if u call out more than 3 times you get an occurrence (basically a mark for disciplinary action). This also applies to being late. There are also a number of ways at work to get a mark as well. 4 occurrences is a warning, 5 is written warning, and 6 is termination. Meaning if you’re just having a very bad year and need to call out more than normal, you’re out of a job. I literally come into work sick because I’m terrified I’ll have some kind of windfall and need to call out in a no choice situation.

These also affect your ability to get promoted which I am trying to do. And even then it’s no guarantee. I’ve called out once in the last 12 months because I’m trying to get a new job that I’m easily qualified for but competing against fatigue worshippers who haven’t called out in years. There were a couple of times I was literally puking in the bathroom I was so sick but didn’t want to call out or go home (going home early is an occurrence).

You may say find a new job, but there are no jobs right now that pay this well. Don’t get me wrong, the pay is great for where I live and I actually like (eh maybe more tolerate easily?) the job. It’s just their culture I can’t stand.”- MasterPip 

“I’m in academia and remember in grad school being so intimidated by postdocs who kept insisting they had so much to do they worked all weekends, couldn’t take vacations, stressed all the time, etc. And this was in Europe so not a crazy work obsession like in the USA!

Made me feel so nervous that I wasn’t cut out for it because I was only doing regular hours, and now that I’m a postdoc myself I can now say those people were just insane. Maybe if you’re in a field where you need to be in the lab for research to happen it’s different, but in mine I’d say you either have terrible working habits or say yes to a ton of stuff you shouldn’t if you’re working 60+ hours every week.”- Andromeda321

“the whole idea of being a ”hustler” and never staying off the grind is extremelly toxic. everyone keeps promoting that you should always work and be productive but that just won’t work. everyone needs a balance in their lives and putting your 95% of effort into working will just drain every bit of inspiration or fun from you.”- taeslid

“I belonged to an internet group with a member who did this ALL THE TIME. No matter the topic of discussion, from working out to watching the Oscars on TV, she would always be inform the rest of us that she had no time for such things because of her job.

She worked as a communications specialist at a small town hospital.”- haloarh

“I think the most jarring part of this paradigm is that the people humble-bragging about how hard they worked and how successful they are never take the time to address the value of:

  • simple good luck (good health, good circumstances, right place right time)
  • waiting

The message is always “look at how good I’ve got it, and all because I worked so hard [implicitly harder than you because I have this and you do not therefore you must not be doing the hard work that I do]”. Obviously there is a value to working smarter not harder and capitalising on opportunities but it overlooks the basic principle that so much must have gone right for them that is beyond their control for which they now take credit.

The waiting point is a big one for me as well. People who espouse this “hard work, constant graft” attitude fail to acknowledge that sometimes in life there is a value derived from the passage of time. Sure some people get lucky and make millions at a young age or become grotesquely famous due to some twist of public interest but for most people there is a real life value in the experience gained through living your life and just turning up. You don’t need to constantly thrash yourself into moving 100mph, you don’t need to beat yourself down for taking some time to catch your breath and actually enjoy life. Sometimes you just have to keep turning the wheel for a bit, maybe it’s a few years in a job that is really good for your career or a few years just putting money in the piggybank so you can buy your first house.

We live in a world that has commercialised success stories, the narrative that you can go from “nothing” to “something” in a relatively short time using the power of your supreme genius and superhuman work ethic is saleable, on social media (celebs on instagram), in magazines, on TV etc etc. Obviously some people do hit a booster and go very fast very quickly but for just about 99.9% of us that’s a fallacy. Sometimes all you need to do is keep working at a healthy, sustained pace and focus on enjoying your time on this planet because there are no bonus points for working yourself into a state of misery.”- aightshiplords

“Severe codependent “romance”. Twilight is a good example of an extreme case of this.

Also, manipulative, possessive, and controlling behavior in a romantic partner.”- tygs42

“Yeah, what the fuck was that “break into her room at night and watch her sleep” crap?

bUt ItS TwOo LoVE!

Bullshit! it’s stalking and it’s creepy.
Him being over a hundred years old doesn’t make it any better either.”- Ruadhan2300

“Also Fifty Shades. You don’t want a Mr Grey, Karen. Women who get a Mr Grey end up in the morgue or in the women’s refuge after fleeing for their lives.”- house_autumn

“Damaged bad boys do not take breakups very well in fiction. See: Anakin Skywalker, Edward Cullen, Christian Grey, etc.”- SamaritanPrime

“Kind of along these lines, when a guy is an asshole to everyone except his girlfriend, it doesn’t mean that she’s special to him. It means he knows how to not be an asshole just enough to convince someone that he isn’t an asshole.”- SmartAlec105

“I remember my mother trying that. It backfired spectacularly when she realized I was enjoying the peace and quiet, so she just beat the shit out of me again.”- PotentialRegister8

“Ah, that was my mom…refusing to speak to me for days sometimes and I usually didn’t know why. At the time it was so stressful and I would spend that time crying and walking on eggshells trying not to upset her further. Now I’m like, uh this was going on from the time I can remember, which was 4 years old and she was an adult…who does that?!”- ummugh

“Twilight. It’s not really a healthy relationship.”- BandicootCrustybuns

“A couple I went to school with used to proudly compare their relationship to Joker and Harley Quinn.

I blame the Suicide Squad movie. It didn’t show off the absolute tragedy of Harley’s relationship with Joker and I’d say it glamourised it more than anything.”- loneOstrich

“The book/movie that really stands out for me is the 50 Shades series. He’s only sexy/romantic because he’s rich. If he were poor and got rid of her car without asking, tossed all of her clothes, tracked her phone, covered her in bruises/hickeys because he didn’t like how she behaves… He was a total shitbag…. Yet so many women thought that their relationship was amazing.”- DelicateIslandFlower

“I was raised by a single father and started to realize that when I didn’t obey out of fear or had my own arguments and opinions he kind of respected me and listened to me more. That caused me to have a very natural behaviour around men regarding my opinions.

I state them, I disagree and I am not afraid to be unlikable because of it. In the end it’s just an opinion and healthy discussions should endure this.

Also, people tend to listen to you if you are respectful, waiting for your turn to talk and state your opinion well spoken and calm, there’s no need to get hysterical or emotional because someone else disagrees with you. I feel oftentimes this might be a problem in discussions and in order to avoid that, women (no generalisation just because the question is aimed at women) often agree because they fear personal conflict.”- tingletangletits

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Reddit Users Are Sharing Advice On How To Get Over Your Fear Of Being Hurt By A New Partner

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Reddit Users Are Sharing Advice On How To Get Over Your Fear Of Being Hurt By A New Partner

Heartache often proves to be a heck of a mountain to get over.

Isolating, physically and emotionally draining, and ultimately desperate, the feeling of having your heart split into can be a traumatizing one that can bleed into future relationships. No matter how healthy or new, the relationships we get into after heartbreaks can be difficult to navigate, and often times feel like a minefield of potential problems.

Users on Reddit know this truth and are doing their best to help us all get over our dating fears.

Check out some helpful insights below!

“By healthily distancing myself and having more to focus on in my life than a current relationship. I find that I have more trouble with these feelings when I’m lacking outside hobbies and friends. It’s easy to constantly worry about a new relationship when it’s the center of your world, and giving yourself space outside the relationship can also really help if you’re prone to being codependent on partners/spouses.”- SwirlyButterfly

“After certain number of heartbreaks, you start to realize you’ve always survived and you’ll survive if it happens again. Having a full life apart from the relationship is a big part of that.”- 1VulgarWoman

“When I started going on out the weekends with friends, it helped soooo much. I noticed when I was getting depressed I wasn’t going out at all. Giving myself the space allowed the relationship to flow perfectly.”- itristain

“By going slow. When my now fiance asked me out I was five months removed from being raped by two guys at a house party and was still really shaken up about it. I didn’t trust men, I didn’t crave sex or intimacy, I was anxious and hurt. But against my gut I agreed to go on the date and was delighted to find he was sweet and respected my wishes. After we’d been seeing each other for about three months I told him that I’d been assaulted and he was always there for emotional support. We’re getting married in August, our sex life is great and I’m infatuated with him. It just took time.”- Mineralista406

“I know that moving forward after a bad relationship I will never ignore red flags and chose partners with morals and goals similar to mine. Do not ignore red flags because you’re lonely. It’s not worth it.”- Melyjane312

“It’s hard because it took me a long time and a lot of conversations to feel secure and that i was finally with someone who wasn’t going to hurt me. And he said all of those right things with no doubts, no red flags etc. However sure enough one day- heart broken. So I don’t know how i will ever do it again.”- icecream112233

“Depends if you are with them, or want one right away.

For me, distance, u dont need someone else to be complete, put those standards high. If you want a loving gentle yet strong and dependable partner, manifest him.”- Koroklass

“I think it might be helpful to adopt a mindset where you realize people aren’t really going to change for you (unless you have a really special bond or something and you’re in a really deeply committed relationship where your partner is willing to compromise etc.) and that whatever they do is a reflection of who they are as a person and not who you are. Yeah you can communicate and if they choose to listen then great, If not well there’s almost always a choice on whether to stay or not. Sometimes it’s not that people want to hurt you it’s just that they simply don’t know better or they have some character “flaw” that speaks more about them. Or that due to timing or the nature of things it can’t work right now, or some people aren’t built for relationships, and that relationships can be vastly different with different people. No one is perfect and we can only do our best. And like what other people are saying, shift that focus onto yourself and work on being a good person living a happy and healthy life doing things that you love will help!”- imightforgetthis11

“Aww man… it took over a year. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and some months. I used to have bad anxiety. I never been in a healthy relationship. This feeling was sooo new to me. I felt so uneasy and still wouldn’t and couldn’t trust him. I prayed ALOT. And It was proven that I could trust him and just relax but I still couldn’t. I tried 3 therapist that didn’t help. I just wasted money. What helped me was reading books and going out with my friends. I am currently reading 4 books and reading them has helped my issues. It’s therapy for me. I read books about relationships and men and women. I learned more about myself. I got a relationship/life coach by researching the book and found that there are people who will coach you. She told me I get anxiety because I’m going against my feminine ways. I was trying to control my bf for no reason, nag him and etc. I stopped doing that and became relaxed. I focused on becoming a better person. I read books on being feminine in a relationship and I tried it. I started being more happy and just letting go. I stopped worrying and it feels great. I don’t think he will hurt me. I don’t have those thoughts anymore. I don’t think he’ll cheat either. He adores me so much and I get reminded of that every single day. I just sat back and did nothing and focused on ME. You have to fix yourself before you get into a relationship or else marriage will unravel it all and it could go bad. When I prayed I already had confirmation. I downloaded scripture apps and got more into prayer. If you’re religious then trusting God will help you trust yourself

I also learned that thinking negative has ALOT to do with it. I learned to only think positive and I’m normally happy the whole entire day. I just changed my life around. My coach also said when I change, my partner changes. He was always loving to me, but now he seems to have falling deeper.”- itristain

“Books have also been a huge help in my healing journey and figuring out how not only my partners, but I was hurting and sabotaging my relationships.”-Sea-Delay

“I am and always have been laid back, loving and trusting in my relationships. But they have always ended in the the guy treating me bad eventually (I have broken up with them pretty quick after such treatment). But now I always have a feeling they will betray me no matter how loving our relationship is, like they are always just pretending to be loving and will eventually be horrible to me and it makes me feel really sad.”- callmedeniro

“Time and taking things slowly in the beginning. Took me a while to get there but I worked through those feelings and got there eventually.”- kinkyspidersex

“My fiance came home from work and instead of helping my friend move that was standing right outside, he told me he actually didn’t love and dint want to be in this life with me anymore. So that was rough. I dont think… I have gotten over that fear? I still think about how my current, long term partner of almost 3 years might do that. And there’s not much I can do about it? It wasn’t my fault the first time, shit just happens, he might fall out of love with me this time too. I just remember those fears are mine,and not rational, and thats not fair to put on my current partner to make me feel better about.”- seeemilydostuf

“It all came down to the right man. He could have other women but he wants me. He doesn’t have to be with someone to be happy but he chooses to be with me. He never tells me something he doesn’t think is true. In light of all that I just can’t really imagine him hurting me or lying to me about how he feels… he’s just had so many opportunities to do something else and he hasn’t.”- phasestep

“Day by day, by being vulnerable with my new partner and most of the time he doesn’t let me down.”- StrongEye1738

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