Fall is here. That means pumpkins, apple cider and — gulp — Sweetest Day. When you first start dating someone, these things are a breeze. Just grab a mushy card, make goo-goo eyes at each other and let the fireworks begin! But after you’ve been in a relationship for a while, real life sets in. You’re on a budget, working overtime and running the kids all over town.
Does that mean that romance is out of the question? No way! There are way more meaningful ways to say “I love you” than with expensive gifts or weekend getaways.
Free and Meaningful Sweetest Day Gift Ideas
You can still celebrate Sweetest Day, even if you’re tight on time, money or both. Here are 10 ideas to show your significant other (SO) the love this Sweetest Day.
1. Go for a Bike Ride Together
Whether it’s a leisurely ride or an action-packed muddy adventure, it’s sure to be a lot of fun. Together, you’ll get your blood pumping, breathe in fresh air and take in the beautiful fall scenery.
2. Enjoy a Picnic or Bonfire
Can you slip away during the day? Pack up a tasty lunch, and eat it in a park surrounded by beautiful fall leaves. Can’t get any alone time until the kids are in bed? How about snuggling under a comfy blanket and sipping wine in front of a fire?
3. Write a Thank You Note
There’s bound to be a ton of stuff you love about your sweetie, but sometimes we forget to let them in on that little secret. Take some time to jot down a list of things you appreciate about your SO, and thank them for being them.
4. Create a Playlist
Are there songs that make you fall in love all over again? Sometimes it’s hard to put your feelings into words. Thank goodness there are artists out there who can do it for us! Take advantage of that, and compile a collection of songs that express how you really feel.
5. Make Plans to Do Something You Know They Love
As couples, we all have interests we share as well as interests we don’t. We don’t have to do everything together. Heck, it would be boring if we did! But sometimes it’s nice to give your SO a chance to share something that brings them joy — even if it’s not your cup of tea.
6. Offer a Massage
Aside from a professional massage therapist, your SO is probably the only person who can offer this wonderful experience. Whether you’re giving a back rub or a foot rub, it’s relaxing and intimate — and you never know where it will lead.
7. Give Your Full Attention
In our fast-paced world, giving someone your complete, undivided attention is harder than it sounds. Turn off the phone. Turn off the TV. Stop thinking about work and the endless list of things you need to get done, and just BE with them.
8. Do One of “Their Chores”
Couples are part of a team — we divide and conquer. Whether chores have been official assigned or not, we tend to fall into our roles — I cook, and they wash the dishes. I mow the lawn, and they do the laundry. On Sweetest Day, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to the surprise that one of “your chores” has already been done for you?
9. Make a Video Slideshow
Technology has come so far. Things that used to be a huge undertaking can now be done in minutes! Go through your computer or phone, and put together a slideshow of the two of you — better yet, set it to music. Watch it together, and reminisce.
10. Turn Off Auto Pilot
When you’ve been a couple for a while, it’s easy to forget who your SO is as an individual. Make an effort to see them as the person they are, not just the role they play in your life. Then try three things you may not have done in a while: Kiss them like you mean it; say I love you like you mean it; and hug them for longer than two seconds. You may be surprised how meaningful this feels.