Whether you are celebrating an Anniversary, Valentine's Day, other romantic occasion, or any other ordinary day that you hope to make special, you can find some fantastic ideas here for activities and gifts that will make the day extra romantic for you and your partner.  

What about “Brinner”?

Many couples relish the chance to sleep in or spend the day lazing in bed when Valentine's Day or their Anniversary rolls around rather than rising early for breakfast. But who wants to miss out on the tasty treat of Belgian waffles, chocolate pancakes, or an indulgent champagne affair? Now you can have the best of both worlds when you serve up “Brinner”! This is an unusual twist on traditional themes, in which Brinner is actually breakfast in bed, but served up as an evening meal! Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to rustle up a complicated breakfast, enjoy all of your morning favourites in the evening, snuggling down under your covers with an accompaniment of orange juice and sparkling champagne – there can be no more fabulous or rebellious treat!

A home-cooked meal never disappoints

There is no better or impressive way to show your love for your partner than by cooking a meal from scratch yourself. Everyone knows that the way to your partner's heart is through the stomach, so you could prepare a special meal together, or alternatively have your loved one sample a delicious meal you prepared yourself. Unless your cooking is spectacularly bad, this romantic idea will never fail and is also simple and inexpensive. Make your surroundings even more romantic by lighting some candles, playing some soft music and laying the table with elegant linen and beautiful flowers.

Sample a few takeouts

Maybe cooking isn't up your street, or you would rather avoid spending the night sweating in the kitchen. If that is the case, why not relax, chill out and order takeout? But make it a little bit different. Indulge yourselves by ordering several dishes from more than one restaurant, and have a variety of cultural dishes to choose from. You can keep your leftovers for a few days in your fridge! Why not finish off with a delicious dessert... or even two or three! This is a special day, so spoil yourself and stop counting the calories or grams of fat!

Go camping

Camping trips represent the perfect way to get up close and personal with your loved one in the most romantic of settings. Snuggling around a campfire sharing roasted marshmallows and looking up at the beautiful stars while surrounded by nature's splendour is a wonderful way to spend a special evening. Perhaps you can't spare the time to get away from it all on a romantic camping trip together? Then why not enjoy the same romantic experience in your own back yard or living room? Set up your sleeping bags, make a chocolate fondue right there on the floor, and dip strawberries and marshmallows into the sugary goodness!

Try some new beers with a bit of Irish craic

Adventurous couples with a liking of beer will love sampling new and exciting varieties when they visit a local brewery to try a beer flight. Drinking a couple of beers with your loved one is a great way to relax and unwind, while the casual atmosphere enables you to chat about light hearted topics and have a good laugh. Even better, try to visit an Irish pub for a really romantic experience. Their homely atmosphere is friendly and warm, and the Irish music will help you both to forget your problems, focus on your relationship, and revel in the intimacy of being together.

Sing together

Outgoing and confident couples with a love of music are sure to enjoy going to a karaoke night, with the chance to sing love songs to each other, share a few laughs, and join in with fun duets on the stage together.

Home Suite Home

Enjoy a romantic night away from bustling crowds and crowded restaurants when you reserve a hotel suite and order room service to serve up all of your favourite foods. If you can, why not book a room for a couple of nights so you can enjoy waking up in your suite together on the special day itself. Arrange for breakfast in bed, stock the fridge with favourite snacks to enjoy throughout the day (such as cheeses and gourmet chocolates), lie in bed watching movies together, and then order dinner to be brought up to you at night. Pick a hotel with leisure facilities and you can even enjoy a swim and then a romantic couples massage.

Watch scary movies

While it may be more traditional to watch love movies back-to-back on a romantic date, you could always be a rebel and watch horror or thriller movies instead. Snuggling up to your loved one at every scary moment is a really romantic way to spend your evening.

Get close to nature

Let animals be your inspiration when arranging your romantic date with your partner. Observing wild animals within their own natural environment is a great way to relax and enjoy casual conversation, getting closer to each other than ever. Many zoos even have special deals on Valentine's Day to attract couples.

Give your home a makeover

Although it may not seem romantic, you could use your special day as a chance to work with your loved one on turning your shared home into a place that is even more romantic and special. Together, you can make your home a more attractive and comfortable place, tailored completely to your own tastes. Use your time to make some easy and quick changes like hanging new paintings and arranging new homewares and ornaments. Whatever you may choose to do, don’t forget to shop for a gorgeous new bedspread and lay it out on the day, symbolising the bedroom as the ultimate romantic room of the home! Whenever you see any of these new additions, you are sure to be reminded of the special day you have spent together.

Preserve the moment

Capture this special time with a romantic surprise couples photo shoot. Go to a special place or choose somewhere famous for its lovely scenery, and you can enjoy a shoot that will capture all of your most precious moments. If it is likely or possible to rain, opt for a photo studio instead and produce intimate and lovely photos of you as a couple.

Work out as a couple

Research has proven that people who work out as a couple enjoy a better sex life! With that in mind, go together to the gym and work up a sweat! After, take a steamy shower or bubble bath for two then finish your day with a long and relaxing couples massage.

Dance the night away

Salsa is the sexiest dance of all, so consider taking some private classes or go along to a local salsa club. Holding your partner close during a slow dance is one of the best ways to spend your romantic date. There's no need to be the best dancer on the floor, just enjoy the physical closeness and have fun!

Give with love

Why not share the love you have for your partner with the community, by selecting a charity that you both support and helping out together in whatever way you can. Whether you are participating in meals-on-wheels, helping to sort clothes at an op shop, creating a garden for the community, or taking care of animals at a local shelter, what better way to form a stronger connection with your loved one and strengthen your links to your community at the same time. Helping a charity will also help you both feel good about each other and about yourselves. End the day of good work with a special romantic dinner.

Visualise the future

Sit down with your partner and create a vision board outlining all of your future goals, dreams and hopes for your shared life. Grab a variety of magazines with some glue and scissors, and search for images that perfectly capture your ideal house, a dream holiday, and other pictures that sum up how grateful you are for the life you share together, and which give you inspiration for the future you still have ahead of you both. Post the board up somewhere as a visual reminder of the long-term future you commit to one another, and the goals you are working towards together as a union.

Party with friends

Whether it is your anniversary, Valentine's Day or another romantic event that you're celebrating, you can have more fun when you invite your friends along to celebrate with you. This is a perfect idea when you are in a new relationship and are worried that this romantic occasion might put undue pressure on you both. If it fits in with your style, plan a big and extravagant party, but if you would rather keep things low key, why not just put up a few decorations and ask some friends to bring some food and a bottle or two, and just enjoy yourselves.

Design a romantic gift of your own

It isn't always easy to find a gift that is unique and perfect, especially if money is tight. However, you don't need to splash out a fortune on your loved one as you can create a special present yourself. Creating a homemade gift is one of the best ways to express your love, so make a present that reveals to your partner how much you love them. You can read our section on anniversary gifts made by hand at this link for some fabulous ideas. Alternatively, another simple way to commemorate your anniversary is to go with a theme that matches the number of years you have been together. This can be as simple as presenting her with the specific flower of your anniversary, or some balloons in the specific colour of the anniversary year. For example, the 5th anniversary is represented by the daisy, and the colours pink, blue and turquoise. You can learn more about anniversary themes in this section on anniversary gifts by year.

Choose a fun theme and dress up

A classic love token such as a poem, a bunch of flowers or heart-shaped gifts may not suit everyone, so consider basing a romantic date on interests that you both share. Think about what you would both enjoy – maybe your favourite movie or TV show, or maybe even a sports team you both support, and take that as your special day's theme. Dressing up will make the occasion memorable and fun, especially if you venture out in public to a restaurant or movies together wearing funny wigs or stand-out costumes.  

… Or do nothing at all

The pressure of having high expectations can sometimes make it difficult to arrange something really romantic for you and your partner's special occasion. If that sounds familiar, try discussing with your partner the possibility of treating the event as just an ordinary day. However, you should make a rule to avoid all of the boring daily chores such as cooking, cleaning and washing so that you can relax and unwind, away from all arguments and stress. And you can still think about some of the more simple ideas outlined in this article, such as staying in bed, watch an entire season of one of your favourite shows, laze about reading trashy magazines, or organise your favourite takeout for dinner. Whatever you do, glide effortlessly from one moment to the next without planning ahead, and just enjoy your partner's company. This alone time will create a special day to remember forever.

And for some other ideas, take a look at my article at this link on the best romantic gift ideas for your anniversary.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   

Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS