One of the worst things you can do when it comes to choosing an anniversary gift, is to buy something last minute that fails to reflect how you really feel. Your significant other wants to believe that you care and that there is still love there. Make sure that you choose a gift that reflects this. After all, your anniversary is a way to show that person how much they mean to you, and you only get the chance to do this once a year for your special day. Therefore, you have to make it count.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing an anniversary present, but the most important thing to remember is that you should always select something that is representative of the things that are special to the two of you as a couple. Reflect back on important moments throughout your relationship, and find something unique that conveys a special message to your partner. The last thing you want to do is pick a generic present.

Sometimes it is easy to get into the habit of thinking that your partner readily knows how you feel. Expressing your feelings is something that should be done every day, yet it sometimes falls through the cracks during the hustle and bustle of your daily lives together. Therefore, it is important to take the opportunity to choose a gift that shows that you still carry a romantic spark on your anniversary. Let your partner know you care tremendously about them, both as an individual, and as your significant other.

Consider any of the ideas listed here, and decide on which one really speaks to the both of you. The following eight suggestions might help you figure out what you can do to ensure your next anniversary is truly special.

1)    Spend time together

Everyone likes to have the chance to spend some time together. There is probably some special location where the two of you have always dreamed of going together, yet you have never really had the time. If you have a place in mind, you and your partner can visit this place for some much deserved time with each other. Regardless of the amount of time that you can afford to spend, you can enjoy getting away together. Simply tailor the location to fit the amount of time that you have. Go away for a while or even for a day trip. The point is that it is important to spend time with each other where all other distractions are shut out.

2)    Bring old memories back to life

One of the most romantic things that you can do is to take your partner to the place where you first met, or re-create a date that is similar to the first one that the two of you ever had. This is one of the most meaningful things that you can ever do and it shows that you not only care, but that you are sentimental enough to remember the little things. These are the factors that are often the most important to many individuals.

3)    Write something down

It seems like the world has changed so much that everyone is constantly attached to some electronic device, and they pay less and less attention to the more romantic, old fashioned way of communicating. Get your significant other a meaningful card and write in it with your own handwriting. You could include a hand written list of all the qualities you admire in them, and why they have captured your heart (for some ideas to inspire you, you can check out my article here on the qualities that you should have in an ideal partner). You could also write this person a love letter or even create some meaningful poetry. Perhaps write the person you love a song! When you do things like this, it takes time and it truly comes from the heart. This is why it means so much to them.

4)    Prepare a special meal

Sometimes, you can be reminded of the first time that you ever met, by the aroma of the food you ate in the early days of your relationship, just like you can by hearing a certain song on the radio. So by spending extra time in the kitchen for your loved one on your anniversary, s/he is sure to appreciate the effort and time spent on creating a special meal. Prepare something the other person loves, especially if it is something that they would never take the time to make for themselves. Add a few special touches to the meal to make it even more romantic. A delicious dinner, some wine and a few candles can set the mood for a meaningful and romantic evening that can re-create all the passion that you felt when your romance was in its infancy.

5)    Create something personal

While it might seem like expensive gifts are the way to truly show someone you care, this is not always the case. The truth is, people love things that come from the heart. They especially want to know that you have put some effort into it and that it took a little bit of time to complete. This is what makes it so meaningful. If you have a natural ability when it comes to creating something with your own hands, this is the perfect time to do it. Whether you are skilled in arts and crafts, or you are a master carpenter, there is something that you can create with your own hands that will really mean the world to the person you love. For those of you who doubt your creative and/or artistic skills, pay a visit to your local arts and crafts shop for some simple ideas.

6)    Create a collage

You probably have a lot of old photographs lying around, and maybe even a few love letters from the past. You can take all of these photographs, letters, and a few other special trinkets and create a collage from them. You can have this done professionally or you can do it yourself, especially if you are good with arts and crafts. Present it in a nice frame with a beautiful finish, and give it to your significant other for your anniversary.

7)    Get sexy

This goes for both men and women. Your significant other likes to see you looking your best. If you have a tendency to run around in boxer shorts or a loose fitting tee shirt and pyjama pants for most of the time, try on some sexy attire for your anniversary. Women can purchase sexy lingerie that will hold the attention of their man, and for women, nothing is better than looking at a sexy man with some tight fitting briefs and no shirt, at least for starters. Alternatively for the men out there, take your beloved out shopping in the lead up to your anniversary, and buy her some flattering lingerie for your special upcoming occasion. This act in itself will make her feel desirable and special to you, and will certainly help to ignite the passion.  

8)    Heat up your love life

Sometimes it is hard to keep your sex life interesting, especially when you have been together for a number of years. It has nothing to do with falling out of love, but it does become difficult to keep things as interesting in the bedroom as they once were. There are ways that you can heat things up in your love life once again. Use special devices to make the night more interesting, role play with some unique outfits, or try a position that you have never tried before. All of these things can make your sex life feel like it is brand new again. What better way to top off a romantic anniversary?

In conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can do to make your anniversary the best one you have ever had. You can choose any one of these ideas, or you can combine any two or more of them to create an entire day of celebration. For example, create a special and unique gift for your significant other with your own hands, then take them somewhere that has special meaning to both of you, even if it is only for a couple of hours. Return home to a homemade meal, and then reinvigorate your love life in the bedroom. Any one or all of these things will lead to an anniversary that you will both remember for the rest of your lives.

….and when your anniversary for the year is over, don’t stop investing in your relationship. For ways in which you can continue to show your loved one how much they mean to you in your everyday lives, including some key interpersonal skills that are sure to keep your relationship surviving into the longer-term, you can read my article here. Whilst this article is targeted towards men, there are tips that are equally relevant to women. If you follow these general rules to sustaining your relationship, you will certainly be celebrating many more anniversaries to come.  

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