It’s not easy to come up with romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day every year. Sometimes a good idea just costs too much. Or sometimes the only idea you come up with is just too ordinary, and though it took you a long time think of and will cost money, you know that she will think you took the easy route. And you know that if she thinks that, then she will think you don’t care that much about her.

That’s the thing about women that I have begun to realize more and more as I grow older. They like nice gifts. But they want our time more. If we sacrifice our time and just be with them, focusing our attention on them, then it means we value them. As a man, my money is terribly important to me and when I spend it on the woman I love, I think I am showing her how much I love her. She can understand that, but to her, my time is even more important.

Here are five unique ideas that are fun and thoughtful and will satisfy her desire for your time.

Overcoming a Fear Plan an event that you know your mate wants to do, but is just afraid to do. Maybe it is learning how to swim. Or maybe it is going to karaoke and singing. But set the event up in such a fashion that when they do attempt it, there is no room for failure. So swim in only the shallow end. Or rent the entire karaoke bar and fill it with your friends so that they clap and give her good reviews. Or have congratulations cards already made up that you can hand her that tell her she was great. The idea here is that people feel a great sense of accomplishment if they overcome a fear. More important is the unique bond they form with the person that helped them overcome that fear.

Ice Sculpting Buy a block of ice (doesn’t have to be big or expensive – you can even make one yourself) and make an ice sculpture together. It doesn’t have to look beautiful. Maybe you just chip out a heart and then carve your names in it. Ice is a beautiful thing. It is starkly beautiful and unconsciously gives the idea of quality, richness, beauty, royalty, lavishness, and awe. These are fantastic elements to bring to any date activity, let alone your romance. It will take time to do, but will provide a lot of fun as you talk and laugh and eventually accomplish something together. Make sure you take pictures.

Hidden Treats Buy ten or twelve little dollar boxes of candy (It is great if you can buy candy you know they like, but a box of chocolates will do.) and hide them around the house, or around the living room. Attach compliment cards to them. A hunt is adventuresome, and almost everyone loves an adventure. As they find the items, they find the card that details something you absolutely love about them. It could even be a special memory that you had together. An added bonus here, is that as you bring these positive attributes to mind, you will be stirring your own feelings of love for that person. As your mate finds these candy treasures, the little cards will make them feel good, make them feel loved.

Memory Movie Gather about ten pictures of you and your mate. These pictures should be from positive events like parties, trips, or special events. Put them into a nice little book, or create a slideshow on your computer of them. The idea here is that you are bringing back good memories you had together. Discuss what you remember about the event and what was so fun about it. As you do, the two of you might begin to think about some new trips or events you want to do. Make sure you leave a few blank pages at the end of the book or at the end of the slideshow and when your mates asks what those are, tell them for new memories you want to make. Tell them that your life together is a beautiful story and that you are still committed to making incredible memories and scenes with them.

Twenty Dollar Shopping Spree Go to a large variety store like Walmart. Each of you gets twenty dollars. Take that twenty dollars and try find as many items (1 dollar or two dollar items are best) as you can that are fun or symbolic. For example. It could be a dollar package of glitter lipstick that would be a hoot to try on later. Or it could be a three pack of car freshner trees that your husband really needs for his car and just hasn’t taken the time to buy. You can even do the shopping spree together, which could turn out to be some quality time and some good laughter as you see what they buy and why.

© Seth Crossman