Being in a long-term relationship has some amazing benefits: stability, commitment, support, understanding, and true, unconditional love. That's all great, but there is one caveat that can feel like a major challenge. When you've been together forever, you've been through just about every holiday and occasion multiple times. And while you love your SO and all, how many creative, thoughtful gift ideas is one human expected to have? This could end up leaving you full-on stumped about what to get your partner for Valentine's Day.
Don't give up just yet. It might feel like you've been at it for so long that there isn't anything original left to give, but you actually have an advantage. Gone are the days of those cute, but — let's be honest — cheesy AF, traditional V-Day chocolates, roses, overpriced dinners, and pink teddy bears that new, less experienced couples are stuck buying. Years of being with someone solidifies your bond and gives you a way deeper connection that moves past those trinkets of early affection.
When brainstorming what to give the partner you've been with forever this Valentine's Day, ditch the Hallmark marketing and go straight for the heart with these gift ideas that reflect the special union the two of you share.
1. A New View Of Home
The truth is, you might need a bit of a shake up after all that time together. (And there's nothing wrong with admitting that.) The more comfortable we get with another person, the easier it is to fall into redundant routines. So why not make home feel like a new adventure this Feb. 14? Setting up a date that explores your city through a new vantage point can give you a totally fresh perspective on your surroundings and yourselves. Check out Viator, the TripAdvisor company with over 80,000 things to do, for inspiration. Experiences cover every taste, from cooking classes to historic walking tours to water sports to helicopter rides.
2. A Sign Of Love
The old "carve your names in a tree" or "etch them in wet cement" moves are some of the most idyllic signs of romance out there. But how often do you actually come across wet cement in February (especially those of us in colder climates)? For a modern spin on the idea, visit Etsy for creative ways to eternalize your names next to one another.
3. A Romantic Getaway
Maybe you've got some time to spare and the budget to match. If you're looking to go big for Cupid's annual visit, splurge on a romantic getaway. It might feel like you already know your mate inside-out, but heading to new places and going through experiences out of your comfort zone can re-spark the oldest of flames and lead to discovering your partner in a whole new light.
4. A Photo Scavenger Hunt
Don't get discouraged if you don't have the extra cash to spend this year. A DIY gift is not only heartfelt because you made it, but it is a chance to showcase all of the incredible times you have shared. Print out photos (stone-age concept, I know) of your favorite memories and write out hints and clues for a scavenger hunt that leads your partner through your romantic history (i.e. your first date spot, your first kiss, a bar that has your song on the jukebox) and culminates with a date of your choice. Bonus points if you buy a cute photo clip strip to display your photos year round.
5. The Next Big Step
Proposing on Valentine's Day can feel pretty cliche, so even if you are at that point in your relationship, today might not feel like the right day. There are other ways to show your endless commitment. The "next big step" will be unique for each couple, but making a grand gesture is a great way to celebrate your love (if you're ready for that). Things like giving your partner your spare key, deciding to raise a puppy together, or opening a joint bank account can all help bring your relationship to the next level.
If you've been with your partner for this long, you've clearly been doing something very right. Trust your intuition, and this Feb. 14 will be one to remember.
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