In the Blog
Illustration: Erin McPhee
A friend of mine recently said I could start my own consulting business…a romantic consulting business. I guess she liked some of the ideas her best friend (my partner) told her I had pulled on her in the last year. While I am very into making money by being oh-so-clever, I am also all about the free exchange of ideas and since I don’t believe hetero cisgender dudes are the overwhelming population who read my monthly blog, I think I can share some of the ideas that my friend was so impressed with, with you, for free. I will, however, be charging once I go into business!
So here is a list, some templates if you will, with some cheap, expensive, quick, or more involved romantic ideas for friends, lovers, sweeties or whoever you want to love up, impress, or dote on. Please feel free to make these ideas your own.
Preamble: Most of these ideas worked well for me because a) I am an A-type personality and love to pay attention to the details and b) My partner is a great sport and is a great gift receiver*
1) The Around Toronto Treasure Hunt This can be a great idea, long or short, expensive or cheap depending on how you conceive of it. I have done two Treasure Hunts for my love. Here they are in semi-detail.
Hunt #1: The Fairy Hunt (kind of like the Amazing Race) I picked four locations around the city for my partner to meet a friend of mine, ours or theirs with a card to their next location. Each card had a challenge or request in it. At one stop the friend handed over a bouquet of flowers and my partner was asked to give away all the flowers to people on the street. Or another card said, “Be at Broadview Station at 3:30pm” and the friend with next clue/card in hand had two coffees and some baked good so they could take a break and hang out for a minute. The trick about this one was to time everything well. Since friends were involved, I had to ask them to be at certain locations at certain times, so my partner might have had some time in between meet-ups. Also each stop had a card (bought from a dollar store), and maybe a gift attached to it (like a bouquet of flowers, a snack). I was waiting at the final stop: a dinner place with a gift I had bought from a special store months back she had her eye on. The hardest part of keeping it all on the DL! (down low)
Hunt#2: The Six Things I want to experience with you for the next 60 years (6 year Anniversary Hunt) I chose six themes (Time, Health & Wellness, Fun & Joy, Beauty & Growth, Abundance of All Kinds, and Family). Each location I chose reflected each thing I want to cultivate with my gf, for example: Health & Wellness (card/clue that lead to the next location) was located at a community acupuncture place we visit; Beauty & Growth was found on our balcony in a potted plant. Each card was decorated with my drawings and words, stickers and such. I did buy a big gift that year for my gf, (an iPad which was the main gift) and was linked to Abundance, of course! My gf’s two best friends were waiting a the Apple Store in the Eaton Centre for her with iPad in hand! Family included my best friend waiting at a playground (on a Saturday so there were lots of families around) with her favorite dessert and a break moment where they could connect. So you see, it can be as cheap or expensive as you can afford.
One of the final touches I added on these hunts was the “Hunter’s Pack”: a bag of things she would need on the hunt like a TTC day pass, map, snacks like granola bars or bottle of water, etc. whatever they need to go out for the afternoon.
2) The 1000 Kisses From You Project This one cost me about $70 in total and it was really all about setting a gratuitous Valentine’s Day scene. This project was inspired by my girl’s favorite musical artist, Luther Vandross and his song “Never Too Much” which includes a chorus that sings “A thousand kisses from you is never too much.” I took this literally and birthed a 1000 “kisses” oozing from all over the apartment in the form of pieces of paper I had kissed with lipstick, photocopied computer-generated kissing lips, over 100 balloons I had blown up with lips I drew inside, stamped kissing lips, stickers, etc. It was actually pretty easy to find all these lip representations at the Dollar Store during Valentine’s Day season. Those cheesy decorations and arts and crafts truly came in handy.
3) Binding a Book Share lots of emails, love notes, or Facebook messages with your sweetie, friend or family member? There was a time where email was one of our prime methods of communication so I saved emails she sent to me from a certain time period and got them bound into a book. Depending on the book size, it can be an expensive or cheap venture. I think the book I bound for her was over 300 pages back and front and cost around $100 so anything less would still be quite impressive!
Good luck coming up with some ideas to show how much you love, care for or think about a friend, lover or family member in your life. Its not just loads of fun for them, the process of creating, making and putting together these projects can also be tons of fun for you! Here’s to making Valentine’s everyday!
- Gift Receiver – Someone who is really thankful and expressive when they receive a gift, openly discussing the positive things about the gift and being really, really appreciative.