Age doesn't necessarily dictate what sort of gift you want on Valentine's Day, but being in your 30s, maybe you're after something a little more sensible than you were in your 20s. For instance, maybe realizing things like "You can celebrate love any day of the year" and "Valentine's Day is a corporate holiday!" Or still being a romantic, you're not into the idea of 100 long stemmed roses, but might quite like the idea of breakfast in bed. Priorities change as you get older, and while that doesn't kill your inner love bunny, it does mean that you'd like gratuitous excess curtailed a little.
So if you're in your 30s and looking for that guilty Valentine's Day pleasure without the guilt, here's a list you can casually leave open on the browser of your lover's computer. Because as silly as the concept of Valentine's Day can be, it's always still nice to spend a day or an evening feeling a little special, and making the person you love feel special in return. Of course we should be doing that every day, but it can be fun to have a specific day to do it just that little bit extra.
1. A Thoughtful Book
Nothing says "I know you" more than your lady's favorite book — first edition, if you can. It's all very Chandler/Kathy, but it also shows far more thought and care than a bunch of flowers and some heart-shaped chocolates.
First Edition Slaughterhouse Five 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, $45, Etsy
2. Baked Goods
Seriously, humanity, bring on the baked goods. Bake them yourself and win the key to a woman's heart.
Strawberry buttermilk donuts with strawberry glaze, A Happy Food Dance
3. An Activity
Valentine's Day should be about more than cursory flower buying and money spending. Why not actually do something together? Plan a bike ride, some cooking classes, or anything else fun you can do together in your area. Invest time, rather than just money and cliches, to make Valentine's Day a productive exercise in showing each other how you feel — which is that you love spending time together.
4. Fancy Wine
Let's be real: on our best days we're drinking a $7 Syrah from Trader Joe's. Spend more than $20 on a bottle of fancy wine, from somewhere impressive like France or Australia (both places have GREAT wineries).
5. Respect, Empathy and Honest Communication
Oh we're so BORING now that we're in our 30s, aren't we? The best Valentine's Day for anyone is one that money can't buy, and that's being a good partner. Showing respect, empathy, and being an honest communicator are the kinds of things Hallmark cards can't buy you — so promise to practice them more in your relationship.