11 Valentine's Day Date Ideas For New Couples, Because It Doesn’t Have To Be As Stressful As You Think

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Dating can be a lot of pressure as it is, without throwing holidays into the mix. And with a certain heart-themed one in just a few weeks, the pressure’s on, especially if you ~just~ started seeing someone. But it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of Valentine’s Day date ideas for new couples that can reduce the built-in stress.

Valentine's Day is just one day out of a remaining 364 in which to demonstrate your affection,” Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence, tells Bustle. “Don't buy onto the consumer marketing ploy. Meaningful relationships are built on small, consistent acts of kindness over the entirety of a relationship. Grand gestures pale in comparison to the littler acts of ongoing appreciation and thoughtfulness.”

Could not have said that better myself. And Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass, agrees. “The beginning of a relationship is exciting and Valentine’s Day is often viewed as an extension of what two people feel for one another,” she says. “Often, it’s treated like a high-pressure competitive sport, where you must do this or gift this to express how much you mean to someone. Since it is the beginning of your relationship, make Valentine’s Day a day that is about developing your relationship, learning more about each other, and having fun.”

But what if you and the person you’re seeing aren’t on the same page? Maybe one of you expects something grandiose while the other appreciates the sentiment “it’s the thought that counts.”

“For a new couple coming up to Valentine’s Day, it can be a confusing time,” James Preece, aka The Dating Guru, tells Bustle. “You don't want to make an over-the-top gesture in case they don’t do the same and it scares them off. On the other hand, you know you have to do ~something~ to mark the day. Have a short conversation a few weeks before about what you both might like to do together. This can save embarrassment later on and gives you something to look forward to. Spending time together on Valentine’s Day is more important than anything, so make it count."

So here are 11 Valentine’s Day date ideas for new couples, because the holiday doesn’t have to be as stressful as you may think.