For those who have not picked up on your partner’s subtle hints, the message is loud and clear: Valentine’s Day is coming! Ubiquitous symbols of Cupid’s special day are everywhere. Aside from showing a lack of imagination, mass-produced products have completely lost their powers in the romance department. The secret to being romantic without being cheesy lies in being creative.

Think outside the chocolate box and surprise your significant other. Here are our top tips on how to show off your romantic side without offering up a side of cheeseball.

Everyday Romance on Valentine’s Day

If it’s not part of your personality, don’t act mushy gushy all of a sudden. Be yourself. There’s no need to act like a goofy character from a rom-com. Trying to be someone else will definitely make you look cheesy and completely see-through.

Believe it or not, it’s the little things that matter in a relationship. Expressing your adoration does not need to be elaborate—unless you or your partner want it that way. It can be as simple as offering to do the dishes or having the car washed. The best thing about Valentine’s Day is that it is about bringing romantic ideals into our everyday lives, so don’t leave out the joy you have in sharing your life with your partner.

Meaningful Touch

We all know stuffed animals and flowers are great for someone recovering from surgery. Outside of that, they are really cliché. Instead, make something for your partner that has some meaning. For instance, if they like a certain food, cook it for them. If they like a certain song, learn the lyrics and sing it for them. Taking notice of the things they like is a one-way ticket toward melting their heart.

If working on a solo project is not your jam, you and your partner can celebrate the holiday with a Love is Art Kit. This painting kit will leave you with a gorgeous memory of your night of passion. Make it a tradition and create a new piece every Valentine’s Day—your walls will reflect the years of love you have for each other.

Give for Giving’s Sake

Being romantic does not require a horse and buggy ride around Central Park. In fact, bending over backward is not necessary for achieving connection and intimacy. You can win your lover over any day of the year with a less is more approach. Instead of gifting, try more hugging, kissing, and flirting.

Up the romantic quotient by offering your partner sexual pleasure without expecting anything in return. Just knowing that they are not obligated to give anything back can make them feel more open. Plus, they will be impressed by your efforts to give without expecting to receive. And nothing says sit back and let me spoil you like a new toy!

 Public Display of Affection

If your partner is into big proclamations of your love, then take it to the streets. Let the world know how much you dig them—and how attentive you are to their wants. Make a big splash by having a billboard put up in their honor. Or even better, try skywriting. It can be an inside joke or a simple “Harry loves Sally.” Or even something more down-home like a sign out in the yard for all the neighbors to see will make a statement.

Speaking of big, imagine the look on their face when they walk in and see an Esse in the middle of the living room. It’ll make an impact—not only from the amazing sex you’ll have on it, although that is pretty great in-and-of itself. It tells your loved one that you are in this—you desire more of this. Plus the sexy adventure you’ll have together will make a night at the movies seem terribly unromantic.

Center of the Universe

A common relationship complaint is having a partner constantly tethered to their device. Use Valentine’s Day as a day to disconnect from friends on Facebook and reconnect with your significant other. Paying time and attention to your relationship is the biggest romantic gesture of all and can help build a stronger bond.

Take some time offline and have some IRL fun. You can book a seat for two at a local comedy club or take a trip to an amusement park. The more you laugh, the more love and romance you’ll bring into the relationship. For some laughs that hit closer to home, take a walk down memory lane. It can be anything from recreating your first date to reenacting your first sexual encounter. Wherever you go, it will spark your desire to see that smile on their face.

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