V-Day traditionally conjures up images of romantic love, roses and fancy dinners, but tbh, for a lot of us, this can feel a little… limiting or outdated. First, it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone is in a romantic relationship – and that’s OK. Actually, it’s more than ok, it’s pretty bloody amazing, truly.
And even if you are in a romantic relationship, it may not look exactly the way Hallmark told you it would. Maybe you’re poly or non-monog, in a platonic life-partnership or asexual. As “non-traditional” relationships because more normalised, it’s time to challenge the norms of what love and relationships *should* look like and celebrate love in all its forms this Valentine’s.
tl;dr, if you're looking for a fresh and affordable way to show love to your partner(s), bestie, or even yourself this Feb 14, look no further! Here are ourTop 3 unique and budget-friendly Valentine's Day ideas for 2023 and beyond.
1. DIY Film Festival
Microwave some popcorn, cosy up on the couch and watch some films that challenge traditional notions of love and relationships. Come up with award categories and debate “Best Kiss”, “Most Relatable Moment”, “Best Outfit” or whatever floats your boat. This is a guaranteed convo starter and great way to broaden your movie horizons and connect with your lover, bestie or whoever you choose to share your popcorn with.
If you need some movie inspo – some of our faves include:
"Moonlight" (2016) - explores the life of a young, gay African American man and the different forms of love he experiences throughout his life.
"Carol" (2015) - a forbidden love affair between two women in the 1950s.
"Call Me by Your Name" (2017) - A coming-of-age story about a young man's romantic and sexual awakening.
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire" (2019) – A period piece following the love story between two women during the late 18th century.
2. Spa Day
We’re not just talking “slap on a Chemist Warehouse face mask and a couple of cucumber slices” here, we are talking getting reeeal bougie on a budget. With a little effort and creativity, you too can feel as Zen as if you just dropped $840 on a four-hour 5-Star spa treatment, but for a fraction of the price and in the comfort of your own home.
Set the mood with soft lighting, candles, soothing music or ambient soundscapes. Do a little re-arranging if you need to, create an oasis of your own with plants and crystals, furniture, cushions, whatever you need to feel those spa vibes. We’re going all out here.
Try out some new spa treatments – experiment with a DIY salt scrub, aromatherapy massage, lymphatic drainage facial or soothing organic hair mask and float away on a Zen-like cloud of pure bliss.
3. Write a Love Letter
Who doesn’t love receiving a thoughtful note or letter? Whether you’re writing to a lover, friend, family member or your future self, really embrace your vulnerability and get those feelings down on paper with a (maybe not-so) old-fashioned love letter.
Our top tips:
Be bold and daring: Write a love letter that is unapologetically passionate, raw, and real. Don't hold back on expressing your emotions, desires and ambitions. Real is good.
Get creative: Cut and paste, add some illustrations, or get out your art supplies and write, draw or paint in an expressive explosion of rainbow or bold colours.
Play to your strengths: You do you. Whether that’s composing a poem, drawing a picture, or making up a little care package filled with sentimental trinkets and notes.
Look I know we saidTop 3, but the options are honestly endless! If none of *our* faves float your boat, here are a few bonus ideas to get you inspired…
Op Shop Adventure - Hit up your local Savers and put together themed outfits, like 80s prom or a Hollywood red carpet. Do a photoshoot and have a blast being creative on a budget.
Volunteer for a Cause - Volunteer for an organisation that supports a cause you both care about, like saving the koalas, helping out some locals in need or supporting asylum seekers in your own backyard.
Virtual Tour - Take a virtual tour of a museum, art exhibit, or cultural landmark together. Explore new places and learn about different cultures from the comfort of your own home.
Finally - however you choose to celebrate Feb 14 this year, just try showing love and appreciation in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to you. Whoever you’re with, wherever you are, it's a day to celebrate love and joy in all its forms. So, ditch the traditional Valentine's Day expectations and make this year's celebration one to remember!