History of Valentine's Day: Making It Special

Updated September 20, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

The meaning for Valentine’s Day can differ greatly from person to person and couple to couple. It’s not uncommon that a couple disagrees about the importance of Valentine's Day. Sometimes, one partner finds it to be more meaningful than the other one does. Relationships are all about compromise, and both partners should be willing to try to make Valentine’s Day special if that’s what their partner desires. Some couples won’t celebrate at all, while others may go all out. What matters most is being on the same page and communicating expectations. If you’re wondering how to make Valentine’s Day special for you and your partner, you’ve come to the right place.

Valentine's Day Can Hold A Variety Of Meanings

Talking About Expectations for the Day Of

The first thing you want to do is have an open, honest conversation with your significant other about expectations of Valentine’s Day. This is especially true if one of you has made it clear they either care a lot or don’t care at all of the holiday. Problems may occur when there’s no sense of communication before February 14 arrives, and then both partners are scrambling to please one another. You should sit down and discuss the following:

  • Do you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
  • What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
  • What do you expect the day to look like? 
  • What are your expectations of me and of us on that day?
  • Do you want to make plans together, or do you want to be surprised? 
  • What of all things would make you happiest on that day? 

If you know your partner’s love language, that can help a lot as you plan out the day. One partner may expect to receive lots of gifts on Valentine’s Day while the other just wants to spend lots of time together or go on a nice date. Talking about these things ahead of time will help you both avoid resentment, fighting, and unmet expectations. Any healthy relationship is built from a foundation of honest communication and of trust, and this is a great opportunity to be open with one another.

Meaning For Valentine’s Day

If you’re wondering how to make Valentine’s Day special for you and your partner, that means you probably attach some sort of meaning to it. Those who don’t celebrate or don’t care about the holiday aren’t usually concerned with making the day feel special. Figuring out how you feel about Valentine’s Day is actually very important as you plan everything out and can help you decide what you want to do. Here are some of the different meanings people might have about Valentine’s Day if they care about and want to celebrate it:

  • It is an opportunity to show more affection than usual
  • Showing actions of care is important on this day
  • It is a celebration of love, either romantically or platonically 
  • Romanticism of any kind matters on this day
  • Giving gifts of any kind makes it extra special, or may even be considered obligatory 
  • Valentine’s Day is a day of love to rekindle and reaffirm one’s commitment to their partner
  • It is a day to spend time with one another 
  • Words of affirmation matter more on this day

Even if you and your significant other aren’t on the same page about Valentine’s Day, most couples will agree that feeling extra love is never a bad thing. Although everyone should strive to show affection and care for their partner each day, Valentine’s Day can be the reminder of the importance to do so. Indeed, February 14 can be a popular day of vow renewals, of reigniting the spark in the relationship, or of simply reflecting on why you and your partner were drawn to one another in the first place. This is especially true of couples going through a rough patch in their relationship lately. There’s nothing wrong with using the day to your advantage, particularly if it makes both of you happier.

Starting the Day Off 

Now that you know what your partner expects from Valentine’s Day, it’s time to start planning. Of course, you can always make plans with them, but it’s also fun to have a few surprises here and there. Everyone will be content with something different, but there are small things you can do that almost anyone is guaranteed to appreciate on that special day.

Are you wanting to start your Valentine’s Day off on the right foot? There are lots of different ways you can do so. Consider these simple ideas:

  • Make your partner breakfast in bed. You can even get creative and make things like heart-shaped pancakes or muffins. 
  • Write a love letter.
  • Stick Post-It Notes everywhere. A spin on the classic love letter, you could also buy a stack of Post-It Notes and write sweet things on each one. Place them on the bathroom mirror, in the kitchen, and on any doors. If you can’t be together the morning of Valentine’s Day, this is a great way for them to still feel your presence in the house. 
  • Stay at home. If both of you are able to secure February 14 off of work or other responsibilities, use the time to sleep in, relax, and talk with one another that morning.
  • Pack their lunch for them. You may already pack your lunch for your partner each day, but if not, throw in all the foods you know they love. Then, add a cute note that they’ll find later on their lunch break. 

Remember that you know your partner best, and it may be best to discuss expectations with them before starting to plan. 



Since Valentine’s Day isn’t a federal holiday, you may not have the day off to spend with your partner. That’s okay, because there are plenty of ways you can show you care about them throughout the day. These include:

  • Send them flirty texts, love notes, or pictures. Let them know you’re thinking of them and can’t wait to see them. Remind them of the little things you love about them.
  • Send flowers. Find out your significant other’s favorite kind of flowers and have them delivered to them during the day. This could be at home or their place of work, or elsewhere. 
  • Send a video. Record a video of yourself and send it to your partner during the day. Remind them of why you love them so much and, if you made plans for later in the day, how excited you are to spend time with them.

Little actions go a long way. You might think your little acts of showing love are insignificant, but they do have meaning, especially because they’re coming from you. At the end of the day, your partner wants to know you care. Doing these little things throughout the day will help convey that you genuinely love and value them.


Many couples spend time together on the night of Valentine’s Day, simply because the daytime is usually filled with work and other responsibilities. You have a lot of options for a special evening, but how creative you’d like to get is up to you and your partner. Below are some ideas for an unforgettable evening together:

  • Make dinner reservations. In the weeks and days leading up to Valentine’s Day, it often becomes harder and harder to find a place with open reservations for dinner. In fact, they spike 500% on sites like OpenTable. With over a quarter of Americans eating out on February 14, clearly, this is one of the more popular Valentine’s Day plans. Whether you are planning to go to a fancy restaurant to splurge or you and your partner want to just eat at your favorite diner or takeout location, make sure you plan far in advance.
  • Go see a movie. Some movie theaters have a dine-in option or serve wine and other drinks. Sit back and relax with the love of your life while enjoying a show and good cuisine all at once.
  • Paint and sip. If you and your significant other enjoy arts and crafts and a good drink, try a night of sipping wine and painting a mural. This is a fun activity whether you’re an amateur or an expert.
  • Go on a trip. If you do happen to have a few days off around Valentine’s Day, a road trip or other quick getaway can be a fun.
  • Head over to an amusement park. For couples with a sense of adventure, a night spent at the amusement park will be one to remember. 
  • Make a meal at home. Sure, you could make fancy dinner reservations somewhere, but you could also stay at home with some chocolate fondue or homemade pasta. Almost 35% of Americans will be cooking at home for Valentine’s Day, making it a popular option. It’s the effort and thought that counts here. 

To Gift Or Not

Not everyone is a big fan of gifts, but it is common for couples to buy them for each other on Valentine’s Day. The most popular gifts are those that include some type of candy or sweets like chocolate. Following sweets are greeting cards, then flowers, and then a romantic dinner. Although it differs from person to person, many of the best gifts are sentimental; they can create history of Valentine’s Day unique to your relationship that wasn’t there before. If your partner enjoys receiving gifts, here are some thoughtful options you can consider:

  • A scrapbook. Scrapbooks take time and energy to put together. They are a keepsake that will last forever and that your partner can look back on over time. 
  • A fun class. Have you and your partner been wanting to take dance lessons or a cooking class? Perhaps you want to learn the art of mixology? This is the perfect gift if you both love quality time but also want to learn a new skill together. 
  • All their favorite things. Can’t pick just one gift? Consider filling a box with a bunch of their favorite things. These could include their favorite coffee, soap, candle, chocolate, and even pictures of you both together. 
  • A love letter. Cards are common on Valentine’s Day, and anyone can run to the store to pick something simple out. What may be more historical to your partner, however, is a handwritten note expressing your love for your partner.
  • A mixtape or playlist. Pick out songs that you both love and that have history. This is a great gift for those who love words of affirmation.
  • A massage or mani/pedi gift card. Does your partner work a lot? Are they always giving of themselves without asking for anything in return? Take the opportunity to pamper them with a gift like this. 
  • A concert. If you both love music and like being out and about, a concert is a fun way to spend time together and even see one of your favorite artists live. 
  • A shopping trip together. Not sure what to pick out for your significant other? Try going shopping with them. Instead of having to guess at what they want, they can just tell you.

Picking out a gift for your significant other can create a lot of pressure in the relationship. If gifts are very important to one or both of you, it can be helpful to get specific about the type of gift you’re expecting, or at least hint at it. With that being said, when two people love each other, it’s usually pretty hard to be disappointed with whatever they pick out. The thought and care behind the gift will often matter more than anything else.

Getty/Halfpoint Images
Valentine's Day Can Hold A Variety Of Meanings

How Singles Can Make It Special

Are you single or without a valentine this year? If so, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate or give history to Valentine’s Day. You can have an exciting or relaxing day, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Here are some ideas to consider as you plan out your day:

  • Watch movies and eat popcorn, chocolate, ice cream, and candy.
  • Have a Galentine’s or Palentine’s Day with your closest friends.
  • Go out on the town and explore somewhere you haven’t yet.
  • Buy flowers for yourself.
  • Spend time with family.

Whether you’ve been single for a while or just recently got out of a relationship, it can be tough to be single on Valentine’s Day. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to make the day fun and memorable. All it takes is a little effort and planning. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines just because you don’t have a partner by your side. Try to let the day unfold naturally and let yourself enjoy every moment. You likely won’t always be single, so enjoy this time of riding solo while you still can.

It can also help to stay off of social media on February 14, especially if you’re prone to comparing your own life to others’ highlights. If you just got out of a relationship, resist the urge to look for your ex online and see what they’re up to. Instead, focus on what’s in front of you and commit to having a great day no matter what you end up doing.

Remembering What Matters Most

Valentine’s Day has a lot of potential; it can be fun, exciting, romantic, and more. Essentially, it’s all about what you make it out to be. At the end of the day, what matters most is making your partner happy, and them making you happy in return. Whether that means having a packed day of activities, gifts, and fun or staying in and spending time together, everyone will be content with something different. There are even couples who wait until the day after Valentine’s Day to celebrate since that’s when the candy goes on sale and restaurant reservations are much easier to get. If that’s you and your partner’s ideal plan, then go for it!

When it comes down to it, the historical background behind the day of love or valentine’s day is all unique to the person or persons celebrating it. What makes a historical valentine day of love celebration is how you and your loved ones, romantic or not, choose to spend it. It can be historical because of vow renewals, of family, of marriage, of yourself, of friends, of a stranger you just met, and truly of anybody as the celebration of love extends to all.

As it turns out, creating history of Valentine’s Day is more of an individual task than anything else. Although society can place a lot of expectations of couples on February 14, it’s best to try to ignore those to an extent and go with what feels best to you. You’ll be happiest when you follow your own desires and expectations while considering those of your partner.

Need Help?

No matter what time of the year it is, you may find yourself going through some relationship difficulties or experiencing personal problems that may feel difficult to manage on your own. Valentine’s Day may cause you to reflect on those issues, or you may have recognized them for a while now. Regardless, Regain can help. At Regain, an online therapy platform, you can work individually or with your partner to receive therapy from a qualified, experienced counselor. You’ll meet with them at your convenience, and care is easy and convenient to access since everything is entirely virtual. Simply pick up your phone, tablet, or laptop to get connected with a therapist whenever you need it. Regain is always standing by and ready to assist you no matter what you might be going through. Reach out today to begin.

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