Valentine’s Day is on its way! February 14th has been a day for romance since the Middle Ages. Read on for the history of Valentine’s Day, ideas for great Valentine’s Day dates, our picks for movies to watch with your Valentine, and engagement ring ideas if you’re planning to propose on February 14th!
The History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day has roots in both ancient Roman and Christian traditions. There were at least three different Catholic saints named Valentine or Valentinus, and all became martyrs. One legend suggests that in the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men because single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. Saint Valentine, a priest, recognized the injustice of the decree and continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret. When this was discovered, Claudius ordered the priest’s execution. Other legends say Saint Valentine tried to help Christians escape the harsh conditions of Roman prisons; one story suggests that Valentine was himself imprisoned, and sent the first “Valentine” after he fell in love with a girl who visited him during his imprisonment. He allegedly sent a letter to her before his death signed “From your Valentine.” The accuracy of these legends cannot be confirmed, but we know that by the Middle Ages, Saint Valentine was associated with romantic love and was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest holidays for sending cards and giving jewelry as a gift to loved ones. It’s also a big day for taking your special someone on a special date.
Valentine’s Day Date Ideas
1. There’s always the classic dinner date.
2. Want to avoid the crowd and the cost of dining out? Grab something to go from your favorite restaurant. To make this option even more special, take your dinner to a park or, if it’s too cold, drive beyond the city limits and snuggle up in the car with a view of the stars.
3. Take the day off from work, school, and the kids. Hire a babysitter for the afternoon so that you have the whole day together to go on an adventure or relax without worries.
4. Go ice-skating – just the two of you.
5. Stroll through a museum or art gallery together. This can lead to interesting conversations that may help you better understand your significant other’s perspective.
6. Reminisce by pulling out photos of you and your Valentine together. If you’re married, cue up your wedding video. Talk about your memories of the first time you met and the moment you knew you were in love.
7. Watch the sunrise or the sunset – or both.
10 Romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day
(500) Days of Summer
A Walk to Remember
Letters to Juliet
Lost in Translation
Music and Lyrics
The Wedding Date
Gift-giving has been a part of the Valentine’s Day tradition for hundreds of years. Here are some romantic gift ideas:
1. Make homemade Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. A great Valentine’s gift is the handmade “Coupon Book” with coupons for back rubs, sleep-in days, doing your significant other’s chores for a day – anything you know your Valentine will love.
2. Flowers and chocolate are a staple on Valentine’s Day. Make your gift a little more special by skipping the red roses and getting a bouquet of your Valentine’s favorite flowers.
3. Jewelry is always a great Valentine’s Day gift. Some favorites include red rubies, pink sapphires, and purple amethysts. Classic jewelry gifts are diamond bracelets, diamond earrings, or even a diamond heart necklace that will be a lasting reminder of your special bond and your romantic day together.