As far as Valentine's Day goes we're into the idea of showing your love year round and that, often, a gesture means more when it's not on the big day. Sure flowers are nice, but fixing that leaky faucet and taking out the trash-unexpectedly-can sometimes be even sweeter.
A couple years ago we rounded up More than nice flowers: Nice Things To Do For Your Mate as another way to show love (other than candy and a dinner out). This year we're really subscribing to The Happiness Project's Idea that What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE. And nowhere is this more effective than things around the house where we tend to spend a lot of time.
• Chores: Does one of you consistently empty the trash/load the dishwasher/do the laundry? Does one of you particularly hate doing it? Try pitching in and doing a little bit more than half of the chores. And do it without expecting recognition.
• The Bed: How's the bed doing? Do the sheets need to be washed or replaced? Make the bed a cozy place without announcing it. Maybe your mate has been wanting a pillow top, or a tempurpedic pillow, or (in our case) a blanket that's long enough to cover his feet and shoulders at the same time. Take care of this and see how grateful your mate might feel when they discover the surprise!
• Flowers: Get a potted orchid from Trader Joe's or fill the bathroom with lillies just because. Don't wait for Valentine's Day, make the house a beautiful place with some special flowers ahead of time. Bonus points if you do this weekly and keep it up into March. (Also, this isn't geared at Guys, Ladies can buy flowers too!)
• That Nagging Task: In our house there are boxes that still need to be unpacked from our move and there are groans every time we consider attacking them (we'd much rather go out and play!). If I came home and they were taken care of I would be elated. Similarly I've considered taking care of them myself as a surprise for E. Is there a nagging task you can take care of? A leaky faucet, a broken screen door, not enough toilet paper or cat food? These things are small but they affect us every day (especially toilet paper)!
• Emptying the Litter Box: Taking care of pets can sometimes fall to one or the other in a team. So try taking the dog for an early morning walk and let your sweetie sleep in. Get up and feed the cat so she stops sleeping on his face in the morning. Scoop that poop!
These are all really simple ideas that have more of an impact over time. How do you show your love? By splitting up chores? Buying gifts? Eschewing Valentines Day altogether in favor of year round proofs of love?