It’s that time of year again when you need to start thinking about what to do for Valentine’s Day. Instead of doing the same old thing, why not get creative with your Valentine?

Men, please stop with the chocolates. Most women are usually trying to lose weight, even if it’s only a few pounds.

If you insist on giving an edible gift that involves chocolate, give chocolate covered strawberries. It’s a classy gift, and the strawberries will make eating the chocolate more acceptable.

I would also recommend that you don’t give a store bought card. Sorry, Hallmark. Keep love and romance fresh by taking time away from your busy schedule to put together an exciting, personalized card.

You can use either a greeting card program or Photoshop. Use pictures that represent your relationship.

If you’ve gone to Hawaii over the past year, use a photo from that trip. If you went to a great concert, find a picture online of that artist. If you had a great time at a particular restaurant, include that. If your partner bought you a CD or DVD that you really like, put a picture of the cover.

The card doesn’t have to be a work of art, just a memento your partner can cherish forever that lets them know you cared enough to take the time to put it together.

It’s also a great idea to include 12 (one per month) “sexy love coupons,” with the card. The “one per month” notion conveys a sense of optimism; not only will the relationship last through the next year, it will thrive.

Here are some ideas for what the coupons can be redeemed for:

Good for one fantasy fulfilled all night long.

Good for one quickie anywhere you choose.

Good for one kiss anywhere you want it.

Good for 10 kisses but not on the lips and only one per spot.

Good for a romantic night in front of the fireplace with strawberries and champagne.

Good for one hour of sensual massage with lotions and oils.

Good for one sensual shared shower.

Good for _____________________ (fill in the blank)

You can make your own or find coupons ready to print by Googling “love coupons.” As for how to make this Valentine’s Day a unique celebration, do something you wouldn’t normally do or something you’ve talked about but haven’t yet had time for.

Here are some romantic date ideas:

If you live in a warm climate, go to the beach.

If it’s cold, go for a sleigh or horse-drawn carriage ride.

See a play or a musical.

Have a picnic on the living room floor.

Book a hotel room for the night.

Take a bubble bath together by candlelight.

Watch the sunset.

Park and star watch.

Get a couple’s massage.

Take a sexy Latin dance lesson together.

Relationships become stagnant because people start taking each other for granted, and the dynamic romantic thought that went into the first dates goes away. Romance and love require creative effort, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to start thinking pro-actively about those things.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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