Let's face it: Even if you're in a happy, committed relationship, Valentine's Day can still be a nightmare. Not every couple pounces at the opportunity to partake in standard Valentine's Day activities, like showering one other with flowers and chocolates and exchanging pricey gifts, and that's perfectly fine. But when the day of love comes around, what's an anti-Valentine's Day couple to do?
First of all, don't stress. You'll probably feel pressured by your parents, friends, and other couples to have grandiose plans, like stay in a luxury suite or have a romantic candlelit dinner. Though it can be frustrating, don't let yourselves be influenced by others' expectations for what a happy couple should do on February 14. If you and your partner have always been more low-key, aren't interested in typical V-Day traditions, and are perfectly happy just being in each other's company, there are plenty of great ways to spend the day and express your love that aren't cliché (or expensive).
Below, we've rounded up the 10 best anti-Valentine's Day activities that have absolutely nothing to do with chocolate, roses, or stuffed teddy bears.
Stream a Workout Class
Nothing says romance less than sweat! While other couples might be pigging out on chocolate and expensive dinners, you can both feel super fit and accomplished by signing up for a fitness class you can take together right at home. There are plenty of streamable workout programs you can subscribe to and pay for by the month, like Daily Burn, but if you're on a budget, you can try one of the thousands of workout videos on YouTube that are just as good.
Take a Nap
Use this holiday to catch up on some much-needed Zs together. A long, cozy nap will allow you to have some quiet downtime and avoid encountering any Valentine's Day enthusiasts. Plus, you'll stave off any grumpiness the holiday may bring about. You may be anti-gift, but you can always use it as an excuse to buy a cozy new blanket or sheet set.
Come happy hour (or earlier), you and your partner can spend some time testing your hands at mixology. Round up a few different types of booze and mixers, then experiment with combinations to your heart's desire. You can also follow actual cocktail recipes, but that's less fun. Who knows, maybe you'll invent a new drink that'll become your "signature cocktail."
Have a Movie Marathon
Absolutely no romantic comedies or tear-jerking dramas allowed during this V-Day movie sesh! Queue up some of your favorite action or comedy films (or maybe even a horror movie if you're really trying to dispel Valentine's Day), and spend a lazy day together in bed. If you prefer episodes over movies, binge-watch hilarious sitcoms or cartoons from your childhood for even fewer implications of sappiness.
Tackle a DIY Project
Been meaning to build that desk you ordered from IKEA for the last two weeks? Use this February 14 as an opportunity to roll up your sleeves, pull out the tools, and rope your significant other into helping you take on a new home improvement or DIY project. This truly shows your partner's love for you—especially if your love language is acts of service—minus the sappy Valentine's Day motifs.
Make a Funny Playlist
There's no shortage of love playlists out there, so take the opposite route and create a non-Valentine's Day roundup of songs. Even though Spotify already has one, make your own unique version with popular tunes like "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon and "Anti Love Song" by Betty Davis.
For a less cynical option, create a collaborative playlist of all your favorite songs that aren't about love. It can be your go-to when you're cooking, driving, or hanging out together in the house.
Even if you don't have a dog, fixate your V-Day love on a canine companion through services like Wag! and Rover. Scope out the pooch you'd like to look after, and you and your S.O. can hang out with a new furry friend for the day while earning some extra dough. If you do have a pup of your own, center your day around them: Go on a long walk, hit the dog park, give them a bath, or go on a shopping spree for some new toys and treats.
We get so wrapped up in our daily routines that sometimes we need to take the opportunity to get lost on purpose. With no destination in mind, take a drive or walk with your partner and explore your surroundings. You can head to your favorite hiking trail or park and walk around in an area you never have before, or you can get on the highway, take a random exit, and get coffee or lunch somewhere you've never heard of. Leave Google Maps out of this one—losing your way is encouraged.
Nothing says true love like a little healthy competition. Put your thinking caps on and host a trivia night—you can invite your other anti-Valentine's Day friends and make a party of it. Play a popular game like Trivial Pursuit, or create your own version at home with a roundup of printable questions from the Internet. To make it more personal, you and your partner can create trivia questions about yourselves to see how well you really know each other.
Make Sarcastic Cards
This holiday wouldn't be complete without love letters and paper valentines, so put a quirky spin on the tradition by crafting funny versions for your love. The satirical card options are endless. You can always buy a silly card, but it'll be funnier and more heartfelt if you base it off an inside joke. You can also source ideas from Valentine's Day e-card memes, or even print one out and give it to your partner (or send it in an email to make them laugh while at work).