Q: I’m tired of the usual kind of Valentine’s Day. I want to do something different with my sweetheart this year. Any suggestions?

A: Valentine’s Day is a wonderful way to show your loved one that you care about them, but sometimes it’s a holiday that can seem forced. You’re expected to make a big deal out the day and if you don’t, you risk seeming like you don’t ‘love’ your loved one enough.

I say the heck with that thinking.

Getting away from the usual and expected Valentine’s celebration is a great idea! Instead of buying a bunch of stuff that no one really needs anyways or spending a fortune to sit in a crowded restaurant that’s never as romantic as it sounds, do something a little less ordinary. How about something sentimental instead? Watch the DVD of the first movie you ever saw together on a date and bake your loved one’s favorite treat. Add in your favorite take out and a bottle of wine and it sounds like an amazing night in!

Want to do something really different this Valentine’s Day? How about trying something new that you’ve always wanted to do? Book a little trip somewhere you’ve never been before for the weekend and go exploring. Try a dance class or a cooking class together! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try rock climbing but could never find the time. Don’t wait any longer. Get your loved one involved and excited about something you’re interested in and go on the adventure together!

Trying something new with your partner isn’t just fun and out of the ordinary, it’s also an awesome way to make new memories that will last much longer than any box of chocolates or fancy dinner would. This Valentine’s Day, be different, think outside the box and create some new memories!

Heather Thurmeier, author of Falling for You and Stuck on You