Valentine’s Day can present a gift-giving conundrum for couples of any age, and for those who’ve been together for many years or decades, it can be even tougher. Perhaps you’ve been together so long that you feel you’re out of ideas, or maybe your partner insists they don’t want or need anything.
Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin notes that a lot of older couples already have enough “stuff” and are attempting to downsize and de-clutter. “To that end, experiences are much more valuable than more stuff,” she says.
And for those whose partners would prefer a more tangible gift to hold onto, there are options that are more meaningful than the age-old flowers and candy combination. We’ve compiled the following guide to help point you in the right direction.
1. A picture is worth 1,000 valentines
If you and your valentine are like a lot of older couples, you have a stack of photographs documenting your love story. Some of your favorite pictures together can make for a simple yet meaningful gift that your sweetheart is sure to appreciate.
You can get as creative as you want with your photographic memories – consider creating a scrapbook with love notes, ticket stubs and other mementos alongside photos of you and your partner. Or use digital photos to create a calendar filled with memories via an easy-to-use online service like Shutterfly or VistaPrint. Or for those looking for an even simpler last-minute gift, frame a favorite photo of you and your love – bonus points if it’s one you haven’t seen in a while.
2. A gift that’s just the ticket(s)
Maybe you’d rather focus this Valentine’s Day on creating new memories rather than reminiscing over past ones. Irwin suggests tickets to a concert, or to the theater, opera or ballet, among other activities. Plenty of websites, like Ticketmaster, CheapTickets.com or Vivid Seats are a good bet for tickets to entertainment near you.
For more affordable options, check out what your city or local college have to offer in the way of entertainment, and make sure to ask about senior rates or discounts. You might just find tickets for a date unlike any you and your long-term valentine has experienced.
3. Date night in a box
Don’t feel like going out to celebrate Valentine’s Day? You and your sweetie can enjoy a night in with the help of a date subscription box. Subscription services like Crated with Love and Unbox deliver themed boxes full of ingredients for a successful date night, like “Tea for Two” from Crated with Love. Each box includes date activities, games or projects designed to spark laughter and bring you and your partner closer.
If you want to stay in for the date night but don’t feel like cooking, food delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub and Seamless can bring meals from your favorite eateries to your door.
4. Entertainment blasts from the past
Bring back memories from the days when you and your valentine first got together with the gift of a movie or album from that time period. Recall that movie you two went to on one of your first dates, or that song that reminds you of your wedding or your first date? With the help of sites like Amazon and eBay, hard-to-find films and records can be yours in a few clicks.
Whether your love story goes back several decades or just a few years, you can also visit an online music store like iTunes to create your own CD mix featuring tunes from your early days as a couple.
5. A monogrammed token of affection
Monogrammed items are easy yet personal Valentine’s Day gifts. These days, just about anything can be monogrammed via online shops such as Etsy. Think coziness and pampering when considering what to monogram, like fluffy robes and slippers, or a super-soft pair of pajamas. Or, you might opt to put a personal stamp on items that the two of you can share for years to come, like wine glasses or luggage.
6. The gift of relaxation
The older you get, the more you could probably use a little TLC. Help your loved one soothe aches and pains and relieve stress with a spa treatment. That could mean a gift certificate to a local spa, or a gift that brings the spa experience to you. One such service is Soothe, which works only with fully background-checked, licensed massage therapists and offers both individual and couples massages.