Ready to show your love on Valentine's Day but feeling that flowers lack flair and chocolates are for the unimaginative? We asked TV romance expert Tiffany Wright for some advice. Find out what she has to say about the best romantic ideas and gestures.
What is your definition of true romance?
True romance is about putting the 'thought' into your romantic gesture. It's no good just googling "romantic ideas" and doing the first thing on the list. You need to think about your partner and take the time to work out what they would consider romantic.
Romance is as much about proving to your partner how well you know them as showering them with rose petals.
What should we think about when planning a romantic gesture?
1. Would your partner like an intimate or public romantic gesture? Flash mobs and public displays of affection are becoming more and more popular but if your partner is the type to shy away from a crowd then consider doing something that doesn't make them the centre of attention.
2. Think about ONE SPECIAL THING that your partner loves and then incorporate this into your romantic gesture. Perhaps they love cycling in the great outdoors – in this case why not give them a cycling treasure map, and make each piece of treasure that they find a love note or a memory from times you have spent together. The final piece of treasure could be a stay at a gorgeous woodland cabin for the weekend.
3. Consider the weather – if you want to plan a romantic picnic in the woods for Valentine's Day for example, make sure you have a wet weather option.
4. Make sure that when you want to do something romantic you give your partner 100% of your attention. Turn off your mobile phone and close down your work emails. Showing them that you are 100% devoted to them will mean the world to your other half.
Can the little things can also make a difference?
Romance doesn't have to be about spending money. Simple and thoughtful romantic gestures can be just – if not more – romantic than splashing the cash. Consider sticking a post-it note with a reason you love your partner on their bathroom mirror for the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
How do these gestures impact a relationship both long and short term?
Romantic gestures can have a profound effect on a relationship. When we make small romantic gestures for our partners – for example buying flowers on a whim, or doing something you know they would like – we ourselves also become happier, creating a mutual 'warm glow'.
People who pay attention to the 'little details' are likely to be the type who will stick by you when the going gets tough. These are the types of people who understand that the small stuff really is important because those are the things you do simply because you love someone.
How can you make these things happen more regularly – injecting more romance into daily life?
Create a date night jar. Every week you both add a date idea that you want to do, and then every month you pick on of them out of the jar and do it!
Should women try to be more romantic? If so, how?
Romance isn't just for men! Women should spoil their men with romantic gestures too. To find out what your man would consider 'romantic' try chatting to him about how 'a friend' (nudge nudge, wink wink) wants to surprise her man with a romantic gesture and ask him what he thinks would be a good idea. Without a doubt they will end up admitting what they would love to do.
A lot of men like to be outdoors so something like a romantic canoe trip or a trip to go sea fishing could be the perfect way to entice your man into a romantic weekend. And what man would resist stargazing with his partner in a hot tub?!
What are the best ways to utilise the outdoors and nature to enhance the romance in a relationship?
Being outdoors and taking part in a physical activity like hiking or cycling is a great way to connect with your partner as it offers the ability to be spontaneous or to try something different. It also gives you the motivation to turn off your mobile phone and unplug from the world, so you can just focus on each other.
Being outdoors is also a surprising way to find out more about your partner. By doing something active (for example going on a long walk or participating in an activity) you are showing them what you are like rather than telling them. This in essence then breeds intimacy. You may, for example, suddenly see that your partner has a competitive side which you hadn't seen before – and you like!
What other activities can be shared as a couple to step up the romance in a relationship?
I love the Forest Holidays In-cabin spa treatment idea. Having a romantic spa treatment in the intimacy of your own space is the perfect way to bond.
Not only can you both share the spa treatment together but by doing it within your own room, it means you can both relax rather than having to worry about issues such as getting to a spa or where to park your car.
Book a romantic weekend away for your Valentine
Our thanks to Tiffany, on behalf of couples everywhere! And if the woodland cabin idea appeals to you, why not book a romantic weekend for two with Forest Holidays, where you can enjoy in-cabin spa treatments and long romantic walks by day and spend the evenings in a hot tub beneath the starlit skies. You partner will love you forever!
Forest Holidays Romance Expert advice: Tiffany Wright, Tiffany@tiffanywright.co.uk, 07976 732 546