20 fun ways to love your sweetie this Valentine's Day

Need a little Valentine's Day inspiration? It's OK. We're here to help!

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  • Want to "wow" your beloved with several surprises on Valentine's Day? Here's a list of 20 awesome ideas to get you started. And if you want to spread the love, make your sweetie feel extra special with a whole week of heartfelt gestures.

  • 1. Breakfast in bed

  • Choose your sweetie's favorite breakfast foods and deliver a tray full of deliciousness right to bed. Add a flower and a note to make it extra special. Letting him or her sleep is a bonus!

  • 2. Text love bombs

  • Send several texts throughout the day. Some can be funny, some romantic. Text a line of a love poem every hour until you've sent the whole poem. Make a list of the qualities you love most about your sweetheart and send them one by one. Here are 52 text message love bombs you can drop — standard messaging rates apply.

  • 3. Count the ways you love him/her

  • Using a pad of sticky notes or simply a piece of paper, make a numbered list of the ways you love your partner. If you use sticky notes, place them all over the house (including some hidden places), or deliver the list in a creative way.

  • 4. A heartfelt, handwritten love letter

  • In an age where even emails are giving way to texts, write a letter by hand on nice paper and deliver it to your sweetie. It will be a keepsake he or she will treasure.

  • 5. Heart attack

  • Give a healthy heart attack by placing hearts with sayings and affirmations on a door, window or mirror where your sweetheart will be sure to spot them. For more detailed instructions, click here.

  • 6. Special delivery

  • Getting mail is always fun! A special delivery could be flowers sent through a florist, a card that arrives via the mailbox, a package placed on a doorstep or a singing telegram.

  • 7. Handmade gift

  • I love giving and getting handmade gifts. Scour sites like Pinterest for ideas for bath salts, lotion, jewelry, food or artwork that you can make and give. Your sweetheart will appreciate the personal touch and effort you put into the perfect handmade gift.

  • 8. Wish list gift

  • My husband and I have running "wish lists" of gifts we'd like to receive for various occasions. Keeping your finances in mind, surprise your partner with a gift he or she would truly love to receive.

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  • 9. Romantic dinner

  • Whether you make it yourself or go out to eat, a well-planned romantic dinner is always appreciated. If you can't leave the house, consider having a dinner with the whole family or waiting until the kids are asleep to eat together. Late night dessert can be very romantic as well.

  • 10. Workplace surprise

  • Bring something special to your sweetheart at work, or have something delivered. Ideas include lunch, balloons, flowers or a treat.

  • 11. The gift of touch

  • Offer a foot or shoulder massage after a long day of work. Give a gift card for a professional massage if your partner would enjoy that treat. Use scented candles or massage oil to increase the romantic atmosphere.

  • 12. Favorite things

  • My husband knows I love chocolate, ice cream, books and fancy soaps. His favorite things include gourmet sodas, cured meats and watching sports. Present your sweetie with a few of his favorite things to let him know he's your favorite.

  • 13. Servant for a day

  • Do everything you can to make your spouse's day easier. Take the kids, do the dishes, make and serve meals, and let her take the day off. Busy stay-at-home moms will really appreciate this one.

  • 14. Old standbys

  • If it's worked in the past, try it again. Have another picnic in the park, watch a movie you both loved or cook a favorite dinner. The nostalgia you feel will bring back the original feelings of love.

  • 15. Time together

  • Sometimes the best gift is time together. Plan an outing to do something you both enjoy or try something new. Cook a dinner together and then enjoy it by candlelight. If you have time, take an overnight trip to a romantic hotel or send the kids away for a sleepover with grandma.

  • 16. "Rain check"

  • Once, when my husband and I were first dating, I hurt his feelings by not making time for him when I didn't realize he'd planned something special. To make it up to him, I made a few rain checks for future dates together.

  • If you don't have time or money to show your partner love in the way you'd like, give him or her a rain check with the promise of a future gift or occasion together. I'd like a rain check for a trip to Paris with my husband, and I'm willing to wait.

  • 17. Memory lane

  • It's fun to remember the first few years of marriage, the time you dated or were engaged, and the details of how you fell in love. Gather old photographs or put together a slide show of photos with music and effects to show your sweetie how much your time together means to you.

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  • 18. Photo gift

  • There are so many clever gifts based on photographs. You can make a photo book of your favorite photos together, create calendars, mugs, clothing, puzzles and many other options. Visit websites like Shutterfly, Vistaprint and Snapfish (to name just a few) and get inspired.

  • 19. Heart-inspired meal

  • Go all out on a Valentine's Day themed meal. Search the Web for ideas — from heart-shaped pancakes to edible bacon roses.

  • 20. Love language special

  • Do you know your sweetheart's love language? If you don't, try to figure it out. When you do, think of something you can do that speaks to the ways he or she most feels loved. Many of the ideas listed above touch on several of the five love languages.

  • Sometimes it can be stressful to think of the perfect way to show your sweetheart love on Valentine's Day. Don't stress. Find inspiration from one of these ideas, put in a little thought and effort, and your sweetheart will feel loved and cherished this Valentine's Day and always.

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Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.

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