Ever since Hallmark started selling their first Valentine’s Day cards in 1913, the day of love and romance has become a highly commercial affair that many have come to loathe. However, the initial idea of Valentine’s Day – showing affection to the ones we love – shouldn’t be mocked. On the contrary, we could all use a little more love and kindness in our lives.

If you want to do something special this Valentine’s Day – besides the usual flower and chocolate or candlelight dinner routine – here are some ideas on how to wow your partner on the day of love.

Release the Tension
Many spas across the city have couple rooms and also offer special treatments for couples. Most of these treatments have been specifically designed with romance in mind – going beyond the “normal” massage and turn the visit into an intimate, sensual experience – including time alone in a rose-petal-strewn tub or a bottle of Champagne with strawberries and chocolate. 

Make Them Reel
Going to the movies on Valentine’s Day sounds anything but special, but what if it was just the two of you in a private screening room, watching a movie of your choice, snuggling up on a sofa while munching on popcorn?

There are a few private screening rooms in Jakarta, but our favourite is Subtitles at Dharmawangsa Square. The venue features a couple of cozy screening rooms and boasts a very vast collection of DVDs – not only Hollywood blockbusters, but also lesser known and hard-to-find independent films and foreign productions. Of course, you can also bring your own.

A Journey of the Mind
Does your significant other like to read? Then here are some ideas on how to nurture their curious minds and imagination even further on 14 February: go to a bookstore and tell your partner to choose one book as a Valentine’s Day present. Afterwards, head to a cafe (or any other quiet place) and start reading the book together – take turns in reading to one another. We admit – it does sound a little nerdy, but anyone who appreciates literature and regularly falls in love with fictional characters will enjoy a quirky Valentine’s Day such as this one.  

Blanket for Two
Sure, a candlelight dinner at a fancy restaurant can be pleasant, but wouldn’t it be even nicer if you’d have a picnic in a park, just the two of you? 

This gives you the opportunity to prepare a basket containing everything you and your partner need for a rendezvous outdoors: your favourite snacks, a bottle of wine and other delicacies that you can spoon-feed to each other. Don’t forget to bring a cozy blanket to sit on, a small bottle of mosquito repellent and perhaps even a portable speaker for a little music to set the mood.

Road Trippin’
A road trip is always fun and a great opportunity to spend some quality time together. There are many things you can do while driving: you can play Truth or Dare, 21 Questions or Word Association. Don’t forget to bring some music (or, if you want to go old school, surprise your partner with a mixtape), so you can sing along to your favourite tunes, and most importantly, stock up on snacks!

In the end, it may not even matter where you are actually going, be it Bandung, Sukabumi or Puncak, because more often than not, the journey is the destination.

All the Single Ladies…
… and men, we know that Valentine’s Day can be obnoxious and annoying to those who are still soldiering through life alone. But it doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day can also be about celebrating the love you bear for your parents, your siblings, your friends, your pets. Therefore, spend the day with someone close to your heart and show them that you care. 

Alternatively, you can always throw a dinner party and invite all your other single friends – lightning might strike!

In some cities around the world, singles celebrate Quirkyalone Day on 14 February – it is a grassroots movement that started in 2003 and encourages singles (even though couples are welcome to join in) to create a whole day of things they love. Activities can range from hosting a potluck party, buying new shoes or getting a new haircut to taking a long walk without your mobile phone or exploring a new part of the city you live in.

Whether you are single or in a committed relationship – there are ways for everyone to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge is a previous editor of NOW! Jakarta. An experienced writer and avid bookworm.