How to Spend Your Valentine’s Day

January is coming to an end and that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. You might think it is too early to start buying gifts or reserving seats at a local restaurant but really, it’s not.

Whether you are the type of couple who enjoys relaxing in hot tubs, hiking up mountains or curling up and watching movies, how you spend Valentine’s Day is the most important part of the holiday (not the gift).

Don’t have anything planned for this year, yet? Here are a few suggestions from women in five different types of relationships:

The Professional Couple
Chelsea & Greg: Portland, Maine

Chelsea has been dating Greg for a year. She enjoys spending time with him, but admits that their busy schedules keep them apart more than she like. As a result, all she wants to do on Valentine’s Day is find the time to be with him.

“Greg has to work until 11:30 at night on Valentine’s Day, so I’m hoping to go to breakfast the day of,” she says. “I’m all about the fact that the thought counts, so if he made me dinner that would be perfect too!”

A College Romance
Ally & Sean: Manchester, New Hampshire

Ally met Sean in college and finds their relationship to be relaxed and “mushiness-free,” even on the most romantic day of the year.

“Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday and we both have class, I don’t mind if we do something the weekend before or after,” Ally says. “I like to keep it simple on Valentine’s Day. A card and Reese’s Pieces would be ideal. I am hoping it’s going to be a dinner.”

The Old-Timers
George & Shelly: Denver, Colorado

George and Shelly have been married for thirty-six years. At this point in their relationship, it’s hard to come up with new gifts to buy and new places to go out for dinner.

“I don’t think there is anything George can surprise me with,” Shelly says. “I really just feel so lucky to have him around me that if we were just to light some candles and jump in our small hot tub I would be happy with that,” she laughs.

The Long-Distance Relationship
Melanie & Joey: New York City, New York

Sometimes the phone just isn’t good enough. No matter how cheap or well-equipped your telephone system is, saying “I love you” should be done in person. That is how Melanie feels, who has been dating her boyfriend Joey for five years. This year, the couple is forced to spend Valentine’s Day apart.

“I’m studying abroad in London this semester, and he is still at school in New York,” Melanie explains. “I’m hoping that he is going to surprise me and just show up on Valentine’s Day, but I understand that is a lot to ask.”

Are you in a similar situation? Well, cancel the Skype date and don’t ship your gift via Fed Ex. Instead, book the next flight, train or bus to visit your sweetheart.

Adventurous Couple
Lindsay & Matthew: Washington DC

World traveler and dedicated hiker, Lindsay spends every Valentine’s Day with her fiancé – exploring a different part of the world. This year, however, Lindsay did not schedule a trip and is curious as to what Matthew has planned.

“Valentine’s Day this year was too close to my best friend’s wedding, so we didn’t want to travel back-to-back weekends,” Lindsay explains. “I’m really hoping we follow through with our tradition and maybe hike in Shenandoah National Park nearby. Exploring new things together is really the best way to keep the ‘spark’ going,” Lindsay adds.

According to these women, spending the day together is the most important part to get right, not the gift. So there is no need to panic over what to buy your loved one; save that for their birthday.

Sylvia Rosen is an online writer with a background in newspaper journalism. She enjoys writing about dating, relationships and healthy lifestyles.