Normally this time of year we would go into love languages and how they affect the gifts each type of person would prefer based on how they receive, accept, and express love. This drum has been beaten to death, so instead, we are going to help you plan your Valentine’s Day date in a sort of mad-lib style which we are calling Vad-libs (genius, we know). We have constructed, through the power of our own Vad-lib, close to the perfect date using personal events and preferences specific to you and your partner. This doesn’t involve all of the typical marketing-driven heart-shaped hullabaloos you’re used to. It all has to do with why you are going where you're going, doing what you're doing, and how you can make the other person feel special in the moment. The following scenario is not meant to be duplicated to the “T” but is meant to inspire meaningful plans that will make your partner feel special, and show that you care, which is truly what this day is about.
So to kick things off, there are answers you will need to fill in. Get a piece of paper, number the lines from 1-11, and write your answers down so you can easily insert them as you go through this romantic Vad-lib date.
Answer 1: The spot where you shared your first kiss
Answer 2: The place (in public) you first realized you really liked/wanted to date/loved your partner
Answer 3: The place you two first ate together by yourselves
Answer 4: Your favorite drink
Answer 5: Your partner’s favorite sweet treat
Answer 6: Your partner’s favorite animal
Answer 7: Your partner’s dream job, or big goal they are working toward
Answer 8: The title of the movie on Netflix you two have been talking about watching
Answer 9: Your partner’s favorite baked good
Answer 10: A Spotify playlist you both love
Answer 11: Simply write “You Got This”
Before we start, here are some starting assumptions: You both live in the same city/town, you expect to eat with your partner that night, and you’ve been dating for longer than 1 month. If these are all true, this Vad-lib will serve you well.
VAD LIB START
Part 1- Kick off
We are going on an adventure to explore romance, specifically the romantic feelings you share with your partner. Let’s start off with a bit of a Tarantino-style switch-up. Dessert almost always comes last, so to mix it up from the beginning, when you see your date this Valentines Day give them a smooch, a “happy V-Day bay-bay” and present them with some ANSWER 5 and a short note saying something similar to “I think you’re pretty sweet.”
The date has barely even started and they’ve already received something they like and some food to hold them over until you two get to dinner at ANSWER 3!
Part 2- Adventure to Dinner
So you’re going to ANSWER 3 for some din-din, it might not be the nicest place in town, but the memory you both share there makes it truly special and specific to the two of you, how romantic. How will you get to ANSWER 3? Well, it’s still early so you have time to take a bit of a detour. Where are you going? You’re heading to ANSWER 2.
Whether you have to stand outside a friends apartment or a bar that isn’t open yet, that's fine, just stop at the spot and explain why you’ve paused. Tell them that this is the place they had you at hello, that this is the spot where they first made your heart skip a beat, and that this location has meant more to you than anyone who may live, work, or has visited there since that one night. *Commence swooning*.
Now that you’ve likely just made out in public and are all hopped up on the feels, it’s time to get to dinner, so hop in/on your uber/lyft/bird/lime and go get some crackers to go with that cheesiness you just spread all over your relationship.
Part 3- Dinner
Regardless of what type of place ANSWER 3 is, you’ll be talking throughout dinner. This is a great time to bring up questions and discuss ANSWER 7. Everyone wants to have support for their dreams and life goals, especially from those whom they choose to commit to. So before dinner, think about ANSWER 7 and questions to ask about it. Show some interest, find out what kind of help they need to achieve their goals and watch them light up as they talk about something they are passionate about.
Make sure you pay for this meal, and if you can, give your card to the waiter or cashier while your date is in the bathroom (should this opportunity arise), this avoids the “who pays” argument and allows the two of you to simply get up and leave after you’ve finished eating.
Part 4- After Dinner Drinks
To this point you’ve given your partner a sweet snack and dinner, so now it’s time to get something for yourself. From dinner, you’re heading to that bar that makes a great ANSWER 4. You get to sip on your drink of choice, they get to drink a little something, and you both are afforded the opportunity to sit and chat about how great you are together. This only needs to be one drink, but the balance of give and take this stop creates symbolizes the balance you need to have in your relationship. Giving and taking in equal parts ensures each of you feels valued and quells potential feelings of resentment. Practicing this often, and during special occasions like this one, strongly contributes to a healthy relationship.
Part 5- Heading Home
Now that you’ve been fed and libated, it’s time to go back and spend some alone time together, but don't worry you’re going to make this part romantic as well. On your way home, head to ANSWER 1. If this was a bar, your after dinner drinks can take place there, if it was outside one of your apartments, perfect, stop before you head inside and get in a quick makeout session calling out that this is where you knew it was real. Eventually, the two of you will need to end up at your place. This is where you’ll have all of the ingredients to make ANSWER 9, and you’re going to do it together while listening to ANSWER 10. Working toward a common goal is always a great way for the two of you to connect, and feel like you’re on the same team, so join up and make yourselves dessert (separate from ANSWER 5) and dance a little.
Part 6- The End
Now that you’ve made some sweets and listened to Leon Bridges, it’s time to throw on ANSWER 8 and snuggle up with a blanket. But before you get to the “Chill” part of Netflix and Chill, whip out a card with a picture of ANSWER 6 on it that has a handwritten note inside talking about how it all started, what you’ve been through, where you are now, and your thoughts on the future. This ends the night on a romantic, personal note only the two of you need to share, making it truly special.
Okay, now you can go “Chill.”
Happy Valentines Day
This great date scenario will not be possible to complete in it’s entirely for most people. However, using snippets of this mad-libbed plan can make a big impact on your Valentines Day, so think about your answers to these questions and throw a few of these moves into your date night to up the romance factor.