Utterly Romantic Valentine’s Day Gifts for Cheap or Free

Photo (cc) by Ilkka JukarainenPhoto (cc) by Ilkka Jukarainen

The original Valentine’s Day had nothing to do with buying chocolate, flowers or cards. It began as the pagan mating ritual Lupercalia back in ancient Rome, where drunken, naked men drew names of potential mates from a jar.

We’ve evolved

We’ve evolved in the last couple of thousand years, and here’s possible evidence: Only 43 percent of women and half of men today expect sex on Valentine’s Day, according to a survey by Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines of 2,000 of their websites’ readers, according to an ABC News report.

The survey turned up other surprising points of agreement between the sexes, including:

  • Being dateless on Valentine’s Day is no big deal: women 79 percent, men 78 percent
  • Getting engaged on Valentine’s day is “cheesy”: women 61 percent, men 64 percent
  • Receiving a Valentine’s Day gift is totally unimportant: women 85 percent, men 86 percent
  • Plan to spend less than $25 on partner’s Valentine’s Day gift: women, 49 percent, men 24 percent

Money’s not the issue

The survey makes it clear that, while lavishing pricey gifts on your sweetie can be fun, most of us don’t expect it. The pressure is off to buy-buy-buy on Valentine’s Day. What is true is that it’s great to feel loved and to celebrate in heartfelt ways. Here are 10 endearing ways to say “I love you” for nothing — or close to it — this year:

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