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“Hallmark holiday;” Those two words ring out across the country like a foghorn every 14th February from critics bemoaning the commercialization of St. Valentine’s Day.

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Whether you call these people cynics, realists or religious fundamentalists, it’s difficult to ignore the hype that appears just like clockwork every February and builds up to a frenzy of card and flower buying which grosses over $15billion.

So how can we rebel against this corporate monstrosity? We’re going to divulge a few tips on how to make every day like February 14th in your valentine’s heart, without racking up a credit card bill that could cause a coronary!

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1. Do Something Romantic Every Day

The best place to start is by doing something a little special each day, but nothing too big; regular subtle treats mean a lot more than one big gesture and it’s important to let the recipient know that you don’t want anything in return.

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Make a cup of coffee for him in the morning, have a snack waiting for him when he returns home or just leave hand-written notes around the house telling him how you feel and you will notice your partner’s mood brighten (this last practice is what got Valentine’s Day started in the first place, so you’ll be turning its own weapons against it!)

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2. Learn How To Cook Up A Storm

After Christmas, restaurants look forward with baited breath to mid- February, when they can dust off the slow month of ‘J-blues’ and look forward to at least one night on which they’re sure to be booked out for dating.

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That old sexist adage ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ is just as true for women, so there’s nothing more romantic than learn to cook.

No, not just the follow-a-recipe-you-found-online discipline but actually learn to cook; if you spend the time perfecting the techniques, trying new things and showing your range by cooking genuine Indian or Japanese for your lover the benefits will show.

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3. Share Your Passions And Talents

The reason cooking has such a sexy, romantic undertone is because it shows a great deal of creativity but it’s still within most people’s range of ability.

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However, if you have a unique artistic talent such as musicianship, painting, sculpture or any number of others it is always good to get your partner involved. Writing a poem or crafting a keepsake is a cheesy, classic Valentine’s gift and would be way OTT as an everyday thing, but inviting someone else into your creative process is a beautiful gift and the more difficult it is for you, the better it will be for the person receiving it.
4. Tell Him How You Feel

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This could be the most-given and least-taken piece of relationship advice in history, and everyone knows how hard it is to say those three little words and really mean them.

Some couples use them every time they hang up the phone, in every e-mail, in about ten text messages a day, but do they mean them? It’s crucial to communicate a bit more than those eight letters; tell him WHY you love him, what you miss about him when he’s not there and more importantly what you’ll do to him when he gets back!

Whether it’s emotional, sexual or somewhere in-between a lot can be said for making your positive feelings known as much as possible.
5. Stay Cool And Be Sensitive

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On the other hand, it’s important to remember not to give away too much; buying presents and making exotic five-course meals every day might scare some people off, especially if your valentine hasn’t quite said that they reciprocate yet!

Even if you’re still in the courtship stage, any of these methods can be used but only in moderation and with severe caution.

It’s best to use your instincts to decide timing, preferably when your other half seems upset. The rest of the time, if things are going well then roll with it and be happy!

Valentine’s Day is not for another 364 days, and that’s a lot of loving; by then, you might need a break!

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Guest Post (And Post Images) Provided By Alexander Camp