50 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas That Are Anything But Cheesy

If the simple thought of a Valentine’s Day date stresses you out every single winter, take a deep breath. There's an easy way out of this holiday headache—no Cupid's bow required. "The easiest way to relieve this pressure is to have a conversation around what your expectations are of this day," says relationship expert Morgan Cutlip, PhD, a relationship expert with health app Flo. Consider where you’re at in the relationship, and then talk about whether or not you’ll exchange gifts, go out or stay in, and who (if not both) will take on planning. This won’t take the fun out of it, she says, but instead can help avoid awkward moments on V-Day.

When it comes to Valentine's Day expectations, they tend to include flowers, chocolate, and dinner for two. But this year, you can surprise your boo by suggesting one of these creative Valentine's Day date ideas instead. You've probably gone the traditional route sooo many times that you've run out of ideas anyway. Whether you’re a foot rub-on-the-couch kind of person or more interested in going out on the town with your S.O., you're covered. Plus, going on an unconventional Valentine’s Day date can help you "change things up just a bit" and even "create excitement and passion" in your relationship, says Terri Orbuch, PhD, professor at Oakland University and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great. To do that, she recommends going on a date that includes one of three things, or all three if possible: a creative activity, a physical activity, or a new activity.

And remember, sometimes (read: most of the time) simple is the best option. No need to hire someone to skywrite "ALWAYS AND FOREVER" à la Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young. So before you write off V-Day entirely, take a look at these unique Valentine's Day date ideas that will wow your S.O. this year.

1. Have a boudoir photo shoot. Yes, a regular photoshoot is fun, but why not take the sexier route with a boudoir shoot? "[It's] a great way for both you and your partner to get vulnerable with each other," says Betsy Chung, PhD, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert. You can have your partner choose your lingerie, or surprise them and grab your preferred camera (hello, sexy polaroids!). Bonus: By the end, you'll have enough photos for a private album.

2. Tidy up your space. I know what you're thinking. Cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a date, but don't underestimate the potential here, especially if you and your partner live for organizing and deep cleaning. "Staying organized greatly reduces overall stress which can have a direct impact on how you and your partner get along," says Chung. Plus, you can make it fun! "Order pizza, sip some wine, and reminisce on old finds as you work together to declutter," says Chung.