Love Don’t Cost A Thing

For a holiday focused on love and affection, February 14 is a day often looked upon with profound disdain and a sense of dread. Besides all the flack it gets for being a Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day is surrounded by high expectations and a stressful standard of gift-giving and romantic evenings.  But despite its bad reputation, Valentine’s Day can be a fun occasion for people at any stage in a relationship – the trick is removing the pressure.

First of all, gifts are a lovely gesture, but they really aren’t necessary. Unless you two lovebirds are pretty serious or rolling in the dough, there’s no need for roses or five star dining. V-Day can be just as romantic and far less intimidating if you cut out all the bells and whistles and go on a laid back date.  To break it down a little further, here are some no-fuss, budget-friendly date ideas.

Rather than go out to see a movie, plan a movie night at home. Browsing the movie selection together, whether at Blockbuster or on Netflix’s streaming section, is a great way to get to know each other’s tastes and sense of humor better. It’s always good to find out if you and your significant other have compatible movie taste, because as John Cusack tells us in the classic ‘90s comedy “High Fidelity,” “…what really matters is what you like, not what you are like.” – If  not, you might want to reevaluate your date.

Cooking a meal together is another fun way to spend V-Day. It’s less intimidating than going out for a fancy meal, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. Choose a meal that’s delicious and uncomplicated, and get cookin’! If possible, wear goofy aprons – this will serve the dual purpose of breaking the ice, and keep you from getting covered in food (unless that’s what you’re into). If you feel like going above and beyond, try making the cookies from this weeks cooking column for dessert.  For those who feel completely lost in a kitchen, have cheese fondue for dinner and chocolate fondue for dessert.

If dinner or a movie sounds far too humdrum, opt for a more adventurous outing like rock climbing. Climbing will provide a nice rush of endorphins to help smooth out any lingering pre-date jitters, and the experience will give you something to talk about later. New Paltz’s rock climbing place, the Inner Wall, located in the Rite Aid Plaza, is offering a two for one deal on the Sunday before Valentine’s making your date as affordable as it is fun. Even if neither you nor your date have ever rock climbed before have no fear; the Inner Wall caters to all levels of experience and trying something new together will be a bonding experience. Call The Inner Wall at 845-255-ROCK for more information.

Our last alternative date idea comes courtesy of third year geography major Ryan Reutershan who recommends making “an igloo love shack” with your Valentine. While seasonal snow play is always to be encouraged, be sure to bundle up and try not to get frostbite in any sensitive areas. Afterwards, head into town for some hot chocolate at slash/Root or Valentine’s-themed Moxie cupcakes at Cafeteria.