Ideas from happily married man Benjamin Baker on creating a romantic anniversary for the love of your life…
Even if you’re lucky enough to be in a loving relationship, many people find it far more difficult to be romantic year after year during the highly anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) anniversary celebration. What can you say that hasn’t been said before? How can you keep your enthusiasm level up and your lovey-dovey side out and about?
[Abiola says: And ladies, wake up... It's your job to be romantic for your partner and create wonderful anniversaries too!]
You have the perfect opportunity to surprise, impress and heart-melt your sweetheart with just the slightest bit of creativity and planning.
Think Logistics First
When we say “logistics” we mean that you put some effort into planning and visualizing the event, focusing on the little details. Poor planning generally leads to awkward energy and compromised “sweet thoughts.” I personally think it’s important to think realistically above all else.
Don’t make plans to do something you can’t afford; otherwise, the memory of this anniversary could be tainted, before, during or after the celebration due to unforeseen financial woes. Take a pragmatic view of the situation:
- Determine your available budget.
- Only plan for what you can comfortably pay for.
- If you have money to buy a diamond watches, with wrists of silver and gemstones, then more power to you but it’s the thought that counts.
- Determine what type of personality and “mood” your partner has before planning something extravagant.
- If you have kids, make sure children are staying with a babysitter that you both trust.
- Make sure your smartphone or tablet PC is off. No emergency calls!
The next step is to exhaust your ideas. This is what I call the brainstorming phase. Rather than limiting yourself to one idea (which may or may not work) write down as many ideas as you can think of and make sure they are all romantic! Try to think in terms of categories so that this can inspire more workable ideas for this year, next year or even ten years down the road.
Finally, (and this is an important point) try to make the anniversary celebration a team effort. That’s right, the pressure to create a memorable anniversary night is not nearly as daunting as the “perfect wedding proposal” every girl dreams about. This is an event to be enjoyed and imagined by the both of you.
The Perfect Package
So one strategy is to surprise your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife with news that you have reserved the entire day to spend doing whatever strikes their fancy. Now that you have brainstormed and categorized all of your ideas, you can offer her multiple options. I particularly like the “vacation package” approach. Rather than just hand over a list of ideas, I like to create vacation packages (remember The Price is Right?) that my love can choose from.
I start the event with a formal “surprise” (I try to make it seem like I forgot the anniversary date) and then take a trip down memory lane, by presenting an old photo or an old poetry writing I once penned in honor of my sweetie. I sentimentalize the moment early on, and then describe what vacation plans we can both choose.
Obviously, not every anniversary is a “real vacation” moment. So I mix it up with the occasional exotic overseas vacation, and then more often the “at home” get away vacation.
For instance, one package might include a lunch date at our favorite restaurant, going to see a movie or a stage show, and then going back to the house for a candlelit dinner and shared hot tub. That’s the “traditional” package. Now, another option might be for the two of us to go to a day spa, and then eat a light brunch, and then head off for hiking and late night camping.
I tailor these packages to my honey bunch’s personality and I suggest you do the same. Create package ideas you know they will enjoy. (And of course, substitutions and custom orders are definitely doable!) Above all else, make the conversations “real.” Talk about memories you’ve had together, talk about how much better life is now, how much more you’re in love having experienced so many wonderful years together.
The Shared Experienced
In other words, make your anniversary celebrations fun and a shared experience. This is not a chore, nor is a test to see if you remember important dates. (And hey, sending an email/organizer reminder to yourself is easy!) It’s about the desire to have fun, be romantic and enjoy your partner for a whole day without worries.
You can’t go wrong with this strategy. And yes, doing a little advanced planning will make the anniversary celebration more enjoyable for you too!
Benjamin Baker is a writer and researcher who lives in Denver, Colorado. Besides camping and fishing, his favorite pastimes include guitar, writing, and of course, raising his three healthy and hungry teenagers. He is happily married and stumbled on www.LoveDiamonds.net while researching for this article.