Valentine’s Day is on its way. And while some couples may enjoy the red-and-pink onslaught that the commercialized holiday brings, some of us really hate Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love any opportunity to show love to my partner, but there’s something about the “shoulds” of the holiday that don’t sit well. You should receive a gigantic, heart-shaped box of weird chocolate—am I the only one who takes a small bite out of every piece until I find the 1 in 100 that actually tastes good? You should make dinner reservations well in advance so that you can enjoy an overpriced meal in a crowded restaurant—is the notoriously delicious hole-in-the-wall pizza shop less romantic? You should spend $6 on a Valentine’s Day card—when did a folded piece of paper get so damn expensive?

As you can see, it’s not Valentine’s Day itself that I have an issue with…it’s all of the overpriced, generic traditions that we’ve been handed. A day that’s supposed to celebrate your love shouldn’t be an exact replica of your neighbor’s or be the most expensive day of the year, should it?

So whether you hate Valentine’s Day or you’re just looking to mix it up, we’ve got a few low key, memorable plans for you to try.

Get playful.

Adults don’t play enough, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse. Build a fort in your living room, buy a box of crayons and draw each other, or go to one of those fantastic trampoline places. A fun, memorable activity is inexpensive, and it’s far more valuable than a $50 steak…at least to some of us.

Try bartending.

Drinking with your partner is already fun, but making drinks for each other adds a whole new, exciting element. Find a few cocktail recipes that you and your partner want to try, and get to mixing! You won’t have to pay for a ride home and you learn how to make a few drinks. Did I mention that, if things start heating up, you’re already home so you don’t have to wait to get started?

Give back.

Oswald Chambers said, “Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion.” If we’re privileged enough to have a partner that we love deeply and who loves us, why wouldn’t we want to share that love with someone in need? Find (or create) a volunteer opportunity on Valentine’s Day to represent what the holiday is really about.

Make something sweet.

Even if you hate Valentine’s Day, you probably don’t hate dessert. The good news is that you don’t have to be a baker to whip up something sweet and delicious together. Check out the refrigerated section in your grocery store for ready-to-bake treats. You can also look up a recipe that you and your partner want make from scratch. Note: Heart shapes and red frosting are optional.

Recreate your first date.

What could be more romantic (or original) than recreating your first date? In my opinion, not a lot. Reminisce with your partner a few days before Valentine’s Day. Next, write down everything you can remember, like where you were, what you ate, what you talked about, etc. Then, do your best to recreate it and enjoy all the feels.

plans for couples that hate valentine's day