Valentine’s Day can be a tricky situation for us students. Most of us have no idea whether we’re in a relationship with our partner or if they just think of us as a friend “with benefits”. Then, when the relationship is finally defined, most of us are too poor to do anything “special” and end up needing to pretend we actually don’t care if we do anything on the day “because it’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday anyway” (“fun” fact: it’s actually a holiday dedicated to Saint Valentine who was executed for performing weddings on soldiers forbidden to marry. “Your Valentine” comes from his farewell letter to the woman he loved. It wasn’t associated as a holiday of love until the 14th Century when courting became popular, giving lovers a chance to give each other “tokens” of their love in the form of “valentines” (greeting cards), confectionery, and flowers.) So next time your partner tries to say they don’t want to feed into the “Hallmark” holiday school them on how it’s actually a tradition older than the United States of America.

Here are some cheap ideas for your Valentine’s Day plans if you’re hoping to get lucky:

1) Find A Recipe Online And Bake Something Together: Cookies, pick cookies, they take like 20 minutes to prepare and even less time to bake. The beauty of baking together is you can make stupid cute shapes with your cookies, minimal effort with all the rewards. Milkshakes are also really easy to make and would go great with cookies.

2) Cook A Meal Together: If you’re not exactly the biggest sweet tooth but still want to show off your mad kitchen skills then you can cook a meal together. It’s one of the best tests of strength for a relationship (after grocery shopping); you’ll either find out your partner is a complete perfectionist that won’t let you do even the simple things like chop an onion or that your partner has no idea how to do the simple things like chop an onion; it’ll really test you and your partner’s patience and resilience when it comes to cooking with others.

This is the last known photograph of this man alive before a violent row erupted over the amount of basil that should be added.

3) Netflix And Chill: It’s 2017, there’s no way you were going to get through a list of cheap date ideas and not see Netflix and chill, or Putlocker and chill if you can’t afford the €9.99 a month. Bonus points if you can find out a few of your date’s favourite movies/tv shows and give them a choice of what to watch, better yet, give them a choice of your favourite movies to make them think they’re picking the movie when really you’re just a selfish genius.

4) Give Them A Pampering: Set the mood with candles and soothing music and give each other massages. You can even get the 2 in 1 lube and massage oil because everyone knows massage = sex. Just don’t be the shithead that gets a 20 minute massage only to lightly rub your partner for 2 minutes before hopping on and/or in your partner.

5) If You Guys Are An Active Couple, Exercise Together: We’re always seeing those Adonis-like couples posting their cute work-out videos on Instagram, I’m sure you could do the same if you wanted. Or just go to the gym and do a work-out session sans cameras.

Flaunt. Flaunt your fit, lithe bodies to those of us who will look on our from our bloated meat cages in envy.

6) Offer A Sacrifice To Your Deity Together: Try to keep animals out of your sacrifice but I hear sacrificing chickens has recently become pretty popular. Just make sure you clean out your closet after.

7) Go On A Hike Together: Apparently hikes are all the rage for couples. Look up some local nature trails and go nuts. If you’re in the Limerick/Clare area I highly recommend Clare Glens nature trail if that’s your thing.

8) Make Something Together: Paper maché is fun, I hear. It’s an easy way to create shitty sentimental crap together that you’ll either feel obligated to keep until you both die or feel good about destroying should you break up.

9) Go For A Pint: Because nothing says “I love you” like a cold pint of Guinness.

10) Go On A Cheap Date: The internet is a great place to find coupons for different activities like bowling, pool, paintballing, golf (seriously, check out Groupon). Or you can find out what local restaurants do €10 for two-course meal deals, or just bring your date to a coffee shop (just avoid the ones that will charge you €25 for two coffees and two sandwiches).

Valentine’s Day

Just think about what you and your date might enjoy the most, if you’re introverted little couch potatoes like me then you’ll enjoy the Netflix and chill option, if you’re social-butterfly extroverts then you’ll enjoy the more socially interactive dates like going out to the pub or the gym.

Fiona O’Kearney