How to nurture your relationship without breaking the bank this Valentine’s Day. Relate Cymru releases its top tips.
Christmas might seem like a distant memory, but the thud of the ensuing credit card bills landing on doormats is still resounding across Wales. Just before the festive season, leading relationships charity Relate found that almost half (45%) of people in our region* were worried about the cost of Christmas – and now, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many couples may feel under pressure to spend even more. Relate Cymru is calling on residents to take a step back and think about whether they can really afford that extravagant gift or night out.
Relate’s research has shown money worries are a top strain on relationships**. Val Tinkler, National Manager for Relate Cymru, said there are plenty of ways people can express their love this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. She said:
“Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spend time with your partner and show them you care, but it can also get expensive. Thinking ‘outside the box’ can really help – gifts don’t have to cost the earth or even anything at all.
“If you’re thinking of giving a gift for Valentine’s, maybe ask yourself what your loved one would appreciate most before getting out the credit card, particularly if Christmas debts are still a problem. It’s easy to make assumptions that your partner wants expensive jewelry or to head to a fancy restaurant when perhaps they would be just as appreciative of a handmade card or breakfast in bed.”
From its experience working with thousands of couples every year, Relate knows that open communication is a cornerstone of happy and loving relationships. The charity suggests one way to make the most of Valentine’s Day is to use it as an opportunity to talk to your partner and find out what gestures make them most happy.
“This is a great opportunity for two people to talk to each other and find out what they most want as a treat,” added Val. “It doesn’t have to cost anything – what’s most important is it shows you’ve listened to them and how much you care.”
Relate Cymru offers counselling, information, mediation and support to individuals, couples and families with people of all backgrounds and sexual orientations at all stages of life. Visit www.relate.org.uk/cymru for more information, or call 0300 003 2340.
Relate’s top tips for a cheap and original Valentine’s Day
Don’t feel you have to spend the earth
Romance is not necessarily something you have to buy – the sweetest things often cost nothing. A dozen expensive roses might seem like a grand romantic gesture but so is breakfast in bed, a shoulder massage or carrying out a chore you know your partner hates!
Put some thought into it
Think about what the person wants, not what you think they should want. Thoughtfulness is one of the most romantic qualities a partner can possess. If you’re not sure, ask them. It will show you’re thinking about them.
Why not unleash your creativity by making your own Valentine’s card or creating a collage of your favourite photos together? Not only will it keep costs down but it will also show your partner a different side to you.
Plan a frugal date
If you’re planning a date, why not try something new together like indoor climbing or an art class which are likely to be cheaper than a fancy meal out. Another good plan for a cheap but romantic date is to switch off social media, turn off the lights and watch a film together as though you’re at the cinema.
Head to a charity shop
You can find some amazing, unique gifts in charity shops for brilliant prices.
Relate Cymru offers information, advice and counselling for all stages of relationships, including couple counselling to build and maintain strong relationships.
Visit www.relate.org.uk/cymru for more information, or call 0300 003 2340.
Nathan is the Operations Director and one half of Vale Breakfast on Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.