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Hey all you Valentines Day enthusiasts,  

I love Valentines Day! Maybe it's because I have fond childhood memories of Scoobie-Doo valentines and heart-shaped pancakes (those elementary school parties were the bomb), but nostalgia aside, February 14th is a great day to show genuine appreciation to your favorite people. 

If you've got a significant other, this day is pretty unavoidable. You've got dates to plan, flowers to order, and puppies to buy. It's an exciting day, but it can also be pretty stressful--especially on a college budget. Even though it may seem easier to pretend everything is okay and avoid your bank account altogether, it's a better idea to think ahead and strategize. Some planning on your part can help you rest assured that your bank account and hopefully your relationship won't suffer this Valentines Day. 

Since I haven't acquired much relationship expertise at this point in my life, I've recruited the help of fellow Choctawker, Cole Gressett. Cole is dating an awesome girl and has been accumulating date-wisdom for the past 7 months. He's practically an expert. 

The important thing to remember is that Valentines Day is all about making great memories with a great person. Whether this person is your girlfriend, boyfriend, or a first date you just want to get to know better, have a great time! Don't create so many expectations for a perfect date, instead just have fun! 

So let's check out some brilliant ways to have a blast this Valentines Day with your significant without spending a ton of money. 

1. Dinner & a Movie. This is a classic date for good reasons. It's a comfortable setting for quality time, conversation, and laughs, but it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Try ordering a couple pizzas or some "cheap but yummy" take-out that you can both crush.  Drive out to a scenic spot, bring plenty of cheese cubes, and watch a movie on your laptop. You could find some pretty sweet places if you go off the beaten path and explore a little bit too. 

2. Paint War. Literally the only thing you have to buy is paint. Hang up an old bed sheet, wear some old clothes (or better yet white clothes), arm yourselves with paint bottles and brushes, and go crazy. Also, for the girlfriend's sake, be sure to take plenty of pictures afterward. Thanks. 


3. Shaving Cream Art. This is another great way to add color to your relationship (ha. ha. ha.) Okay, go with me here. All you need is shaving cream, some food coloring, and a clear surface of some kind (like a glass table, window, mirror, you get the idea). Put some food coloring in shaving cream and use your finger painting skills to create some Valentines Day masterpieces. 

4. Cook a meal together. My life motto is: when the food is good, eat it. So why not make some dang good food together? I WON'T talk about how cooking together builds life-skills like good communication, team work, and how to boil an egg, but I WILL say that cooking together is totally a blast. Pick some foods that you both love and have a great time! 

5. Fancy Shmancy. Just because you're trying to save your pennies doesn't mean you can't look like a million bucks. Why not dress to the nines and then have a meal at home? It honestly doesn't matter what you eat, just pull out the nice dishes and Nat King Cole records (British accents encouraged, but not required). Candlelight is also a good option, but only if you're into that sort of thing. *Bonus Points if you get your friends to be your waiters, but this situation is also a high prank risk. Consider yourself warned. 

6. Be mysterious. Want to build up the suspense to the epic date you're planning? Drop some hints or give her three things she should bring with her, without letting her know why. The more random and unrelated the hints are, the better. 

7. Eat ice-cream. If you didn't eat ice-cream, did you really go on a date? Answer: no. Ice-cream is important and quite inexpensive. The experiential value of ice-cream far outweighs the financial value of $3.65. So whether it's Coldstone, FroYo (don't), frozen custard (do), or Ben and Jerry's pints from Kroger--eat ice-cream please. 


And remember...

- The goal of a date is to make a great memory with a great person! Don't have a significant other this Valentines Day? No worries. Either enjoy your single life with your friends or ask someone on a date that you want to know a little better. No pressure, just have fun! 

- Be flexible and roll with it. If the date doesn't go exactly how you planned it, or the timing gets a little off, no worries! Just roll with it and see what happens. Some of the most fun dates happen when plans get thrown to the wind and you have to be spontaneous. 

- Discover some common ground between the two of you. The date doesn't have to be extravagant to be awesome. It just has to be something you both enjoy! 


*Pro-tip for MC students: The MC library actually has lots of DVDs that you can check out for FREE. Hit that up if Netflix isn't streaming the movie you want. 

*Choctawk would like to thank the male staff that are currently in relationships for contributing to these date ideas. May your Valentines Day be full of memories and mad money-saving skills. 

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Hope y'all have a blast! 

- Elizabeth "eat ice-cream please" Moore

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PS: Here's some funny pick-up lines to brighten your February. 


you're welcome.