The Minimalist’s Guide To Valentine’s Day
Posted in Minimalism on February 14th, 2017
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers! Many of you have probably noticed that most Valentine’s Day article seldom cover the day from a minimalist’s perspective, or from the perspective of people who are more health conscious (chocolate, sugar, really?). We here at FinTekNeeks decided to write a post for those of you who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day and White Day in a minimalist way. We promise to keep this article family appropriate and G-rated.
Just A Reminder
Valentine’s Day and White Day celebrate relationships between two partners, where generally the partner who takes initiative on Valentine’s Day is the recipient of the initiative on White Day (so partner one handles Valentine’s Day while partner two handles White Day). For example, in Japan the girl typically buys the boy gifts on Valentine’s Day, while on White Day, the boy buys the girl gifts. What better way to learn cooperative game theory than with two days of relationship celebration (we’re somewhat kidding)!
In case your new to minimalism (our readers come from all over the world), minimalism prioritizes freedom and personal values over possessions. This does not mean a minimalist is anti-materialistic, it only means that any materialism serves the person’s values. Because we’ve met two very common types of minimalists and we are both types ourselves, let’s look at some fun ways to enjoy these days of the year.
Minimalist’s Guide: Some Frugal Ideas
Some minimalists like being as frugal as possible, whether for a season or whether they intend this for the rest of their life. If you’re in this group, we have some ideas you may like, or that may help you come up with even better ideas:
- First thing is to have a plan. In addition to being thoughtful, this avoids the whole frustrating conversation of, “What do you want to do?… I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
- Do something active. Go hiking, stroll around the lake at sunset, biking, play tennis, or any outdoor activity the significant other likes.
- Learn together how to give a massage. A simple ten minute back massage is amazing. You can easily learn techniques on YouTube. Now you have learned a new skill.
- Read a book to the other person. One of my favorite memories when I was young is my teacher reading to the class. Usually it was just a chapter a week, I really enjoyed listening to the story out loud.
- Clean or fix something that has been on the to-do list for a long time. It is matter of following through on something that was promised.
- Pull a Seneca and share a really difficult day together; some may think of this as unromantic, but “romance” really means Roman-like, and early Romans were known for cherishing difficulty (part of why we have the word virtue). Experiencing something difficult together makes the small things carry huge value; kind of like how amazing blueberries taste if you eat them after kale.
- If you both like real-life adventures, like a story book, do an activity that stimulates multiple emotions over the course of your adventure, like a combination of fear, uncertainty, laughter, shock, etc. Almost every good story involves at least two or three emotions and this is also true for experiences we tend to remember in life.
- Do something you did as kids together, like playing with water guns at a park, or pretend to be detectives solving a mystery.
- Enjoy some dopamine together. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, that’s the beginning of your adventure – start researching on how to stimulate each other’s dopamine receptors!
- Never forget that the greatest adventure is where you are; bloom where you’re planted.
Minimalist’s Guide: Some Leverage Ideas
Some minimalists don’t mind spending a lot of time or money if they know the return is huge. They save in one area to really spend in another area, and if this is you, we also have some ideas that you can use, change to fit your life, or just help you hatch other ideas:
- People do not cook enough. To learn to cook a favorite meal is not only thoughtful, but it avoids the overpriced and overcrowded restaurants. It is easy to do with so many recipes and videos online. Even cooking together is a great activity.
- Go on a picnic. I do not see many people actually go on a picnic. What is great about living in Austin is the many places where one can sit and chill out. Packing simple fruits and charcuterie will be healthy and light. Also, don’t forget to pack champagne, everyone loves bubbly. If you plan around the sunset time, that will be even more memorable.
- If you had planned way ahead of time, you could grow your own flowers. If you are crafty, you can build, knit, make something special.
- Hand-dip your own strawberries in chocolate. Try different types of fruit or candy. This is a great couples activity.
- For the health conscious and people willing to spend a little more on organic food, here are some great foods for these holidays: kale, broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, Brazil nuts, almonds, and any food with high concentrations of Vitamin D.
- Travel to your favorite place together. While I love travelling to new places, there are also some places that make wonderful “ritualistic” destinations. Build one and re-visit it together.
- Enjoy some exercise at a water park. Laugh at a comedy together. Pause in awe at how massive the sky full of stars at night. Or do a similar combination, spending some money to hit different emotions throughout the day together.
- Sign up for a class together and discuss what you each learned. We’re not talking college classes; we’re talking classes that you can use for the rest of your life, like how to negotiate, how to diagnose your car, etc.
- Never forget that experiences, destinations and memories can generate a return, just like an investment can and a memory can never be inflated.
Since we like economics in practice, it is worth noting that even on some expensive purchases that can be enjoyed by both partners, economies of scale applies. Relationships can help you leverage your minimalism – expanding your output even with a reduction of resources inputted. Finally, always celebrate the special people in your life. After all, that is why we call them special.