We all want to make our partners feel special on Valentine’s Day. And while grand gestures are great, the most head-over-heels, happily-ever-after couples know that true love is in the little things. So we sat down with Stacey and Gill Donovan, one of Hallmark’s own adorable duos (she’s even a romance novelist), and asked them to help us make the most of Valentine’s Day. Read on for little ways to rev up your romance.
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Stacey: Give something that relates to his or her passion. Years ago, when I was still trying to figure out how to write a novel with little success, Mr. Donovan gave me a fancy fountain pen. It came with a note that said, “You can write our favorite books with this.” It meant so much to me—I’ll never forget it.
Gill: Shower them with cards! Sometimes on my birthday or Valentine’s Day, Stace will get a bunch of cards and leave them in different places—taped to the bathroom mirror, on the seat of the car, on my computer and so on. It can take me a couple of days to find them all, and every time I find a new one, it makes me smile.
Gill: Cook a romantic meal at home. We usually go out for a nice dinner like most people do, but the time I remember best is when we just stayed in and watched a romantic movie and Stacey made a heart-shaped pizza. It was probably the cheapest Valentine’s Day dinner we ever had but also one of the best.
Stacey: Write a love letter—or even a poem. Gill and I met in a graduate writing program. After our first date, he gave me all these poems he had recently written. OK, it was about a hundred poems, and they were all really good. Most of them were love poems, and I don’t know if they were about me or not, but I was swooning! Not everybody can write a hundred beautiful poems, but I think a heartfelt love letter is an amazing thing, especially if it’s handwritten. I think the fact that you’re willing to put your feelings out there is what makes it so great.
Gill: For the record, of course the love poems were about you! I could hardly stop thinking about you, and nearly all my writing then was either directed to you or about you in some way.
Gill: I like to buy her favorite dark chocolates at her favorite local candy store and give them to her with her favorite multicolored or red and white roses, and I set aside some time to find just the right Valentine’s Day card. If I’m on my game, I tie these three traditional gifts together with a short and sincere closing message in the card.
Stacey: He doesn’t just do chocolate on Valentine’s Day, to be clear. Not too long ago, I mentioned late at night that I had a craving and he went out and got some for me!
Stacey: There are lots of ways, but one of my favorites is to find a great term of endearment. Mr. Donovan never addresses me as “Stacey.” He almost always calls me “Pie.” It started out as “Wild Honey Pie” but quickly became abbreviated. I love it, and whenever I leave him a note, I sign it with a pi symbol. He’ll also sometimes address me as “Beautiful” or “Gorgeous.” And every day when I see him after work, I say, “Hi, Handsome!”
Photo courtesy of Gill & Stacey Donovan