1. People & Relationships

Partner Gifts that Are More Than Just Flowers

Go Beyond the Traditional for Something More Personalized

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When it comes to Valentine's Day, your anniversary, birthdays, or any other special occasion that you and your romantic partner celebrate, giving flowers often seems like a safe bet. But what if you want something more ... exciting? After all, anyone can give flowers but not everyone can give a meaningful, personalized gift.

7 Partner Gifts that Are More Than Flowers

1. Breakfast and a movie. Why spend a small fortune on dinner and a movie when you can have just as much fun doing breakfast and a movie? Since saving money is especially important for college students, this option can be a fun way to approach a traditional date. If you both are feeling particularly brave, you can even wear your pajamas out.

2. Brunch and something physical. Getting out and doing something physical, like a hike, always leaves people feeling refreshed, recharged, and rejuvenated. Take your partner out to a nice brunch (even if it's just at a coffee shop near campus) and head for the great outdoors. You'll get exercise, some quiet time together, and an adrenalin boost. What's not to like?

3. Something low in cost but high in entertainment. While flowers are, of course, nice, they are also incredibly expensive (especially around Valentine's Day). And since most college students are short on funds, finding an alternative becomes even more important. Consider doing something that you both love -- like attending a poetry slam or going to an art museum -- that is low in cost but high in entertainment value. Added bonus: You'll have time to enjoy the show as well as each other's company, in contrast to a movie where you aren't supposed to talk much.

4. Buy a book by your partner's favorite author or poet or on a topic he or she is passionate about. Your Art History significant other may just love a certain painter; your Botany partner may love books that discuss the plant world in a format other than her traditional textbooks. Find a book that explores someone or something he or she is passionate about for a great, personalized gift that's sure to be a hit.

5. Volunteer together at a charity or organization that matters to one of you. Seriously, who doesn't feel good after volunteering? It may not sound like a traditional, romantic date, but grabbing a bit to eat before or after volunteering somewhere can leave you both buzzing with warm fuzzies. You'll feel good about the work you did, the people you met, the cause you helped, and the time you got to spend together.

6. Give your partner several small gifts throughout the day. A gift like flowers has a huge impact -- once. In contrast, surprise your significant other with several small gifts throughout the day. (For example, you could bring coffee and a muffin to their residence hall room as a kind of breakfast in bed, and then later surprise them with a book in the afternoon and a nice bottle of wine in the evening.) Because honestly, who doesn't like being showered with gifts all day? Remember, too, that they don't have to be expensive to be nice.

7. Gift something that blends your school with something you know about your partner's personality. Is your girlfriend always cold? Consider buying her a sweatshirt and some gloves from her campus bookstore. Is your boyfriend really into mountain biking? Get something school-spirited for his bike from a bike shop near campus. You'll give your partner something that reminds him or her of you throughout the year while also showing that you know and respect all the things that make your partner your partner.

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