Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Like many military spouses, I have sometimes had to spend this lovey-dovey holiday without my spouse. So what do you do when you can’t spend a romantic day or evening with your loved one? Well, that is simple. Grab your best friends and spend it together.
There is something to be said about safety in numbers, especially when your spouse is deployed or work has them in another location besides home. I don’t dress up often, but it is fun to get gussied up every now and then, particularly with your best gal pals. Male military spouses might be surprised and pleased to receive an invitation.
If you are like me, I sometime struggle with coming up with fun ways to hang out with my friends. I often overthink it and feel like I need to plan every minute of activity when all I really need to do is extend the invitation and enjoy the moments I have with my friends.
Here are some ideas that you can use as excuses to get your group together. If other people in your group have plans for Valentine’s Day, you may want to schedule these events the day before, the day after, or even the morning of Valentine’s Day.
- Coffee and tea. Get your group together for a mid-morning or late-evening coffee/tea date. I love sipping delicious tea with my friends as we all cluck about what we have going on or what we plan on doing in the future (family summer vacations, upcoming PCSes, etc.). Usually there are several coffee and tea shops that also serve sweet treats (yum!). If there isn’t, then consider inviting everyone over to your house for a get-together.
- Wine and cheese. Similar to coffee and tea, but I don’t recommend holding the event in the morning – people seem to look at you funny. I love meeting up with friends and talking over a glass of wine. Have your friends bring their favorite bottle and you can make your event into a small wine tasting. That way you can take notes and grab a bottle of your favorite one for future activities. It is best to eat a little something, so make or encourage your friends to bring cheese or other snacks. And, please always drink responsibly.
- Be a tourist. One of my most memorable events with a group of girls was a trip we all took together. It was a great time for us to leave our family life behind and just enjoy one another’s company. We took city tours where all of us carried our cameras. One of my favorite memories was when the tour guide would point out something and we would all oooh and aww and then the next thing you heard was cameras going off like we were paparazzi. So much fun to just explore and experience new things with your friends. If you can’t take a big trip, explore your town together. Like I said, there is always security in going to new places when you have your friends by your side.
- Take a class. Learning or experiencing something new is difficult, but friends make things a little easier. My friends and I took a cooking class together where we made a four-course meal. It was a fun way to find out who made good leaders in our group and who was the best at listening to the chef (I was neither). After the cooking, we were able to enjoy each other’s company over the delicious meal we cooked together. We were shocked that the food was good enough to be served to other guests at the hotel and it received rave reviews. It was such a great experience!
- Plan a photo shoot. I love taking photos, so having the opportunity to have a photo shoot for many of us here at InDependent was great fun. As I looked back on the photo shoot, I thought it would be a lot of fun to host a photo shoot party with friends. Everybody puts together a couple of favorite outfits, and then it’s time to strike some poses. It doesn’t matter if you have an expensive camera or you use your smart phone. Just put on some tunes, have fun, and start snapping away! You will be happy with the memories you make with your friends and you’ll have the photos to remember the good times.
What is your favorite thing to do with friends? If you get some good photos of you and your friends having fun together and don’t mind having them featured here at InDependent, we’d love to have you share them with us! Just make sure you’ve asked everyone’s permission.