Couple in kitchen

Valentine’s Day ideas for every relationship stage

Last Updated: February 5, 2021

No matter what your romance status is this year, we’ve got your Valentine’s Day plans covered — along with some great gift suggestions.

This Valentine’s Day might not be like the ones you’ve enjoyed (or not enjoyed) in recent years. For one thing, it falls on a Sunday, which is hardly the most romantic day (although we’d argue still better than, say, a Tuesday), and since much of the country is still hunkering down, fancy charity balls and singles bar crawls are probably on hold until next year. But don’t let that get you down — change is good, and in fact, this break from usual routines is a good time to embrace what is, shake things up, and try something new.

Relationship Status: Looking forward to some sizzlin’ hot romance

Illustration of cunnilingus

If you and your valentine are still in the hot and heavy stage of your romance, February 14th is a good day to really ramp things up. And since the holiday lands on a Sunday this year, you can get the party started early — make a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein to fuel tonight’s acrobatics. Cut out the toast with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, and serve some red berries on the side. Spend the day flirting your hearts out, have a light, romantic dinner, and then let the night take you where it may.

Set the mood with candles

Everything looks better in candlelight, and that’s the number-one reason why candles are so inextricably linked to romantic dinners. But there’s more to candlelit romance than simply giving your skin a warm glow. Low light helps you relax and turn down the distracting chatter in your brain. It also blocks out physical distractions, since you can’t quite make out the pile of laundry in the corner that’s been calling your name for a few days now.

Cast a moody, romantic glow in the room with natural soy candles, which don’t contain the toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances that conventional candles emit as VOCs.

Add an amorous aroma

According to research, sex is better for both parties when their olfactory senses are stimulated during romantic encounters. That may be because the olfactory lobe in the brain, which enables us to experience smells, is part of the limbic system — the emotional brain — where thoughts of sex and feelings of desire originate.

While there’s not a whole lot of scientific research about which scents are best for getting it on, some studies show a relationship between certain fragrances and lovin’ feelings — and these top the list:

Vanilla and wood illustration


The sweet, heady scent of vanilla has long been used to “stimulate the sexual propensities,” as one Dr. John King wrote in an 1898 book. Its smooth, rich aroma increases arousal by 9% in men, and male rats who ingested vanillin mounted female rats far more frequently than those who didn’t. So maybe concoct a tasty dessert that calls for vanilla bean caviar. (And we promise we’ll stop bringing up rats.)


The aroma of sandalwood also stirs up arousal, according to a study in Planta Medica, which found that the scent of sandalwood oil increased pulse rate, skin conductance level, attentiveness, mood, and vigor, translating to better sex. Its fragrance is described as soft, warm, and woody, and it’s been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac and to calm the mind for meditation.

Essential oil dropper illustration


The scent of lavender has well-established relaxation, mood-boosting, and anxiety-reducing properties — all of which are good for sex. But one study found a direct link between libido and lavender in older women, whose sexual desire improved significantly with lavender aromatherapy. When mixed with the scent of pumpkin, lavender increased blood flow to the genitalia by 40 percent in men and 11 percent in women.

Explore natural fragrance

Other scents widely considered to increase arousal include ylang ylang, rose, orange, and jasmine. Avoid synthetic fragrances, which can contain numerous toxic substances, including phthalates and formaldehyde.

Safely and naturally scent your space with these candles, oils, and room sprays to help you set the mood on Valentine’s Day.

Heat things up with massage oil

Massage oil lubricates the skin, and when you use it in the sack, it makes for a slippery, sensual romp. The best oils to use for optimum sliding and gliding are sweet almond, sunflower seed, jojoba, and sesame seed oils. Quality massage oils nourish your skin, and they’re unscented, so you can add a few drops of your own pure essential oils for an even more sensuous experience.

Cap it before you tap it

If you don’t want your sexy Valentine’s Day shenanigans to result in a little human next Thanksgiving — and/or you and your hot date aren’t particularly monogamous — be sure to rock a jock sock. Read our guide to natural condoms to learn why and how to wear one, and check out Grove’s assortment of different condoms.

Relationship Status: Just another day in paradise

Illustration of two people wearing face masks

Yes, red-hot, sexy romance is great — there’s nothing like the excitement and yearning in the beginning of a relationship. But fast forward a few years — or a few kids — and getting it on is probably the last thing on your mind as you go about your day. And that’s okay.

If you and your flame enjoy plenty of romance, thank you very much, but don’t feel pressured to get all weird and goopy just because “it’s Valentine’s Day,” don’t let that stop you from celebrating your deep and abiding love for each other — and for yourselves. Make this Valentine’s Day about bonding over relaxation, rejuvenation, and gratitude for the stability and comfort you enjoy together.

So pour a couple glasses of wine, make some hot cocoa, or whip up two tall glasses of cold water with cucumber and lime slices, and retire to the bathroom to enjoy quality time with the person you dig most.

Do dual face masks

Nothing says couples’ pampering like slathering on face masks and laughing at how weird and adorable you look. Masks deliver intensive nourishment to your skin, including ingredients like vitamins E and C for reducing fine lines and firming, charcoal to remove excess oil from your pores, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration. Different masks do different tasks — some help with skin problems like dryness or acne, while others brighten, hydrate, detox, soothe, or nourish your skin. An all-purpose mud or clay mask is a hydrating, nourishing option for all skin types.

Foot soak

A warm foot soak with epsom salt relieves stress, promotes healing, and makes you say, “ahhhhh.” While your masks do their job, fill the tub with warm water up to your ankles, and add a half-cup of epsom salts. If you want a little aromatherapy with your soak, add around 10 drops of essential oils to a tablespoon of olive, jojoba, or coconut oil, and pour it into the running water. Adding some essential oils directly to the bath water can cause skin irritation. A prepared soak, like cooling, refreshing Little Moon Essentials Fresh Peppermint Foot Soak, takes the work — and guesswork — out of it. Sit on the side of the tub, slide your tired, achy feet into that life-giving water, and sip on your drinks ‘til they’re gone.

Foot massages

Drain the tub, and dry your feet. Rinse off the masks, moisturize your face, and freshen up your drinks. Retire to the relaxingest place in the house, find something awesome to watch on TV, or pull up your favorite playlist. Get comfy, because it’s time for foot massages! If you or your partner are averse to touching other people’s feet, you can each massage your own darn feet — it feels just as good.

Rub a little massage oil or olive, sunflower, or jojoba oil in your hands, and firmly — but gently — massage each foot. Read up on foot massage techniques, including warm-up twists, arch rubs, heel squeezes, and pressure point moves. When the massage is over, generously slather super-nourishing foot lotion all over those pups — don’t forget between the toes! — and immediately put on some clean, breathable socks.

Proceed to curl up together, and watch TV until you fall asleep — another exciting Valentine’s Day in the books!

Relationship Status: Planning a three-way ... with me, myself, and I

Illustration of feet up in bubble bath

Whether you’re nursing a broken heart, single by choice, or actively looking for someone to argue with over control of the remote, it’ll do your body and soul good to spend a solo Valentine’s Day engaging in some radical self-care. Because that’s true love.

Have yourself a soak

A long, luxurious bubble bath is a glorious way to spend some quality time with yourself. Turn the lights down, fire up some candles, put on some music, close your eyes, and let your mind drift across the universe while your body relaxes… Just don’t fall asleep! If you’d rather read trashy spy novels or catch up on your Insta feed while you soak — well, that’s a fine way to spend a bath, too.

You can add all sorts of things to your bath water to squeeze every drop of joy and benefit out of the experience:

Coffee beans watercolor illustration


Brew a pot of super-strong, caffeinated coffee, and pour it right into your bath water. Coffee has antioxidant and cleansing effects on the skin and helps to rebalance the pH levels of your hair and scalp. The caffeine may help stimulate blood flow, and the smell of coffee is deeee-lightful.

Yellow beeswax illustration


Dissolve a cup of honey — the darker, the better — in a bowl of hot water, and add it to your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, and it’s packed with antioxidants, so it’ll help soothe, hydrate, and detox your skin, leaving it soft and smooth. So decadent!

Essential oils

Aromatic essential oils have lots of benefits in the bath. Calming lavender fights inflammation, and orange oil helps your muscles relax and boosts your mood. Rose oil calms the skin. Mix five to 12 drops of essential oil with a little olive or coconut oil, and add it to the bath.

Pay your lips some service

Be kind to your kissers with a luscious treatment that’ll leave your lips smooth, soft, and hydrated. First, concoct a sweet lip scrub — mix together some brown sugar to exfoliate, a bit of honey to hydrate, and a little coconut oil to nourish. Gently rub the scrub into your lips in circular motions, maybe let it linger there for a while to pass on all the goodness. Rinse with warm water, pat gently to dry, and generously butter your lips with a deeply moisturizing balm.

Feed your epidermis

It’s still pretty chilly in most of the U.S. on Valentine’s Day, so you may not be showing much skin these days. Still, you should moisturize daily, since all those layers you’re wearing and the cold, dry air do a number on your skin. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seriously hydrated your body, today is a good day to make up for it with the skin’s equivalent of a dozen roses.

After you (reluctantly) exit the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel to soak up dripping water, but leave it damp. Immediately anoint every inch of your skin with a deeply hydrating, natural moisturizer made with plant oils like jojoba, coconut, sunflower, and sweet almond. If you really want to show yourself how much you mean to you, splurge for a luxurious, all-natural body oil that deeply penetrates your skin to restore moisture and make it glow like a desert sunset.

To gift, or not to gift?

Okay, so we’re definitely not here to get you all excited about Valentine’s Day and then turn around and bum you out with a bunch of statistics about how awful Valentine’s Day can be for the environment. So instead, we’ve asked our resident Guru of Green, Director of Sustainability Danielle Jezienicki, to offer up some eco-friendly swaps so you can love your people and your planet this V-Day.

Instead of: A huge, expensive, heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolate...

Love them with: Fair trade certified chocolate. “This verifies that there was no child labor in the cacao supply chain and that cacao growers were paid a living wage and followed sustainable growing practices,” says Danielle. “Look for organic fair trade chocolate that’s not wrapped in plastic,” recommends Danielle. “Also, check the ingredients list for RSPO-certified or Rainforest Alliance-certified chocolate to ensure that your valentine’s gift doesn’t come with a side of deforestation.” She points out the added bonus that when you look for these certifications, you’re likely going to end up supporting smaller brands, including Certified B corporations.

Instead of: A grocery store bouquet...

Love them with: Organic flowers. Danielle points out that organically grown flowers use no pesticides, and they usually support local growers. “Choose flowers wrapped in paper and not plastic—and especially no foam,” recommends Danielle. “None of that stuff is recyclable, and it generates a lot of plastic waste. Consider a potted plant too, or something that can be transplanted to the garden—you can even give bulbs or flower seeds that support pollinators in the spring.”

Instead of: Glittery, glossy, or metallic cards, which generally can’t be recycled...

Love them with: A handmade card, which is way more special than a store-bought one anyway. But if you’re set on buying a card, Danielle recommends choosing one made with recycled paper. “Also look for a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified card,” she suggests. “This means they follow healthy foresting practices.”

Instead of: Buying an obligatory treat or trinket for a special someone who literally has everything...

Love them with: A donation in their name to a cause that’s important to them. “This is a hard time of year for many,” says Danielle. “Consider skipping the box of chocolates and donating to your local food bank, animal shelter, free clinic, or other important organization.”

Our top picks for luxurious, natural Valentine’s Day gifts

Natural fragrances for earthy gods and goddesses

Abel is one of the many delightful, natural fragrance brands we carry, founded by a former winemaker who creates fragrances from plant-derived oils, extracts, and scent molecules. Abel’s Fragrance Discovery Kit features all seven of their fragrances, including rugged Green Cedar, spicy Red Santal, edgy Grey Labdanum, and clean, citrusy Golden Neroli.

Holistic skincare for a beautiful face

Rose quartz is the stone of love, and this Rose Quartz Facial Roller loves your skin. Rolling your face increases blood flow and promotes lymph drainage, and it feels great.

Eco-friendly razor for a smooth operator

Man hair or woman hair, the Preserve Shave 5 Razor System doesn’t discriminate. It also doesn’t clog up the landfill, since the colorful handle is made from recycled ocean plastic and is reusable. Just add Preserve’s ceramic-coated blades for a close, easy-glide shave.

Naturally scented candles for a home fragrance lover

Our customers love Grove Co. soy candles, and your Valentine will, too. Our scented candles are 100% natural, made with soy wax and fragrant plant oils. Pink grapefruit, jasmine, and vanilla notes comprise our top-rated scent, “Al Fresco,” described as bright, fresh, clean, and light — and comforting, warm, relaxing, and spa-like.

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