Headbloom Blog

Low-Cost and No-Cost Ways of Saying “I Love You.”
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 ways to tell your sweetie how much you care.

First off, this note is written by a male, primarily for a male audience. Females, by and large, have less trouble expressing their feelings. Men, on the other hand, are not so adept at sharing their affection with their partner. So, guys, this is for you. If the women out there pick up a nice tip or two from this list, then I’m happy for you as well. Happy Valentine’s Day, now and throughout the year! (At the end, there is a list of explanations for difficult vocabulary plus a list of popular nicknames for your Valentine.)

1. Love from the heart: Hide a bag’s worth of heart-shaped candy all over her personal space: her office, her sock drawer, her glove compartment, her workout bag…you get the idea. The discoveries will happen for weeks and months later. (Cost: $5)
2. Auto service: Vacuum out your sweetie’s car, wash it, and fill it with gas. Okay, no one likes to have to go get gas, especially if you’re running late—like my wife often is. What a pleasant surprise. (Cost: $0)
3. Chef moi: Cook dinner for your Valentine. Use her favorite mushrooms. Or fave dessert. You know what your honey’s best meal is. Pick up the ingredients on your way home. (Cost: $10-20)
4. Unspoken love notes: My wife’s favorite number is 3. Better yet, she loves 33. (I don’t know why, she just does.) Because she does the bookkeeping in our household, I try to get 3’s to show up wherever I can. The best place is when I fill up the car with gas on the debit card. I always stop the amount total on 33ยข so she sees that number when she’s paying bills and balancing the budget. It’s like a little I-love-you note amongst all the paperwork. (Cost: $0)
5. Sticky notes: Put little love Post-Its everywhere! On your darling’s computer keyboard. Inside the microwave. On the back of the door. Inside a make-up bag. On the car visor. Hidden in a kitchen drawer. Someplace where it’ll be found tonight, next week, or maybe a year from now. (Cost: $2 for sticky note pad)


6. Nicknames: “Hey there, good looking!” “Good morning, gorgeous.” “Lookin’ good tonight, sweet cakes!” “Hubba, hubba, babelicious!” “How’s it going, tootsie roll?” I’m sure you have your own special nickname(s) for your sugar plum. Use it. Get playful. (Cost: $0)
7. Tall, bold letters: Attach a 6-foot, hand-lettered banner on the garage door for when she drives up. Hang it over her desk at work. Get up early and tape it to the bathroom mirror before she wakes. (Cost: $5 for paper, marker, tape)
8. Singing voicemails: Even if your voice is just so-so, call up and belt out your Valentine’s favorite tune when you know he or she can’t answer the phone. Your crooning voicemail can be saved and replayed at a future time. (Cost: $0)
9. Amor sur la table: Set a place at the kitchen table with a special placemat, arrange the utensils in an interesting design, get fancy with the napkin. Arrange a sumptuous fruit plate in colorful patterns. Put a little garnish next to your sweetie’s sandwich and chips. Just an extra bit of attention, the smallest flair. (Cost: $0)
10. Nature comes inside: Bring flowers in from the garden. No flowers? Not a problem. How about some nice hosta leaves? Maybe a few stems of flowering crab apple? If it’s still cold and wintry by you, a few cut branches and stems can make an interesting organic sculpture in a vase. (Cost: $0)
11. A song to warm the heart: Hire a local school choir to give her a singing Valentine. On the phone—or better yet, in person! Nothing like a personalized serenade to melt the heart. See what your local choral group has on its fundraising agenda. Here’s one example. (Cost: $10-25)
12. Love pats: A little tap on the behind when your partner is passing by. This can be combined with #6 above. (Don’t have any expectations for a sudden bout of amorousness, but this could also be a trigger…!) Or try a little rub of the shoulders, a random kiss on the back of the neck, or at a meal, a little spontaneous footsie. Most of us like to be touched. (Cost: $0)
13. Ahh, a little down and to the left: Pick up a bottle of scented lotion and promise her a nice back rub—or foot rub, if she’s not ticklish. Reminder: trim your fingernails ahead of time! (Cost: $7)
14. Elegant simplicity: Leave a signed card and a single rose at her place at the breakfast table. You get extra credit if you made the card yourself. (Cost: $10)


New Vocabulary and Cultural Concepts

  • First off, = To begin with,
  • by and large = mostly, generally speaking
  • adept = skilled
  • heart-shaped candy = sugar candy with short messages stamped on them
  • running late = behind schedule
  • moi = [French] me
  • Hubba, hubba! = [old fashioned] Wow! Good looking!
  • to drive up = to arrive at one’s destination (here: at home)
  • to belt out = sing loudly
  • crooning = romantic singing
  • Amor sur la table = [French] love on the table
  • sumptuous = luxurious looking, splendid
  • garnish = small plate decoration to add extra elegance or beauty
  • flair = attractiveness, special skill or design
  • hosta = garden plant with large elegant leaves (and small spiky flowers)
  • (There’s) noting like… = Nothing can compare
  • serenade = private concert
  • melt the heart = to make someone emotional
  • love pats = brief, affectionate touches
  • on the behind = on the backside, bottom, buttocks
  • bout = event, occasion
  • amorousness = romance, loving, affection
  • footsie = flirtation under the table by touching someone’s foot with your foot
  • down and to the left = instructions for a person who is massaging your back
  • ticklish = sensitive to touching, causing laughter or pulling away
  • extra credit = bonus points (expression from special awards practice in school for additional work done by students)

Nicknames of endearment

  • sweetie, sweetheart, sweetie pie, sweet cheeks
  • sugar plum
  • hon, honey, honey bun, honey bunch
  • Tootsie Roll
  • babe, baby, baby cakes, baby doll, babykins
  • babelicious (baby + delicious)
  • darling, darlin’
  • buttercup, cupcake
  • dumpling, dumplin’
  • angel
  • cutie pie
  • princess
  • snookums
  • love bug

Alan Headbloom