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10 Low-tech Valentine Hacks

10 Low-tech Valentine Hacks

Message to the Ladies: This is a post written for the men in your life. Casually leave this page open and put your laptop in the fridge, he’ll see it. Alternatively, post it to facebook with something like “Hahaha, Can You Imagine!??!”. Curiosity will do the rest for you.

Message to the Men: Hey guys, did you find this article in your fridge? It’s a trap, your lady doesn’t think you’re being romantic enough. I’m here to help with some romantic hacks.

Technology’s really convenient when you need directions to your friend’s party or your therapist. However when you’re trying to spend some one-on-one facetime with that special someone, tech gets in the way.

It’s not in our DNA to fall-in-love with screennames or avatars. We’re programmed to recognize the real tangible moments in day-to-day life. Today I present some refreshingly LOW-TECH valentines day hacks for guys to wow the women in their lives.

WARNING! This list contains much saturated AWESOME. If you do everything on the list she WILL expect a proposal at the end of the night. Choose what you do carefully.

1. Setting the Mood

This is a huge one guys! In order for the other nine hacks to work, you need to set the tone for the day before she even wakes up. The most effective way is through breakfast in bed. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • If it came from McDonalds it’s not considered “food”. Cook it yourself, guy.
  • Avoid bacon. It’s called “nature’s candy” for a reason, the delicious smell will wake her and ruin your surprise.
  • It’s not breakfast without orange juice, haven’t you seen a commercial?
  • Your best bet is homemade GIGANTIC waffles. She’ll know you care because they’re such a pain in the butt to make.

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    Wake up an hour early to chug your coffee and start cooking. When the meal’s done, tiptoe to the bedroom and gently wake her up. When she squints at you and smiles, be all “Surprise honey, I made you waffles!”.

    Make sure to give her a moment to get up and use the toilet before you shove the food in her face. Congrats, you set the mood for the perfect valentines day!

    2. Four-Minute Card

    A long, long time ago before there were ecards, people used to actually give each other pieces of paper. They called these pieces of paper “cards” and it was meant as a display of affection. It may seem like a kindergarden arts-and-crafts project, but a homemade card shows you actually care about her. Here’s some sage advice from a god among men:

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    A  transcript for those who forgot their headphones: “Take one sheet (of printer paper), fold it in half, draw a heart on it, sign your name, write I love you”.

    BOOM BABY! How’s that for some $0.05 insta-romance? It’d only take you four minutes of your time and you have no reason not to.

    Bonus tip: Glue a ‘piece of nature’ to your homemade card for extra points.

    3. Poetry

    A poem is like a text, but longer and with no Emojis. You don’t have to be French to grasp the basics of speaking romantically.The great thing about poetry is there are no rules, which makes it surprisingly simple to write! You don’t even have to rhyme, just describe her and swap out some words with a thesaurus.

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      Bonus Tip: Throw your poem in the card you made in hack #2 for maximum romantic synergy.

      4. Heat things up

      Turn off those new-fangled electric lights and go back to your caveman roots! The soft flicker of old fashioned fire is very alluring. She’ll agree that nothing is more romantic than cuddling in-front of a fireplace, or having a meaningful conversation by candlelight.

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        With fire, it can be easy to go overboard, make sure you’re keeping things practical. There’s no need to navigate the house with a big medieval torch.

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        Bonus tip: Avoid mixing scented candles. Pine+peach+peanutbutter is the smell of deer vomit, not romance.

        5. Play a Board Game

        You’ve been reliant on technology for so long, that you’ve completely forgotten how to act when it’s all taken away from you. Long before Facebook ruled your social life, board games acted as a crazy kind of analogue software.

        Thanks to the hipsters and geeks of the world, board games are having a comeback. You’ll want to be careful about which game you’re selecting, however. A 12-hour game of monopoly isn’t exactly what I had in mind. Here’s a hilarious game that was designed by couples, for couples:

        Bonus tip: The funnier the game, the better. Laughing releases oxytocin, the “love” chemical. SCIENCE!!

        6. Actually Dress Nice

        I wasn’t looking forward to having this talk with you, but it’s time.

        You’re a complete mess! Nobody taught guys how to properly dress-up without the use of youtube as a guide. On the rare occasion us guys do pull it together, it’s usually for the one profile pic and then it’s back to pajamas for the rest of the week. That’s just not going to fly this valentines day.

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          Dress in something form fitting. Regardless of your bodytype, you always look better with clothes that properly fit.If you’re a chubby guy and self-conscious about it, use layers for camouflage.

          Bonus Tip: If you’re reading this on the Valentine’s morning there’s still hope. Take your best clothes, apply a lint-roller, iron, and bottle of Fabreeze. Act confident and tell us how it turns out!

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          7. Romance On the Cheap

          Since you’re doing the homemade card throwback anyways, here’s another way a younger version of yourself was trying to get lucky with the ladies.

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            A single red rose is a romantic (and inexpensive) gift that will show her, you’re not just devilishly handsome, but also pretty thoughtful and junk, too.

            Bonus Tip: Serve the rose with the breakfast in step one. You’ll want to have a mop ready, because she’s going to melt.

            8. Nostalgia Like WOAH

            This is the one that will get you in trouble, if you don’t plan on popping the question.

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              Take her back to where you had your first date (or where you first met, if you can remember). Prepare some stories from the time you spent here. Look in the mirror beforehand and try to rehearse a single tear-drop rolling down your cheek. Let her know you remember the place like it was yesterday.

              Bonus tip: Don’t attempt the cry if you can’t master the single tear. A hint of sentimentality from an otherwise put-together guy is one thing. Snotface crying is much less attractive.

              9. Dinner

              If you can swing a home-cooked meal, you should eat dinner in the previously mentioned candlelight. If you feel like you’ll burn your house down, maybe a restaurant is a better idea.

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                From the moment you step foot inside the restaurant, cell phones are to be turned off. I didn’t say to set them to “silent”, you’ll actually be turning them OFF. No instagramming your food, no checking texts, no social media. You’ll be looking at each other’s faces and talking to each other using words that come from your mouths.

                Bonus tip: Be interesting. You have time to prepare for this, and now’s your time to impress her with things not directly related to video games.

                10. Romantic Coupons

                This takes the concept of the card an entire leap forward. You probably plan on doing little things here and there for her anyways right?

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                  So why not cash-in on those things by giving her coupons for them. Throw her a few footrub coupons, a few for doing the dishes, and a few a bit more exotic.

                  Bonus tip: You lose points for calling it a groupon.

                  Remember, valentines day takes place on a Saturday this year. Consider extending the technological hiatus throughout Sunday and see how you feel.Who knows, you might not want to go back!

                  Featured photo credit: Romantic Heart from Love Seeds via farm7.staticflickr.com

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                  Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                  Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                  You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                  This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                  What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                  Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                  There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                  How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                  When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                  Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                  1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                  One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                  The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                  Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                  2. Be Honest

                  A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                  If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                  On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                  Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                  3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                  Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                  If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                  4. Succeed at Something

                  When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                  Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                  5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                  Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                  Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                  If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                  If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                  Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                  6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                  Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                  You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                  On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                  You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                  7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                  Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                  Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                  Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                  When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                  Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                  In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                  Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                  It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                  Final Thoughts

                  When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                  The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                  Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                  Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                  Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                  More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                  Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                  [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                  [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                  [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                  [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                  [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                  [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                  [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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