5 Ways to Have Date Night at Home on Valentine's Day

There are a lot of reasons to stay in on Valentine's Day. We can think of at least five. 

1. You're trying to save money.

Maybe your greatest Valentine's wish is not for someone to share it with, but that this will be the last year you spend in your rental. Ready to buy a home? You don't have the cash to spare to go out on Valentine's Day for a candlelight dinner, just to be seated too close to other diners because the restaurant added more tables to accommodate extra lovebirds. You'll be seated so close to them that you'll have to listen to those two lovebirds talk about what colors they'll paint the walls in the house they just bought, with the money they saved by not going out.

Save your dollars by eating in and call the real estate agent, because you'll have that down payment in no time at all. Besides, shrimp scampi is not that hard to make and it's a lot cheaper at home. Just don't play your slow jams too loud or your neighbors will complain to the landlord. You can do that next year in your new place. 

2. You know there's no place like home for the holidays.

Do you or your spouse travel for work? Has one of you been deployed recently? Veterans know how special a night home with the one they love can really be--and how hard each of you worked to make that home a reality. Take advantage of your time together to turn down the lights, put on a little mood music, and make dinner.

Or you know what? If you haven't seen each other in a while you probably have better things to do than cook. Make a cheese plate, add a box of crackers, and spend the rest of the time doing...whatever it is you enjoy most.

3. You are just so excited about your new place it's hard to leave.

You saved for years -- or won the lottery or whatever -- and finally got your own place. What better way to try out your new kitchen than having a date night in? Or if you haven't quite gotten everything unpacked, and the dining room table you ordered has yet to arrive, you can have a romantic picnic on the living room floor then snuggle in front of your new fireplace and talk paint colors.

Owning a home is great, but you usually end up having a few unexpected expenses. This is a great year to spend Valentine's Day at home, talking about your future in your new place.

4. You're not feeling the romance.

Not everyone has or even wants someone to go out with on Valentine's Day. A lot of us like to celebrate by spending time with our closest friends. Invite a few people over, cook or order in, have a dance party or just sit and talk, and revel in the fact that you can do whatever you want on this day.

Though it may be tempting to go to a restaurant and make fun of all the googly-eyed couples, resist. The restaurants are all going to be over-crowded, those Valentine's Day "specials" are really just designed to maximize profit, and you'll all have a much better dance party at home in your comfortable pants.

5. You've got kids. And no sitter.

Oops, you did it again. You waited until the last minute to book a sitter and it's not happening. Even the one who always leaves your kitchen a mess, screws up your Netflix queue, and tries on your clothes has another job. You can do this one of two ways: You can include the kids in your celebration of love, or you can wait until after they go to bed. But they may wake up when they smell steak and hear the Barry White Pandora station you picked. There's a third way, but you might not like it: Bribe them. If you have more than one, put the oldest in charge. Give them forbidden snacks and tell them, just this once, they can eat in their rooms and take your laptop in there to watch movies. Cue up enough movies to occupy them for a few hours and enjoy!

If you decide to include them, Valentine's Day can still be special, a celebration of how much you love being part of a family. Just don't take out the good chocolate until after they're asleep.

However you decide to celebrate at home, make it special. Home really is where the heart is and there's no better place to relax with the people you love.