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Want some creative ways to be romantic? With Valentine's Day just a few days away I thought I'd share of my "game." Okay, I'm not a relationship expert or a dating coach, so these are just some of my amateur attempts at romance.

Wanna do something creative for your valentine? (source: aitoff via Pixabay)

Over the years I’ve done all kinds of things in the name of love and romance. Here’s some of the more creative ways to romance your valentine I can share without total embarrassment..

1 - pick flowers and spread them around their bed (okay, I think I stole this from a teen movie - like Picasso said, “good artists borrow.. Great artists steal!”)

2 - create your own tropical paradise; this one takes some planning - get posters from a travel agency; pick up a straw hat, some pineapple fried rice and a pineapple, of course;  make pina coladas (hmm.. I think this was inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life..)

3 - blindfold taste test; pick out an assortment of flavors and textures for your loved one to guess the food item.. But be nice! Remember, you’re trying to romance your valentine, NOT piss them off!  (ok, guilty.. Stole this one from 9 ½ Weeks. I promise not all of these are movie ripoffs!)

4 - go on a hike and picnic; just make sure that you get back to the parking lot before they lock the gate, or you’ll end up sleeping in your car overnight (luckily, we had some chilled bubbly on hand..)

5 - make a romantic rooftop Italian dinner; nothing says romance like the food / culture of Venice and Rome; although not truly authentic Italian, my personal favorite is still chicken parmesan (I need to make a video of my recipe sometime.. Keep bugging me - I’ll have to do it then!)

6 - camp & watch a rom-com in your tent; okay, again this one takes a bit of planning and preparation - you don’t want to just run out into the woods without having some basics like a full-charged laptop or tablet!.. Check out my two-part series on camping essentials..)

7 - create your own home spa; get some bath salts, scented candles, and make a playlist of relaxing music for the perfect mood and atmosphere

8 - take your date flying - admittedly, it helps to have a private pilot’s license, but you can also charter a plane or offer to pay the gas for a pilot friend

9 - DJ your own night of dancing - while it helps if you’re both into dancing, nothing gets both the heart pumping and the oxytocin flowing like grooving together (plus, tango boosts your creativity..)

10 - go day-tripping - most of these are evening events, but there’s a lot to be said for making a day of it; if you can swing spending the day together, there’s almost no city that doesn’t have some cool spots to explore (and you know how much I’m a fan of “getting lost”!)

Overall, I’ve found that putting a little effort, creative forethought, and planning scores some major points with your romantic crush. It's said that the quickest way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but I’ve found that women also appreciate good food - especially the gesture.

With all that said.. the day before your date is NOT the time to take a crash course on cooking, but you can learn some basic skills pretty quickly. If you’re interested in more tips and videos on this, sign up here.

What's your favorite creative way to romance your valentine?

Rachel and I plopped down our picnic basket. It was late in the day but we finally made it. By now the sun was already disappearing in shimmering shafts between the leaves and branches of the surrounding redwoods.

Photo Credit - Unsplash

Even though we had planned on coming to this storytelling festival, both of us got wrapped up in our own "to do" lists before finally driving out. It was only 20 or so minutes across the Bay Bridge of San Francisco, but that didn't matter. For years I didn't understand why crossing the bridge was such huge deal for city dwellers, but now I was one of them and finally "got it."

Storytelling - Shared Experience of Creativity

Still here we were - spreading out a blanket and diving into goodies picked up from Trader Joe's.. prosciutto, cheese, grapes and obligatory baguette (Acme, of course)

I didn't know what to expect. Part of me pictured a bunch of quirky characters dressed in medieval jester costumes making up some tall tales with Paul Bunyan flavors.

Instead, these were very average looking folks up on a makeshift stage of some kind throughout the recreational area. Once we paid for entry into the parking area, it was "all you can eat" listening - at least until the park closed or the mosquitoes sucked us dry, whichever came first.

No, there were no exaggerated stories - although several of the stories were hard to believe. Tales of travel misadventures or routine errands gone astray.. very "real" or "normal" things that we could identify with.

So, I started learning how often storytelling isn't about making stuff up - it's about connecting with your audience and taking them on a journey with you.

Power of Storytelling in Business

Business doesn’t exist without selling, and copywriting uses storytelling to sell. We identify with the hero in the ad because the savvy advertiser speaks our language and tells the story of our biggest challenge. It's hypnotic and captivating.

Once again we connect with the journey that the business has creatively taken us on. When the big reveal happens, we see that their product or service is just what we've been looking for.

The Mad Men era shows how much power storytelling has. It can used just as easily good, as less benevolent purposes.

Storytelling in Your Art

When I dance Argentine tango, others watching me have told me that it's like I'm telling a story through movement. Ironically, I don't really understand much Spanish - much less Argentine Spanish. But I feel the stories that the songs are telling through the music and emotions conveyed by the singers.

You "dance your life" - bringing both struggles and triumphs into your steps inspired by songs that tell of lost loves, romantic bliss or heartbreaking tragedy.

Even when I hosted events as a DJ at Cellspace, I would create an evening with a story created by the song groups called tandas. On nights when we hosted events with a story like "beach party tango," these would always draw the biggest crowds.

Storytelling in Relationships

Whether it's dating or friendship, getting to know someone really comes down to asking - "what's your story?" Even that typical business networking question, "what do you do?" is really a version of "what's your story?"

That gal working at Starbucks turns out to actually be the lead vocalist of a girl band that does covers of the Chrissy Hynes and the Pretenders - now that's a story we want to learn more about..

Of course, we don't always feel we have the time or attention in this harried world to listen to others' story. That's why the greatest gift we can share is giving someone your undivided attention and caring about their story.

Connecting the Dots with Storytelling

Since Biblical times storytellers have drawn us into experiences with tales. They grab our attention, and we don't want them to let go. Stories grip us like a trance and stay with us because they're memorable. The real power is how they inspire curiosity, and we want to learn more.

If creativity is how we connect the dots, then storytelling is the picture created by these connections.

"..go where there is no path and leave a trail.." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes it amazes me how many stories walk among us. It's said that there are "no new stories - only the same ones told again and again." Sure, "the hooker with a heart of gold" sounds so trite but skillful storytelling captures our imagination.

So what's your story? How does it inspire your own creativity?

For more on curiosity and storytelling visit my LinkedIn post..

Here's a few of my YouTube comments..