Cheap Valentine’s dates for every type of relationship


Maddey Martin

Chocolate strawberries and Candy hearts are just some of the many cheap gifts to give to your partner.

Listen, Valentine’s Day can create a lot of pressure. We like to think it’s not, act all cool and aloof about plans with our significant other. But deep down, we want everything to go perfectly. We want the perfect date with the perfect partner.

As college students, many Valentine’s Day activities can be cost prohibitive. Most college students probably don’t have the money for a candlelit dinner at Alinea or even the heart-shaped pizza at Lou Malnati’s. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your love, look no further.

And hey, maybe you can take yourself out on a date, too. Who needs someone to drag along anyway?

For the Long-Term Love:

If you’re saying the L-word, chances are you’ve already gone out on a lot of dates. You’ve done all the Cosmopolitan and Red-Eye Chicago lists of “Most Romantic Dates.”

If you’re looking for something inexpensive, but still sweet and intimate for Valentine’s Day, try building a blanket fort together, snuggle up, grab a bag of conversation hearts, queue up Netflix and write each other love letters. It can be fun to indulge your inner child with the blanket fort, and the love letters will last as a memento from your romantic Valentine’s Day in.

For the New Couple:

Meet up with your crush or new S.O. and go to the first floor of the Student Center, where the DePaul chapter of Alpha Psi Lambda is selling chocolate covered strawberries. The two of you can (sort of) split three strawberries for only $5, and the proceeds go to the American Heart Association.

Afterwards, let the sparks fly between you and head over to the McGowan South Greenhouse to make your own eco-friendly candles. DePaul Urban Gardeners are running this event. It’s free, and the candle can be a keepsake to remind you of your first Valentine’s Day together.

For the Situationship:

Well, first of all, you should really define the relationship. Who wants to feel anxious on Valentine’s Day? Or any day, for that matter. Situationships are too much emotional work. Don’t let Jake from Hinge lead you on.

After you have the dreaded talk, bundle up and stroll around the Lincoln Park Zoo. The zoo is free, and all that walking presents numerous opportunities for hand-holding.

If the day is going well, head west on Fullerton to Cafecito to warm up, where wine bottles are $20 on Mondays. If your date isn’t treating you to free drinks, going Dutch only puts you out $10, plus tip.

It’s casual enough, but still demonstrates enough forethought. Can’t let Jake from Hinge think you would care too much if he ghosted you.

For the (Newly or Eternally) Single:

Being single on Valentine’s Day can be hard, especially if you’ve just gotten out of a relationship. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who’s been single for so long, you forget it’s Valentine’s Day.

In either case, take advantage of Residence Hall Council’s Valentine’s Day event, “Take Time for Self-Care.” This event aims to “provide a self-care focused Valentine’s Day activity rather than focusing strictly on love and relationships,” according to the event’s DeHub post. The event will have a craft station and snacks, including pre-packaged conversation hearts, pretzels and chocolates. There will also be a place to make Valentine’s Day cards, addressed to whoever you like.

Don’t bother with Hinge. Be your own Valentine this year.