I’m a hopeless romantic. Being a hopeless romantic isn’t just about falling in love, it’s about seeing the best in the world around you. Hopeless romantics see the beauty in everyday, ordinary things and believe in the extraordinary. We’re dreamers and idealists, sentimental and thoughtful, finding beauty all around us. These gift ideas are for any hopeless romantic in your life, not just a spouse or significant other.
If I could wallpaper my home with photos, I would. I absolutely love photographs of loved ones, favorite places, and special days. Photographs are portals to special memories and links to special people. Think outside the box. My apartment is already covered with photos from my wedding, but I’ve been collecting photos from our grandparents’ weddings to frame. Vintage family photos, photographs from a special event that the recipient hasn’t seen and pictures from a vacation or special place all make great gifts for your favorite romantic. If you’ve done a lot of traveling together, consider making a photo map like I did for our anniversary. It’s a great piece that we both love and look forward to adding to in the future.
Hopeless romantics are sentimental, and like to keep special objects close. Consider giving a locket inscribed with a special date, verse or phrase. Or fill the locket with something special, like the ticket stub from your first date, a photo of loved ones, a four-leaf clover- the possibilities are endless. I love this locket, which can be engraved with a special date.
There’s nothing like curling up with a good book! Please, don’t assume your hopeless romantic is hopelessly in love with romance novels (spoiler alert- he or she’s probably not). We love stories about love, friendship and adventure. Consider classics like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë or a Jane Austen novel. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a great read. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is one of my favorites- it’s written for a younger audience, but has a strong female lead who also happens to be a hopeless romantic.
4. Dance Lessons
Ballroom dance lessons can be intimidating, but even an inexperienced dancer can throughly enjoy time on the dance floor. Look for beginner classes or one-on-one lessons (we frequently see lessons on Groupon for a very reasonable price). Nothing is quiet so romantic as waltzing with your sweetheart, plus you’ll learn some sweet moves for your cousin’s wedding next month. Luke and I love swing dancing, even though neither of us are very good, we love going out dancing together. It’s the thought and the experience that counts!
There’s no place like home, and for the hopeless romantic, we tend to leave a little piece of our heart everywhere we go. After spending a semester in France, I received this beautiful France necklace, with a heart over the city where I lived. I love being able to show people exactly where I studied, and keeping a little piece of Pau, France with me wherever I go. Check out Etsy for a variety of styles of both state and country necklaces. If you’re not a fan of the state or country outline, consider a coordinates necklace with the latitude and longitude of a special place.
Heartfelt letters and notes are always appreciated, and are a great gift when you’re on a tight budget, or just because. In a digital age full of impersonal communication, a handwritten letter is exciting to receive, and will make your loved ones day! Please don’t limit letters to your spouse or significant other- friends and family members will also love this simple, yet meaningful gift.
Norwegians have a saying “selvgjort er velgjort“, which roughly translates to “handmade is best made”. Handmade items have a special sentimental quality, and it is much more meaningful to receive a handmade gift than one that is mass-produced. My best friend Becca is an amazing knitter, and knitted me this beautiful sweater for Christmas. Every time I wear it, it’s like getting a hug from her, all the way from Fargo, North Dakota! Not crafty? Not a problem- support local artisans and purchase a one-of-a-kind handmade gift. Check out Becca’s amazing knitting creations on her Etsy page. I’m in love with these Icelandic mittens– so beautiful and cozy!
Yes, it might be cheesy, but we hopeless romantics love flowers. Flowers are beautiful and give life to any space, and let’s be honest, getting flowers make a girl feel downright special. Husbands, consider asking a florist to re-create your bride’s wedding bouquet. Find out if she has a favorite flower (bonus points if you can surprise her) or find a unique flower or color she’ll enjoy. I’m not a fan of pink or red roses, but I love yellow and lavender roses!If an enormous bouquet from a florist isn’t in your budget, check your local grocery store for more affordable options. Not into flowers? Consider a house plant or potted plant, like aloe vera or an orchid. If plants are out, go for chocolates or a favorite candy or treat.
9. Day Trip
New memories are one of the best gifts a hopeless romantic can receive. Take a tour of your hometown (if you are from the Twin Cities, check out the Adventure Minneapolis category for ideas) and experience your favorite city from a new perspective. Or take short road trip to a nearby city or state park for a new adventure. Don’t be afraid to try something new or go somewhere you’ve never heard of. It could become your new favorite place- or at very least you’ll have a good story to tell!
Hopeless romantics love happy endings, and movies are no exception. Tired of the classic RomCom? Check out one of my favorite French films, Amélie (in French, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain). Amélie is a young, quirky woman living in Paris who is inspired to show random acts of kindness to complete strangers. Other must-see films include The Princess Bride, Ever After, Chocolat and Singin’ in the Rain. You also can’t go wrong with a favorite Disney movie or Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (the 1997 version featuring Brandy, of course).