Valentine's Day for the Romantically Challenged


Being romantic may not be as hard as you thought. Your name doesn't need to be Casanova to have a genuinely romantic evening.

Liya Lev Oertel, author of "52 Romantic Evenings to Spice Up Your Love Life," says, "A close relationship is nourished by small, sweet, gestures: holding hands while taking a walk; stealing kisses between errands; slowing down long enough to give a hug; telling her she looks beautiful (and meaning it) in the morning before she combs her hair."

You don't have to spend a lot of money or make a big deal out of Valentine's Day. It is simply an opportunity to be romantic and express the love you feel all year.

Try wooing your sweetheart with poetry and music. You don't have to be a poet or a singer to surround your Valentine with these romantic sounds. You can write your own or relay the romantic words of classic poets and songwriters to tell your Valentine that she is in your heart.

Even if you're not a poetry lover, you should consider giving it a try. Oertel says, "Poets have been writing romantic verse for hundreds of years, so there must be something in it to further the cause of love. Why not try it and see?"

If you're not up to writing your own, try these classic lovers' poems:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- "How Do I Love Thee"

- "If Thou Must Love Me"

- "My Heart and I"

Emily Jane Bronte

- "Remembrance"

Lord Byron

- "She Walks in Beauty"

- "To Caroline"

Ted Hughes

- "September"

Percy Bysshe Shelley

- "Love's Philosophy"

Christina Rossetti

- "The First Day"

William Shakespeare

- "Let Me Confesse"

- "Mine Eye Hath Play'd the Painter"

- "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"

Valentine's Day isn't complete without music. The right song can make you feel sexier, sultrier and more in the mood for romance. Take advantage of music's seductive power to create an evening that will have you and your sweetie humming for weeks afterward.

Here are some great romantic songs:

- Etta James: "At Last"

- Led Zeppelin: "Thank You"

- John Denver: "Annie's Song," "Perhaps Love"

- Celine Dion: "My Heart Will Go On, "Because You Loved Me"

- Whitney Houston: "I Will Always Love You"

- Jewel: "Near You Always"

- John Lennon: "Grow Old With Me"

- Sarah McLachlan: "Fumbling Towards Ecstacy"

- Van Morrison: "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?"

- Righteous Brothers: "Unchained Melody"

- Savage Garden: "Truly Madly Deeply"

- U2: "All I Want Is You"

This Valentine's Day, don't worry about creating the perfect evening. Open a bottle of wine, follow these tips and let the music and poetry sweep your Valentine off his or her feet.

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