It's your anniversary and you want to give your partner a very special gift. This means that you don't rush to the shops on the morning of your anniversary, and pick something out that might be okay. You want your partner to realise that you put time into considering the ideal present. An anniversary happens only once every 12 months, so prove to your partner that you really do care by choosing a gift you know they will not be able to help but love.

You know your partner better than anyone else does. When it comes to choosing the perfect anniversary gift, think of things that you love doing together, and all the things that make your relationship so special. Whatever you choose should help you both look towards another happy year together.

One reason to choose a romantic present is to show how much you love, cherish and appreciate everything about your partner. We all need to be reminded, and shown, how much we are loved and desired. Giving your significant other the perfect gift is a great way to strengthen the ties that bind you together, and helps to ensure you have a wonderful day - and lifetime - with one another.

Here are some meaningful and romantic gift ideas that will be sure to please that special someone in your life:

1. Planned get-aways

Is there somewhere special where the two of you have been to and enjoyed so much that you wanted to return? Or is there some special place where you both long to visit? Planning a holiday together can be as much fun as the holiday itself. Even if you can only plan a short time away for a couple of days, you can make the most of it by indulging in a great romantic get-away. What better day than your anniversary to rekindle the spark in your relationship?

2. Travel back in time

Do you remember your first date together? Why not try to recreate the same memories you shared on that first date? Go to the same theatre, or dine in the restaurant that you did back then. While you enjoy the time together, reminisce about all the changes that have taken place over time in your surroundings and in your life together.

3. Write a love letter

In today's hurry-up world, most people would rather send a text message or an email to family, friends, and indeed, romantic partners. A simple, but truly special anniversary gift is to put pen to paper and write a love poem, or a letter expressing your innermost feelings of love. This letter could include all the qualities you treasure in your partner, to remind them about how they captured your heart. For some inspiring ideas on the range of qualities you could refer to in your letter, you can read my article here which describes the type of partner you should forever hold on to. If a love letter seems kind of mushy to you, then why not write a letter expressing what kind of future you envision for the two of you? Include ideas you have discussed together, as well as silly ones that will make you both laugh.

4. Dinner for two

Choosing the perfect gift for either sex can be a challenge. Does he really need more underwear or clothes? Does she really need more perfume or jewellery? Why not cook a special meal for your partner? Whether you choose to cook an elaborate meal, or just a simple casserole, the fact that you spent time in the kitchen preparing the meal will be greatly appreciated. And, because this is your anniversary, you should try hard to impress with your table settings. Use good linen, china, and silverware. Turn the lights down low and light some candles for a special glow. Quiet music you both love makes for a very romantic dinner for two. Guys, this idea equally applies to you. She will love you all the more if you surprise her with dinner for two that you fully prepared, complete with an elegant table setting and champagne on ice.

5. Show your creativity

Think about using your creative skills to make a one-of-a-kind gift that your partner will treasure forever. Whether you can draw, sew, knit, whittle, build with wood, make jewellery, create a scrapbook, or a thousand other similar ideas, you can create a special gift. Think of what your loved one likes and work from that angle. The thought and time you put into creating something will be time well spent.

If you don't have a crafty bone in your body, there are abundant craft shops around with so many gift ideas to choose from: paint a mug, decorate a photo frame, build a dollhouse, paint a tie, etc. There are even kits available to help you create a perfect anniversary card with just a few simple embellishments. Your partner is not looking for perfection, just a gift of love from your heart to theirs.

6. Make a collage

Buy yourself a large poster board (they come in a wide variety of colours) and make a collage of your lives together. Look for action pictures that capture the both of you having a wonderful time together. Don't forget to add pictures of friends and family who mean a lot to the two of you. Those who you surround yourselves with are very much a part of your life together.

7. Sexy lingerie

Guys, here is your chance to gain a lot of points with your partner: invite her to go shopping with you to her favourite boutique before the actual day of your anniversary; tell her that you want to get her something sexy to wear on the evening of your special day. Not only will this shopping trip make her feel well loved, special and desired, the two of you will have fun choosing the perfect attire. Trying on some slinky numbers will be a preliminary turn-on session.

Ladies, be sure to choose something that is comfortable for you, and sexy enough for him. Whether you go for exotic and daring, or sweet and flirty, be sure to wear your lingerie beneath your evening wear. Tantalise him while you are getting dressed for your night out together, and/or during the evening, keep offering him tempting glances or hints about what you have on underneath your clothes. By the time you are done enjoying the evening, he is going to be more than ready to reach your bedroom.

8. Try something new

Over the course of time, it is not uncommon for a couple's sex life to seem a bit stale. Spice things up on your anniversary. Wear alluring dress up clothes, both of you! Buy some new sex toys to try out. Explore new positions and new places to make love. Put some spice and sparkle back into your love life: you will both feel as though you are back to learning each other all over again. That is the joy of an open and loving relationship - change can be a means to learn lots of fun things that you can do together.

….and once the special once-a-year occasion is over, don’t stop there! For the remaining 364 days of the year, keep up your efforts into sustaining the relationship. It doesn’t have to be difficult. You can read my article here on some simple yet effective concepts for nurturing relationships in general. These basic notions are essential for a relationship to remain healthy, and will optimise your chances of celebrating many more happy anniversaries in the future.  

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   

Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS