Confession: Every February, since I can remember, I tried to have a sweetheart so I could participate in the red-hearted holiday of love. Why? Because a date adds some magic to Valentine’s Day and there is potential for some chocolates.

I’m married now and going out to dinner has become more of an ordinary act, but when my husband asks me to dinner the excitement returns. I feel special because he made an effort to plan something unique just to celebrate our relationship.

Recently, a friend of mine had her heart broken and my husband suggested, “Why don’t YOU ask her out on a date?” I lit up because I love any excuse to celebrate friendship and said, “Of course. I can even do the whole “date thing.” I can intentionally ask her. Pick her up in my car. Have reservations and an after dinner activity. The whole shebang!”

Who says we can’t date our girlfriends? My friend was a little confused at first, but a huge smile spread across her face after I picked her up and told her our plans for the evening.

Thinking about who will be your date this Valentine’s? Look no further than that friend who may need some extra love. Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm.

1. Spoil her

Every friend deserves pampering. Offer to pay for her coffee, take her to her favorite restaurant or bring flowers when you pick her up. Let’s take a lesson from our guy counterparts and make the date meaningful and fun.

2. Send her encouraging texts

When you are crushing on a guy, you can’t wait for another sweet text from them. When I was dating my husband, we sent texts of encouragement or reasons why we appreciated each other or just silly inside jokes. So why not do the same with a girlfriend to give them some love leading up to the date.

3. Pray for her

Most importantly, we are here to show our friend’s the love of Christ. We want to remind her of their identity not just in special treats but, in truth. Ask purposeful questions that get to the core of her current fears and doubts; then pray together. Send a follow-up text later that week and let her know you are still thinking about her.

The way we love our friends tangibly demonstrates the love of the Lord. Fill yourself up with His truth so you can go and care for your friends out of an overflow of His love.