With only a few days left until Valentine's Day, the pressure is on to do something special for your beloved. And pressure is the last thing an already-stressed entrepreneur needs.

Fortunately, meaningful expressions of love can come in many forms, most of which do not require a lot of time, energy, or money. What they do require are thoughtfulness and intentionality.

If you're still looking for ways to let your significant other know just how special they are, consider one of these 5 options, backed by the expertise of psychologists and social scientists.

1. Give an experience rather than a gift.

Studies have shown that people derive more satisfaction and happiness from purchasing experiences rather than things. Instead of the typical fancy meal or jewelry, plan a special outing with your spouse. This could be as simple as a sunset picnic at a local park, or hot chocolate and dancing under the stars.

Your thoughtfulness is what they'll remember, more so than any particular entree or bauble.

2. Do something for your partner based on his or her primary love language.

Bestselling author and minister Gary Chapman posits that there are five love languages, or five ways in which we express and receive affection: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. While we could all benefit from a little of everything, each of us has one primary love language, or the most meaningful way in which we receive affection.

If your partner's love language is acts of service, clean or fix or build that thing that has been on their to-do list for months. If he or she prefers words of affirmation, write a heartfelt card or letter. If you hit the sweet spot of their love language, your gift, whatever it may be, is guaranteed to be well received.

3. Give your full attention and your presence.

From personal experience, I can attest that most entrepreneurs' spouses simply want to know that their partner is thinking about them and values them. Therefore, one of the most precious gifts you can give is your full attention for the duration of your Valentine's Day celebration--even if it's no more than a night hanging out on your couch.

Lock away your phone and mentally compartmentalize your work concerns. Make sure you look your partner in the eye, listen attentively when they speak, and share honestly. If you need some help figuring out what to talk about, you can use the 36 questions that lead to love developed by psychologists.

4. Gift a future activity.

If you can't make a mid-week Valentine's Day celebration work this year, or you simply ran out of time to plan something, then look for something meaningful that you can do with your beloved in the future. Buy tickets to see their favorite band; book a couples massage; make a reservation at a bed and breakfast for when the weather warms up.

Researchers have found that anticipating a future event brings us joy--more joy than we experience when we look back on something. So even if you're not able to do something big on February 14, you can still make your significant other happy by making sure they have something special to look forward to.

Published on: Feb 9, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.