We have these big holidays as reminders because it seems in our busy lives we forget the simplest gestures. Behold! Valentine’s Day…a grand reminder to reach out and say I love you and to show our appreciation for our partners and our loved ones.
I remember some years with my now ex, it was a grande gesture – roses, dinner reservations, champagne, etc. while others dwindled to a simple card and peck on the lips as we let the day slide by, too caught up in the kids and responsibilities. The happy medium for me would have been a nice dinner after work and some relaxing time together which is what we had for the most part, until we didn’t. But that’s another story for another day.
But a marriage, a partnership, and a relationship can’t survive on a Valentine’s Day holiday gesture alone and then nothing to follow up. And it’s both partners’ responsibility to keep that connection going. I like the idea that Valentine’s Day can be a jumping off point to new traditions, more efforts being made to connect and reconnect in a relationship, but it can’t stop there. Do you know what I mean? It needs to be consistent, but not regimented. Go with the flow, be available for spontaneity, be playful, and remember what it was like when you were dating.
Date your spouse!
One of the good things in my marriage was that when it was good, we dated while married and made consistent efforts to connect with each other. I would flirt with my husband and we kept that connection for a long time. I brought him his coffee every morning so when he stepped out of the shower, it was there on the counter. And often, I would sneak a kiss before getting the kids ready for school. I wanted him to feel appreciated and special so I did little things to show my love and affection. And it worked for us.
He liked to surprise me with grand gestures and that was his thing. So while mine was more of a daily, his was less frequent, but more stunning in a good way. And it worked for us. Each of our love-languaged needs were met in different ways. Those were the years that I remember fondly.
So if you’re in a relationship and it’s feeling stagnant, use this opportunity of Valentine’s Day to reconnect and to plant the necessary seeds to continue the warmth and love that the holiday brings. Give without keeping score. Compromise and hold tenderly the heart that is yours and his/hers. Be mindful of your words and practice, above all, kindness. Love goes a long way in healing when we practice the art of loving someone else and ourselves.