Do you remember what you did last Valentine’s Day? Did you get a chocolate heart? Roses? Jewelry?
Did you go on a date? Hire a sitter? Or stay home and watch a movie with the kids? Did the night stick out in your memory? Or are you still sitting trying to remember what you did as you read?
Well I remember my Valentine’s Day last year. Oh man. Do I remember it well.
And do you want to know why I remember it so well? I remember it because my husband and I got in one of the biggest disagreements of our marriage at the second most expensive meal we’ve ever eaten together.
It. Was. Such. A. Good. Time.
And do you want to know the kicker? Neither one of us can even remember what our fight was about. Although we can both laugh till we cry when we recount the memory now. In fairness to him, I think it dealt with my almost-ready-to-have-a-fourth-baby hormones raging out of control. (But I never remind him of that part and don’t you either.)
What makes me laugh most is how we most likely would have enjoyed ourselves more and saved a pretty penny by staying home and just hanging out. But instead, we tried to do it up. And then ended up ready to take each other down–in a punching glove-not intimate kind of manner.
All for the joy of Valentine’s day. All for the sake of romance. All to celebrate our love.
Which got me thinking, is there a better and more effective way to make Valentine’s Day sweet beyond chocolates and cherry cordials? I think so.
So here are 5 easy ways to make this Valentine’s Day one you can remember for many years to come:
Retell each other your love story. Then prop up your phone and film it for your kids to watch years down the line.
I don’t know what it is about a good love story, but people are drawn to them. I mean, when I think about the movie The Notebook, I immediately begin to tear up. But you know what’s even better than a fictional love story? A real life, love story. I absolutely love hearing two people tell me how they fell in love. As a therapist, it was always one of my favorite things to do in therapy. It’s amazing how recalling those feelings can stir them up all over again, which is never a bad thing on Valentine’s Day. Or ever. Then to take it a step further and keep it locked away for years, film yourself telling the story. Your kids will think it’s so sweet down the line. Or your dogs.
Ask them to tell you one way you could help them feel more loved.
Love languages are so important because everyone feels and receives love in different ways. Being intentional in relationships with the way we show our love can be the key to success. So one quick and easy thing you can do is to ask your spouse what you can do to make them feel more loved. It might surprise you what they say. Or maybe it won’t—if they make a sexual joke. But either way, it is an amazing way to feel connected. And get some deep communication flowing.
Create a playlist and dance in the dark.
Every couple has songs that are special to just them. Songs that stir up memories of when you first fell in love. Songs that have your stories intertwined between the lyrics. I bet a few songs are coming to mind as you read this. Am I right? So for this Valentine’s Day, create a playlist of your favorite songs. Then put the kids to bed, light some candles. And dance. I can’t imagine a slow dance in the dark ending badly.
Acknowledge something in your relationship that you want to improve.
Disagreements tend to be the time when we take a moment to self reflect or should I say when our partner may be vocal about things we need to improve upon in our relationships. But do you know how amazing it can be when a spouse is able to identify something they need to work on without being prompted? It may sound strange on Valentine’s Day, but admitting a desire for growth can be incredibly sexy. Because it shows self awareness and care. So if you know you have been slacking in some area, tell your spouse. “You never complain, but I know that I have done a horrible job lately of being cranky in the morning toward you; I want you to know, I don’t like that I’ve been doing that. And I want to work to improve that. Because you don’t deserve that.”
Tell your spouse something you absolutely love about them.
Even if you have told them a hundred times, it never hurts to tell your partner your favorite things about them. I promise you, they won’t grow weary of you telling them why you love them. It can be simple. “I love how you always wipe a fake tear when you laugh…” or it can be heartfelt, “Nothing makes me love you more than when I listen to you read stories to our children and act out all of the voices…” Whatever it is, let them know what you love. And if multiple things come to mind, don’t stop at just one. It is nearly impossible to do this and end up anywhere but connected and in love.
Unless of course, your wife is 8 months pregnant with your fourth child…then all bets are off.
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