You've been taught to give a lot of meaning and weight to Valentine's Day. And, if you haven't, it's likely that your partner has.
This can be a wonderful time for you as a couple, when you purposefully express in words and actions how much you love each other. Or, it can be a catch-up time when you hope that doing something lovely for your partner will undo neglect, conflict, or indifference in your daily relationship. That's the truth, so, which is it for you?
Valentine's Day was, according to Wikipedia,
"The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines")."
The whole thing about Valentine's Day that often causes couples to get sideways is each other is the unspoken expectations it unleashes. Even in school, as early as kindergarten, children are giving Valentine's to their classmates. Children who don't get many, or any, immediately feel left out, unloved, and unworthy. We're taught early by this simple, supposedly loving, day. It sets up expectations, both positive and negative, that we carry forward with us into our adult lives.
So, with all that said, here are 3 Must-Do's this Valentine's Day for your partner:
- Focus on whom you love, and think about what would be the best expression of that for that person. How could s/he best hear what you want to say and convey? When you think about it from that vantage point, you will be speaking his/her language, rather than your own. For example:
If mushy cards are not your thing, but they really light her up, be in the market for a mushy card.
If mushy cards are not his thing, give him tickets to the Speedway (in a mushy card) and go with him, letting him know that you care and want to be with him.
- Remember why you love your partner, and tell him or her. We all long to hear words of appreciation and gratitude from our partners. Make this day special by purposefully expressing what you love about your partner...in words. Even if those words don't come easily, even attempting to do it will be a great--and appreciated--step.
- Make Valentine's a habit, not an event. Separate Valentine's from February 14. It's great that we have a day to turn our attention to loving. That's wonderful. What's even better is when you turn your attention to loving--and expressing that love--every day. Believe me, you will grow closer in every way, and more intimate. Everybody wins, in every way.
[tweetthis twitter_handles="@RhobertaShaler" url="http://www.forrelationshiphelp.com/?p=8361"]Try a NEW kind of #ValentinesDay [/tweetthis]
- Appreciate each other a little more, and say so.
- Look at each other a little more and focus on your love for each other.
- Catch each other doing things right, rather than looking for faults and failures.
I wish you a Happy, Loving Valentine's Day every day. For more insights, skills and inspirations, subscribe to my Tips for Relationships in your inbox every two weeks or so.
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
The Relationship Help Doctor