If your sweetie is desperate to have an amazing Valentine’s Day with you, it could mean that he or she is a hopeless romantic who lives for affection-saturated holidays; or, it could mean that your sweetie is feeling a lack of love and affection, and therefore looks forward to days where love and affection are socially required.
If you find that your sweetie is feeling love-starved, don’t beat yourself up. Just determine to make a fresh start now. Consider these ideas for keeping love and excitement in your relationship all year round – and especially after marriage!
- Date Nights! I can attest to the power of the date night! There is something about knowing a date is coming that gets me through the week! It is a night I do not have to cook and I know Eric and I will get to talk and have fun together. Even though dating may come more naturally prior to marriage, it is actually more important after marriage. Prioritize each other, even if it requires hiring a babysitter or putting off some work until tomorrow. The investment is worth it.
- Love Notes! It is fun to leave love notes in random places your sweetie is sure to look: In his lunch. Attached to her dashboard. Taped to the top of the ice cream. ~smile~ Some couples write “SHMILY” on note cards (See How Much I Love You) and place them around for each other to find. It is a fun game that constantly communicates affection! You can also adopt an object to communicate love. You could buy colorful paperclips and leave them around with the understanding that the red means “love,” blue means “hugs,” green means “let’s go out,” etc.
- At Least 15 Minutes per Day of Meaningful Conversation – Listen, Listen, Listen! Perhaps one of the most powerful conduits for connection is consistent, unrushed conversation. People adore attention. Some like public attention and some like private, but all of us appreciate it when others take an interest in our lives. When a husband and wife talk about the details of their day and the other shows genuine concern or compassion, how can their relationship not improve? Listen more than you talk. (God gave you two ears and one mouth – in that ratio! ~smile~) Get in the habit of doing so and you will be far ahead of many other couples.
- Keep Each Other in the Loop. Some personalities take a more independent approach to life. The more independently minded someone is, the more likely he or she is to keep details tucked inside instead of sharing them with a significant other. Eric’s temperament is fiercely independent. He does not keep me out of his daily life on purpose. He just does not always think to share details with me. So, I ask. ~smile~ Knowing what is going on in his world makes me feel like a teammate and a confidant; and, since I know that I am the only one with whom he confides at such a deep level, such conversations make me feel more closely bonded with him.
- Give Each Other Space. As important as it is to spend time together, it is also important to respect each other’s need for space. When Eric gets home, he is not always ready to jump into a long conversation about whatever topics I have thought up that day. Sometimes he needs a few minutes to unwind. Bombarding him with my agenda without regard of his need for space would show me to be a selfish and immature spouse. Some of us need more space than others, but most of us need some space occasionally. Think of how much you appreciate it when your sweetie gives you the space you need and then return the favor to him or her. After some refreshing down time, you can both emerge from your cocoons ready to tackle life together!
- Surprises – Keep Your Relationship Fresh! Like displays of attention, some people prefer public surprises and some prefer private ones. However your sweetie enjoys being surprised, find excuses to catch him or her off guard in a good way several times this year. You can recreate your first date on the anniversary of your first date. You can randomly come home with a gift you know he or she will like. You can find tickets to an event your sweetie has been longing to attend. The list is practically endless. Don’t allow your relationship to become so predictable that you risk falling into a rut. Ruts are hard to crawl out of once a relationship has gone over the edge.
- Keep Conflicts Short – Don’t Drag Them Out. Fight often. Fight fair. Fight short. When something is bothering you, bring your concerns to the table. Wait a day or so to see if your grievance fades away, and if it does not, let your sweetie know what is bothering you. Discuss it maturely. Have examples and evidence ready and display them calmly and rationally. Don’t give into the temptation to become overly emotional. Let your sweetie respond. Afterwards, bury the resolved confrontation. Don’t tuck it away to use as a weapon in your next conflict. Disagreeing frequently, but briefly, is better for your relationship than harboring bitterness (often the result of holding in a pile of unresolved grievances) and later exploding in anger. We do not recover easily from wrathful volcanic eruptions. Getting issues out and settled quickly keeps communication lines open and gives you and your sweetie more time for fun!
- Put Your Sweetie First. Back off from working so much. Spend a little less time with the guys without her. Spend your afternoon watching a ballgame with him instead of shopping. There are several small ways to show your sweetie that he or she is more important to you than other tasks and hobbies you have in your life. If your honey knows you ultimately care more about him or her than your other endeavors, he or she is more likely to support your interests and projects. This is personal experience speaking. ~wink~
- Take on New Endeavors Together! Each year (or even every six months), think of something you both want to accomplish together, make a plan, and tackle it! Maybe you want to learn something together (first aid, sign language, wood-working, etc.), complete a home project, or conquer a physical milestone (e.g., marathon, mountain climbing, etc.). Have a goal in common you can train for or study together. Become a team. Once you reach your collective goal, you can celebrate, and you will have something else in common!
- Pretend Each Day is Valentine’s Day. What do you do for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day that you do not do for him or her the rest of the year? Find a way to shower your sweetheart with love as if every day is Valentine’s Day! Are you less likely to speak harshly to each other on Valentine’s Day? Are you more likely to shower each other with affection? Do you try to put a twinkle in each other’s eyes more on Valentine’s Day than other days? Make it a personal challenge to treat every day you are with your sweetie like Valentine’s Day. It will be a little extra work, but the rewards will be worth the investment! (This idea is similar to a post Eric wrote called, The Birthday Experiment – check it out!)
PreEngaged wishes you a super, happy Valentine’s Day. If any of you have an exceptionally memorable Valentine’s Day experience, we would love to hear about it! Feel free to comment on this post or contact us directly!
How will you make each day like Valentine’s Day this year?