Valentine's Day has become so laden with traditions, expectations, and marketing mania that it's easy to slip into thought patterns like: "I have to …", "To heck with it, I'm NOT going to …", "He'd better do …" and/or "What on earth am I going to do?" All of which create angst and effort and resentment and, often, disappointment; the antithesis of what Valentine's Day is all about … love! On this holiday, you should be focused on celebrating and appreciating your love for each other.
Here are 7 quick attitude adjustments that can help bring your Valentine's Day experience back around to a true celebration of love, meanwhile adding some high-octane fuel to the intimacy, passion and play in your relationship!
- It's All About Them: What are you going to do to express your love for your partner? Somewhere along the way it seems that Valentine's Day devolved into an expectation that men express their love to their woman, but not the other way around. It's a two-way street, people, use it!
- Traditionally Creative: Forget the chocolates and flowers. Or include the chocolates and flowers, but get creative about how you go about it. How about a gift of flowers once a month for a year, or a pot of paint-on body chocolate, or chocolate flowers, or rose-infused chocolates or flourless chocolate cake!
- Give Now, Receive Later: Doing all and everything that you'd like to do on Valentine's Day, with all its hype and materiality, can be an expensive (and crowded) proposition. Why not give on Valentine's Day and plan to receive later? Think: the one year of flowers suggestion above, or a weekend away in March, chicken wings and a hockey game in April, or a lingerie shopping spree in May (in Vegas, perhaps?). It is not possible to express your love too much, so don't be afraid to spread it out throughout the year!
- What's Their Love Language? Do you know your partner's primary love language? Gary Chapman's five Love Languages (Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Words of Affirmation) are worth looking up. Showering her with gifts may be nowhere near as impactful as gifting her with a day away from all household responsibilities. Showering him with gifts may be nowhere near as impactful as gifting him with a long, slow massage. Not that you want to necessarily exclude the gifts, or the time together, or the appreciations but, do a little research and create the most impactful expression possible.
- Agreements Can Be Sexy: Some of the angst around Valentine's Day arises from not having jointly understood expectations; particularly around money, and all the various hang-ups and triggers we all have on this topic. If you spend way more on me than I do on you, am I going to feel special or stingy or inadequate? Are you going to feel superior, unloved or embarrassed? And of course there are at least 15 more possibilities of how either of us could feel but it all muddies the water of your attempts to express your love. Think about creating some agreements with your partner about how much (or min-max limits) you will each spend. It will allow each of you to relax and focus on how you really want to express. And "relaxed and happy" are a big part of feeling sexy!
- Valentine Was A Saint — You Don't Have To Be: Saints always get it right, change the world, glide above it all, ooze love from every pore ... or something like that! Take a chance, try something different, express in uncomfortable ways (like speaking your detailed appreciation of your partner in a public setting …), risk doing it "wrong". Be willing to laugh. Oh, and do ooze love from every pore — that's a good one!
- Leave Space to Receive: Plan in place, blinders on, go, go, go. Whoa! Yes, you want to express your love vehemently, vocally and voraciously. But remember to leave space to receive as well. Receive what your partner has created for you. Receive his/her appreciation. Receive in the moment feedback and be willing to adjust course. Receive your own appreciation for yourself.
Valentine's Day also happens to be Jane's birthday and she'd love to see it be a relaxed and happy day where love abounds and relationships bask in mutual appreciation. We've created a no-cost event leading up to Valentine’s Day which will give you all kinds of ideas for how to celebrate and reenergize your love and appreciation for your partner. 24 Shades of Red: Reigniting Intimacy, Passion and Play — our gift to you!
More Valentine's Day ideas from YourTango: