Let's get real about getting romantic.
In reality, what makes relationships go the distance are the small gestures of love and kindness that we show to one another all year long — every single day.
Which is why I'm saying f*ck Valentine's Day. Go big and go all the way. All. Year. Long.
In studies exploring the reasons why some couples remain happy over the length of many years, the answer to what makes it work always comes down to simple things, such as the following:
- Acts of kindness.
- Active listening.
- Being true to ourselves.
- Feeling a desire to protect the relationship.
When people focus on superficial things, like how big an engagement ring or bouquet of flowers is, they will most certainly get what it is they are settling for — which is a superficial and likely short-lived relationship.
This is not to say that Valentine's Day gifts and gestures aren't or shouldn't be fun.
People certainly can and do select gifts that convey affection and/or are full of special, intimate, and deeply romantic meaning. I simply mean that it is crucial to the overall well-being of your relationship that you keep the importance of what you do or don't get or give for Valentine's Day in perspective.
Showing love is often best achieved by offering to help someone in the way THEY most want or need it. This can take the form of simple things like emptying the dishwasher, giving a hug or compliment or even suggesting you take a walk together — and then holding their hand as you do.
Every single one of us wants to be understood, nurtured and appreciated.
Small acts of affection and simple gestures made on a regular basis far outweigh one grand gesture made on a Hallmark holiday like Valentine’s Day.
So as we embark on another Valentine's Day this year, remember that each day with our loved ones matters.
Don’t hold back.
Say out loud the words you feel in your heart but too often keep to yourself.
Do the things you know will most convey the depth of your feelings.
And appreciate the gift of love in your life in ALL of your relationships.