Valentine's Day shouldn't be about putting a blanket of chocolates and flowers over lovelessness.
Is your marriage or relationship lackluster? Are you hoping a night of hearts, chocolate and flowers will add a little romantic boost to your union?
Usually Valentine's Day comes up short on reconnecting love. We buy the usual pink and red gifts and sign our names on the same 'ol cards, but we never wake up the day after feeling more connected to our partner.
I worked in the restaurant business for a while and Valentine's Day always killed me.
Couples would pour in for the lover's fixed-price menu and spend the evening barely saying one word to each other.
A box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, or a $50 per person dinner out isn't going to change your relationship. It isn't going to do anything for your bond except make you a poorer disconnected couple.
Make this Valentine's Day a chance to improve your connection instead of try to paint it as something it's not, just for the opportunity to save face or lie to yourself for an evening about the health of your marriage.
Here's some things you can do for your spouse or partner this V-day that will turn cupid's hour into a chance to strength your bond permanently:
How would you feel if your husband came to you and told you a story about the first time he knew he loved you? And how much would that story touch you if you never heard it before?
At some point this Valentine's Day, tell your significant other something tender and touching about him or her and the relationship that you have never disclosed before.
"The first time we met, I thought you were _______"
"Remember when you _______, I never told you this, but that moment made me feel more _____ than I've ever felt in my life."
When you reveal a 'lil, flattering truth about your feelings surrounding the relationship, it brings you both closer and reminds your partner that they deeply matter to you. And if it's something you haven't forgotten from years ago, chances are they won't soon forget having heard it either.
Give A Hug
There's a reason for why most people throw their arms around another in moments of grief. It is a powerful show of support and comfort and every relationship needs quality embraces.
That's one of my favorite childhood memories: my parents hugging in the kitchen and me there, inbetween their feet, holding onto their legs. It made me feel loved, less lonely, and safe.
Take a random moment on Feburary 14th to ask your partner for a loving embrace. As you open your arms for the hug, feel your heart swelling in your chest with love and allow yourself to melt into his or her body. Whisper an "I love you" or a "You are so amazing. Do you know that?" And let the hug linger.
When you step back from the hug, lock eyes with him or her. Touch his or her face tenderly to make sure they are present and allowing your love into their heart, and then smile with deep graditude.
Hugging is the most direct way to consciously connect with someone. It makes you instantly aware of your positive and negative feelings for that person: you realize how much he or she means to your existence, while also recognizing that you may be uncomfortable being vulnerable around him or are angry and full of resentment, etc.
But a long, loving hug also heals these possible negative feelings while honoring the positive ones. If you open yourself up to allow a person close to you with the offering of a hug, you are opening your heart to your love for him or her-- you are inviting connection.
Make a Promise
This Valentine's Day, take the opportunity to start celebrating your relationship ALL YEAR LONG by offering to do one 'lil but significant thing for your partner from that day forward. You can think it up yourself or ask him or her what they need from you.
For example: Offer to massage your husband's back once a month because you know his work is stressful. Promise your wife that you will return all her phone calls within 15 minutes because you know she feel rejected when you don't get back to her. Tell your husband that you will never forget to thank him for picking up dinner on his way home with a kiss and a "thank you, love" because you know he does it to make your day easier.
The power of love is in the little things. Making a promise to honor the relationship with small gestures can make a BIG difference.
Just make sure to keep your promise and never make an excuse for breaking it.
Love is like going to the gym-- you have to do it everyday, not just once a year. What would happen if we all just celebrated our bodies once a year and only worked out one day out of the year?
Valentine's Day is a billion dollar business that banks off the pressure to not look like a inconsiderate jerk in the eyes of your significant other. But it can be more than just a reservation at a pricey restaurant-- it can be a wake-up call to start paying attention to your relationship and the intricate, delicate, beautiful emotional and phsyical intimacy you both share.
After all, it really is a collection of hugs, touching revelations and gestures of goodwill that can help turn an "I do" into side-by-side grave stones.
If you are a straight woman who is serious about turning your love life around, visit my website, ConnectWithHisHeart.com. On the site you can also sign up for my free Love Advice Newsletter that's packed with insight into men and relationships that last!