Valentine’s day is coming up, and I’ve been thinking about gifts I’ve given or received in the past from significant others.
One of the best gifts I ever gave was to my now-husband for our 6 month dating anniversary. I came up with 180 things I loved about him and got it bound into a little booklet. For the next 6 months of our relationship, he would have something different to look at every day to remind him of how much I cared for him. It was my way of thanking him for who he was and everything he did for me.
There are, of course, other ways to express appreciation for someone. One of my favorite things that my husband does for me is to hide little plastic critters among my belongings. As I’m going about my day – getting dressed, brushing my teeth, making tea for myself – I find them and am reminded how much he loves me. Sometimes it takes weeks for me to find them all, which only extends the playful fun.
Creating romance is not about grand gestures.
Many people let themselves get stressed out by Valentine’s Day. They think they need to make a big grand gesture in order to make the day “sufficiently special.”
In a healthy relationship, Valentine’s Day should not be particularly special because each person is constantly showing their love. It doesn’t only happen once a year.
Real romance is not made through big gestures, but rather it grows from the sum of the small ones.
My husband and I have not celebrated Valentine’s Day together since we started our relationship. At least not in the traditional way. Instead, we have spent our Valentine’s Day weekends visiting other people we care about.
And we’re quite happy with that.
Since we have worked throughout the year strengthening our love and affirming each other and improving communication between us, “missing” Valentine’s Day is not a critical loss. We already know we love each other.
Real romance is about showing your partner that you care about them – however they need to hear it most. For us, it has been a bigger blessing to visit friends and relatives and spend time with them than to go on a fancy date for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps your partner could use that nice date, or maybe a foot rub, or for you to cook dinner this week, or do the dishes, or write them a little note.
It does mean a bit more work throughout the year, but it is so, so worth it.