Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to just be about flowers, gifts or dinner in a fancy restaurant. If you’re married and have become a little bit cynical about the ‘day of love’, this year Couples Therapist Amanda Hallam encourages you to look at Valentine’s Day in a different way. She shares her top ways to give your relationship the attention it deserves this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is traditionally an occasion to celebrate the love and admiration for the one you adore and who doesn’t love a grand romantic gesture! However, whether you are currently dating and blossoming a new love or blooming in a long-term marriage or relationship, either way, flowers or a fancy dinner one day a year is not going to bring you the success you desire.
Instead, I invite you to consider Valentine’s Day as the day to reflect on how you communicate your love and care to your partner the other 364 days of the year. We all get consumed in the routines of life which breeds complacency in our relationships and erodes the playfulness and connection we once had.
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love needs attention. Like a garden, your relationship requires consistent nurturing, watering and care to grow and thrive. If you want to experience the beauty, you need to cultivate it.
How to show love (without gifts or a fancy dinners!) this Valentine’s Day
1. Check In!
Lock in a time with your partner to intentionally hear about how they are experiencing the relationship right now. This is a judgement-free space to express your feelings and needs. Here are a few discussion points you can explore together:
- When did I make you feel loved and cared for in the last year?
- Is there anything that feels unresolved for you in our relationship?
- Is there anything you need from me to feel more connected and supported?
- Are you happy with the day-to-day roles/responsibilities we divide in our lives?
- Are you happy with our sexual intimacy?
2. Let your partner know you love them
Discover a way to let your partner know that you love and admire them and remind them of why you chose them to be your person. This can come in the form of a gift, an action or words on a post it. Either way, it’s about the message you send, not the money you spend. We want to reach and connect with each other to consistently build closeness. How can you let your partner know that they are loved and accepted in the language that works for them every day for the next 364 days? It’s the small moments often that keep a relationship alive and vibrant.
3. If single, don’t get hung up on Valentine’s Day!
If you are not in a relationship right now, try not to go to that place where you compare yourself to people who are in a relationship. Instead, focus on the internal and be curious about your wants and needs and how you would like to feel in a partnership. Knowing your needs and loving yourself is the best pathway toward finding that perfect match.
If you find you get stuck in your communication and notice that there patterns you would like to change then considering the support of Couples Therapy might be the gift your relationship deserves this year. Couples Therapist Amanda Hallam can help you check in on your relationship.