It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and I can almost smell the overpriced roses and taste the decadent chocolates now. Flowers, candy and cards do big business this time of year, and expectations are high—mostly for men—to bring home something spectacular that will testify to the power of romantic love. But can this love be shown in other ways? Perhaps even on other days? Here are three fun things you can do to think outside the Valentine’s box while still making this holiday a time to celebrate.
Add more memory Recall something of significance your sweetie has shared in the past. Then find a way to bring that memory into the present. Whether it was a favorite song he mentioned last week, or a childhood joy you know she loved years ago, you can highlight its value today. Listening is a gift you can give any day of the year. Making a new memory based on an old one shows that you love and listen to your Valentine. Amaze him with your creativity!
Start the countdown Maximize this season of love with a countdown to Valentine’s Day. Each day leading up to the 14th can bring its own unique gift, not necessarily wrapped in pink and red. To think outside the Valentine’s box, what can you give or do for your loved one? It could be a shoulder massage one day and a foot rub the next. Seven days of love notes, her favorite coffee after work, his favorite snack on game night. Give your love something to count on!
Beat the expectations Reduce the pressure to reach romance novel heights on Valentine’s Day by remembering there are always opportunities to show true love. If the only day you bring her flowers or cook his favorite meal is Feb. 14 then your heart is missing the beat. Bring home chocolates just because it’s a Wednesday. Set out the best crystal just to celebrate a good day. Find small ways to delight each other, every day. What can you begin with now?
Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone crisis management specialist and licensed professional counselor, primarily works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings and presentations.