Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day comes each year for some people with mixed reactions. We can choose to be cynical and focus on the commercialization of it all as most holidays have suffered the fate of superficiality, look at Christmas. The fact is, holidays give us the opportunity to acknowledge new connections, losses, joys, and painful rejection.
Rather than make Valentine’s Day a holiday only for couples, let’s make it a day to celebrate love. We’re all in relationships, whether in a committed romantic one, or not. Hence, let’s make February 14th a day to honor all the love in our lives, not just the romantic ones.
You may feel that unless your relationship is thriving and you are on cloud nine, you don’t deserve to partake in the celebration of love. As if those in crisis or a state of struggle can’t acknowledge any positive feelings because it would feel fraudulent.
Reflect upon your relationships and reach out to those you love. Rather than leaning toward just going through the motions this year, or dismissing Valentine’s Day altogether, think again.
Here are a few things you can do to mark a moment and express yourself:
Keep it Simple
Once I had a client who wanted to do something special for his wife. He began designing an intricate photo book on his computer, and got so consumed with making it perfect that Valentine’s Day came and went. A month later he still hadn’t given her anything. The idea was sweet but he got so involved in the process of perfection that he forgot the original purpose of the gift. Simple goes a long way, and it doesn’t take much to buy flowers.
Think Outside of the Box
Don’t do your typical date night. Instead, plan something that is fun, makes you feel alive, and that you haven’t done for a while. I always encourage an element of surprise, as it conveys intent and thoughtfulness. For example, instead of an ordinary dinner out get a joint massage, a bike ride and picnic, or hire a singer to serenade you at your home.
Write Something (But Not On A Card)
There is no more powerful gesture than to write something down about your relationship, and then, before the first drink is served, read it to your partner. Personal composition and reading aloud changes everything and adds the secret sauce. This shows the one you love, “I took time for you, I thought about you, I am telling you out loud.” This is the meaning — the actual dinner is irrelevant. Write something that gives dinner meaning, and read it out loud.