Focus on Connection Rather Than Convention to Make a Difference
Making sure you find the perfect way to say “I love you!”
We all know what we are SUPPOSED to do on Valentine’s Day.
But have you ever felt pressure around this holiday? Pressure to create some type of “perfect night” or “perfect connection” in the way you see on TV or in the magazines (you know, the flowers, the chocolates, the romance)? I know I have! And I know these things can be fun – sometimes. But I get this nagging feeling, especially over time, where it doesn’t really feel like me to go out and buy a dozen long-stemmed roses for my wife. And it’s definitely not her to want them. She appreciates it, but it’s not what makes her feel truly loved. Maybe it does for your wife or girlfriend. And maybe your boyfriend LOVES romantic dinners and getting a mushy valentine.
But I think we could make Valentine’s Day into something more….
What would it be like if you were to think outside the (heart-shaped chocolate) box? To do something that could bring more meaning to your relationship? Try these ideas out as a way to connect more deeply with your wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend:
- Make it a point to celebrate your relationship throughout the year, not on just this one day
Part of what makes Valentine’s Day hold less meaning is that it is only one day out of the year. But our relationships are constant – day in and day out constant. They deserve much more than a once a year celebration! What would happen if you were to schedule 12 “Valentine’s Days” throughout the year? I believe this makes it MORE meaningful because it acknowledges the value of your relationship on an ongoing basis
- Use Valentine’s Day as a way to remember why you are together and what you appreciate about the other
What we all really want is to feel loved and to know we matter. The best way to do this is to spend time with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend remembering how you met, why you were originally attracted to each other, and talking about what it is you appreciate about each other.
- Do an ACTIVITY together that you both enjoy
Hiking, sledding, snowboarding, roller skating, play basketball, shoot darts, play chess, read poetry, paint – get creative and have fun!
- Celebrate with your kids or with friends
Valentine’s Day does not have to be a holiday exclusively for couples. Consider throwing a “love party” for family and friends, or just have a small celebration with your kids. Those around you have supported and fostered the relationship you have today, and this can be an opportunity to celebrate that.
- Do something “unromantic”, but do it TOGETHER
“Huh? How does this work?” This is on the face of it a strange idea, but the point here is to find a project or activity (fixing the house, doing volunteer work, cleaning, exercising) that may not inherently be FUN, but by doing it together you can develop a sense of connection and accomplishment. You can go out for your romantic dinner afterward and talk about how AWESOME you are!
- Talk about sex instead of having sex
Good communication is an often neglected tool of sensuality. Try it out! Tell your wife your favorite ways to be touched. Let your boyfriend know the places on your body that most turn you on. Discuss things you like to do in bed, or that you want to try. Be specific. Before you know it, you may not be able to keep your hands off each other!
- Stay in!
Instead of getting caught up in the hearts and cupids hoopla of candlelit dinners and chocolate-dipped strawberries, consider having a quiet evening at home. Turn off your phones and get rid of all other distractions, have a glass of wine, make dinner together, and just talk about life – your hopes, your dreams, and your relationship.
My main point about Valentine’s Day is that it is important to be able to do whatever will bring connection for you as a couple. If romantic candlelit dinners are your thing, by all means do that! But if they’re not, then do something else! We’re constantly barraged with ideas about what we’re supposed to be doing for our partners (or what our partners are supposed to be doing for us) to make us feel loved and happy. But sometimes those are not really the things that matter…. Consider different ways of finding meaning instead. If you’re having trouble finding connection in life or in your relationship, please contact us or schedule an appointment today. We’re here to help!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!