Historically Valentine’s Day was a day to express your love and celebrate the spirit of love that dates back to 496 AD. Today it looks a little different. It has become a commercialized version of love that is expressed in the gestures of standardized greeting cards, chocolates, flowers, obligatory dinners, etc…
More than 1 billion valentine cards will be purchased for February 14th, and according to the Greeting Card Association 85% of the purchasers are women.
What are your expectations around Valentine’s Day?
If you are in a happy relationship and things are good, there is a positive anticipation about the day. Maybe you have romantic thoughts about that special person in your life and this day confirms for you that love is real and a precious gift.
However, if you are in a bad place in your relationship this might be your least favorite day of the year. Maybe it reminds you of the loss of love, or the loss of the dream that you had about romance, and what love should feel like, and be like. To make things worse, maybe you know that you don’t love your partner as much anymore, and yet they are going to buy you something for Valentine’s out of obligation. You secretly hope they don’t do anything special or get you anything at all. But if they actually do nothing, will feel even worse. It is possible to be in a relationship and feel totally alone and empty?
If you want to improve your relationship, focus on these two simple things;
Appreciation and Attention. In my experience with clients, the loss of appreciation and lack of attention are direct contributors to relationship difficulties, and lead to partner resentment.
Here’s how you discover the way out:
Use today as a reminder that life is not always about you, and how you feel, and what you need. Decide instead to honor that part of you that wants love, and craves love. Today make a commitment to elevate the standard that you have been living for giving attention, and appreciation to your partner. Today make a decision to try something new to give, and gain a higher level of love.
Maybe you feel that your partner doesn’t deserve it because you haven’t been getting it from them. Give it to them anyway! Maybe you feel resentful about them for hurts from the past. Give them your attention and appreciation anyway! This is about NOW, not the past. This is about re-building something that has been lost or neglected, and this requires your honest effort, and it works!
There are countless small ways to show appreciation for someone. You can say thank you for anything and everything they do. You can find things that they are doing right and compliment them. You can discover something unique about them and let them know. You can remember something amazing about them and tell them, etc…
Give your partner your complete attention today. There are so many ways to keep ourselves distracted that we can lose our focus on the relationship. Your total attention in a conversation is a small gesture of respect with massive impact. You can be fully present, listen intently and look deeply into their eyes when they are talking to you. You can even feel what they are feeling as you do this. Yes, that means actually turning away from the TV or computer, and looking directly at them.
These two small things taken over a little bit of time; days…weeks… months, and made into simple little habits will do wonders for the way your partner feels about you. Give it a try. You deserve it and so do they. Happy Valentine’s Day!