Why Valentine's Day Can Be A Good Thing (Minus the Expensive Gifts)
Oh, this wretched day.
The ridiculously high expectations your partner has of you to proclaim or remind him/her of your undying devotion, the exorbitant flower prices that skyrocketed overnight, and even if you’re not into the holiday, the crazy crowds flooding the malls and restaurants are enough to send you running home to peace.
A festivity that is celebrated by the masses tends to demand attention from anyone, and one as big as Valentine’s tends to cause everyone to pause in their tracks, and almost force paramours together.
That’s not a bad thing! While many men, I wager, may dislike this holiday, there are countless benefits to embracing celebrations with your loved ones.
An Opportunity to Celebrate Your Love
Newly minted couples might argue that every day’s a celebration. But married couples will promptly inform you of the realities of life, especially if they’re surrounded by two screaming kids daily asking for their needs to be met, house mortgage and bills to pay, and work stress as the sweet cherry on top.
So, any excuse to remind couples to celebrate their lives is perfect!
Try changing things up annually – Some years, it can be a big grand affair like whisking your partner off on a surprise trip or renewing your vows. For others, it can be as small and intimate as just a staycation, some wine, and a ton of kisses.
An Opportunity for Quality Time
Studies have shown that couples who regularly spent time together enjoyed higher quality relationships and lower divorce rates than those who did not. Women were found to be 4 times more prone to divorce without a couple times once a week, while men were 2.5 times more prone to divorce if they don’t get sufficient one-on-one time with their spouses.
Whether or not quality time is you and/or your spouse’s love language, emotional intimacy is immensely vital.
One must not take for granted what you’ve built so far. Think of it this way – If you stop showing up for work, would you still be paid? Similarly, in a partnership, both needs constant care and attention to build greater resilience as a couple.
Plan something together, be it a romantic meal, a shared hobby that both of you would find joy in, or even scheduling sex while the kids are with your babysitter!
If all of that sounds too daunting, even a simple homecooked meal and spending time just holding each’s hands and talking about life is fantastic for bonding and reconnecting again.
An Opportunity to Appreciate One Another
It’s always in the little things.
If you haven’t been letting your partner know how much you appreciate him/her, this is the perfect occasion to share!
- Leave surprise love notes around the house running up to Valentine’s, or just drop one in the mail for her to pick up
- Drop a text before picking her up for the date to tell her the little things you appreciate about her.
- If you’re comfortable sharing face-to-face, by all means, because that’s going to be the most powerful and sincere form of communication.
An Opportunity to Celebrate Passion
Sex isn’t always at the forefront of couples’ minds, especially if they’ve been married for decades.
If you’d like to turn the heat up a notch, try roleplaying. Arrange to meet your spouse at a bar, and assume different names. Formulate a backstory to your identity so it feels easier to sink into that role, perhaps even an alternate reality you wished for yourself in terms of career path. Someone will sit at the bar, the other will walk in as if approaching a stranger, and take it from there! Even if it fails because you’re both too embarrassed, it’ll make a fun memory, and at that moment, reward you both with tons of giggles!
An Opportunity to Remember Happy Couple Memories
More than 5% of all the happy memories we collected are explicitly about firsts. First dates, first kiss, and the first time you watched a movie in the cinema with your love are great memories to be reminisced about and talked about, especially with photos or videos. The happy collective memories will help to strengthen the relationship even in tough times moving ahead.
An Opportunity to Decide On Plans Ahead
Many New Year Resolutions failed because there is a lack of accountability. Valentine's Day can be a good day to seek feedback from your loved ones on how to improve yourself and have an accountability partner. It is important to set realistic and small goals, as frequent failures will only lead to more frustration in a complicated relationship.
The bottom line of Valentine's Day is to take every excuse to celebrate your partnership. We only live once, and you can choose to make your life a glorious one filled with love and laughter.
Great relationships don’t happen overnight, and deliberate efforts are crucial in maintaining a happy and fulfilled marriage.
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Deborah Choo loves discussing relationships, platonic or not, as that remains at the heart of human existence. She draws upon learnings from couples’ counselling, and continues to celebrate an incredible journey of growth.