If you’ve been in the grocery store since Christmas, you know from all the pink and red hearts that Valentine’s day is coming. Retailers make sure we know 7 weeks out, so no excuses being surprised come February 14!
For some couples, there are maybe 2 days each year when they are intentional about their marriage: Valentine’s Day and their anniversary. They go all out in hopes that the effort will carry them through another year.
Would you allow me to save you some money? In overpriced flowers, and possibly marriage counseling?
Happy marriages, like any living thing, require regular attention. Couples that are thriving in their marriage have learned the secret that there are rhythms in their relationship that maintain connection and intimacy.
There are many rhythms in a marriage—from coming and going, to celebrating holidays, anniversaries, birthdays. And Valentine’s day. I’ll cover more on rhythms that connect in the next post, but for now, let’s just focus on Valentine’s Day.
More than a Hallmark holiday
Early in our marriage, we decided that we didn’t need a Hallmark holiday to celebrate our love. We resisted the overpriced flowers and overcrowded restaurants, opting for a candlelight dinner at home. We were pretty poor, so an expensive dinner out wasn’t really an option. Plus, we had no desire to battle the throngs on that one night. Once we had kids, heart shaped pizza or brownies, little gifts for the kids, and doing something fun together was our jam.
As the years went by, I began to feel a little, gritchy (no, that’s not a typo), especially after the kids left home. It felt I was putting forth all the effort to do something on Valentine’s day or that the day was ignored altogether. We were empty nesters, so having a nice meal together became more the norm.
No matter how I try to resist advertising, I had to admit that the constant ads before Valentine’s Day began to make me feel like our marriage didn’t have what others did. So, we talked, and “we” (Mark says with air quotes) still agreed that we would do something to acknowledge this day of Love. We still don’t do anything extravagant, but talking about WHAT we want to do has taken the guesswork or hidden expectations (followed by disappointment) out of day. We can celebrate in a way that reminds us how grateful we are for our marriage and each other. Something we don't ever want to take for granted.
I don’t think we’re the only ones that struggle a bit with Valentine’s Day. So let’s do 2 things:
- Have a conversation BEFORE the 14th about how you want to be intentional about this day. Do you buy gifts for each other? Agree to make something? Make dinner together?
- Be creative—don’t let yourself be limited by food, candy or flowers. Write a poem, give each other a foot massage, make your bedroom extra sexy.
Whatever you decide, I hope you celebrate the good things in your marriage, knowing you don't have to break the bank.
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