This article is written by Heather Edwards, LMHC, NCC, BCC Psychotherapist, Life Coach, and Blog Editor in Chief of Couplewise. It is originally posted on her blog at NewYorkPsychotherapyandLifeCoaching.com . In this piece she suggests ways to celebrate your love everyday.
Valentine’s Day is the day of love notes, red roses, and heart shaped chocolates. Romance is awakened and we feel reconnected. For centuries, it’s celebrated as a day to declare and honor our one true love.
Some love it. Some hate it. Some just follow the relationship protocol. There are those who yearn for a special day of gifts, romance, and kindness. There are those who loathe the “Hallmark Holiday”, deeming it contrived and corporate. There are those who choose not to rock the “love boat” and dutifully follow tradition. Whether you love it, hate it, or are apathetic to it, it happens every year – and this year its happening 3 days from now. What’s one to do?
Imagine removing the pressure of finding the perfect gift or expression of love on that one day each year. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a single day of celebration fraught with gift giving, spending money, and the materialization of love. What if instead, we mindfully loved more generously and openly in our everyday lives and relationships? Everyday. Stop wasting your time and energy searching for differences, problems, and sources of anxiety – they’re way to easy to find and obsess about! Shift your focus to what is positive, good, and loving.
Let’s take a moment to consider the ways we celebrate and acknowledge our love and relationships on this not-so-subtle reminder called Valentines Day. There are pretty predictable ways we conform to social expectations, but as you continue reading, imagine incorporating these ideas into each day. Yes, 365 days per year.
Acts of Kindness –
Whether you’re the gift giving type or the favor offering kind, remember the ways you reached out to your partner when your relationship was new. What were you eager to do for that person, simply for the sake of making him/her feel good? How did you express tenderness, infatuation, and desire? Take time to plan a meal, give a massage, or connect through sharing ideas, dreams, and plans.
“I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.” – W.B. Yeats
Seek Adventure –
When your relationship was new, everything you did together was adventurous simply because YOU were new to each other. Some of those activities may have gotten lost in the shuffle of responsibility, boredom, or routine. Keep novelty alive! If you are not new to each other anymore, find activities that are unique. Get outside your comfort zone, together. After all, getting to know each other was exciting and challenging when there was uncertainty. Recreate that excitement.
“What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame but something wild to run with.” – Robert Brault
Greater Intimacy –
Some confuse intimacy with sex. Although they can be mutually exclusive, they are far better when shaken and stirred together in a loving cocktail of sensuality. Touch frequently. Express gratitude. Speak warm sentiments. Be vulnerable. Ask for what you need. Confide your fears and exert your power (in a loving way, not threatening). Don’t assume. Take risks. Share your innermost self.
“Warm me like sunlight and soothe me like rain. Burn me with passion and steal away the pain.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
If you’re lucky enough to be in a loving relationship, nurture it everyday. Keep your feet on the ground, your head on your shoulders, and notice the life partner sharing this journey with you. When you keep that in mind, everyday can be Valentine’s Day!