What if Valentine’s Day Lasted All Year?
“How would your marriage/relationship be different if everyday were Valentine’s Day? What are the things you and your partner are remembering to do to celebrate the holiday that you forget to do throughout the rest of the year? What difference would it make for each of you if you remembered to do these things throughout the year? What would each of you notice? What would your closest friends and co-workers notice?”
Every year, at Valentine’s Day, I am always amazed at the simple things couples do to ensure Valentine’s goes perfectly. Plans are made to have dinner at the partner’s favorite restaurant or have the partner surprised at work with a bouquet of roses or romantic gifts. These activities invite romance, excitement, and hope back into relationships. As a result of these things being present, for one short time every year, common relationship problems begin to go away. I enjoy walking around the mall during this time of year and seeing a long line at the Hallmark store and couples walking hand in hand as they frequent their favorite shops. Passion and intimacy improves as couples solidify their bonds by visiting jewelry stores to purchase engagement rings for romantic Valentine’s Day proposals. Couples that experience troubles throughout the rest of the year are now experiencing a type of bliss that conjures up memories of the happiest times of the relationship.
Then, something interesting happens. As the holiday passes, so does the positive impact it had on the relationship. The importance of the excitement that a date brings or the warm feeling a gift allows is forgotten and we go back to our normal relationship pattern. In my work with couples, I have been so amazed by the power small acts have on big problems. This is clear when the small acts done to commemorate Valentine’s Day lead to a more satisfactory experience and when these small acts dissipate after Valentine’s Day so does the satisfaction. But what if everyday was Valentine’s Day or every week had a romantic holiday in it?
Here is a simple exercise to help your relationship blossom:
Once per week pretend like it is Valentine’s Day and do something for your partner as you would on Valentine’s Day. As you do this, notice what else gets better in your life in addition to the relationship. Lastly, share what you have noticed with your partner and have a conversation about these exceptional times instead of discussing problems, just as you do on Valentine’s Day.
I wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day but please don’t forget to do things to ensure those happy feelings last far beyond February 14th.
Thank you for reading and please contact me to share what you have noticed while doing this exercise or any other feedback you may have.
Elliott E. Connie, MA, LPC