By the time you read this article, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. For some of you, warm memories of what that day brought to you will bring a smile to your face, whilst others will shrug their shoulders and think: “thank God it’s over!” I know plenty of people who believe that Valentine’s Day is purely a commercial exercise which has nothing to do with love and romance and everything to do with making money.
But don’t worry, I’m not about to try to sell Valentine's Day to you. Whilst I personally believe that Valentine’s Day can be a great opportunity to express your love to your partner and show them how much you value them, I agree that the commercialism of the day has exploited the authenticity of romance. After all, we shouldn’t need a specific day to show our significant other how much we love them. We should be surprising each other with spontaneous acts of love frequently throughout the year, when its least expected.
And that would be wonderful….. If everyone in a relationship actually did that! But I’m hearing the same story from more and more of my clients. It seems that the longer two people are in a relationship, the less effort they put into making each other feel loved and cherished. Its not that they don’t want to – it’s just that life these days is so damn busy! Work responsibilities, school schedules, kids demands, sporting commitments and financial pressures all take priority over time and before you know it, the special connection they once treasured as a couple has slipped between the cracks and life has become a mundane routine.
Of course, there are always exceptions and if you are one of those lucky people who still feels in love after more than 10 years together, then congratulations! Actually, it might not be luck at all. You’ve obviously figured out a way to maintain your close connection and keep the spark alive. But unfortunately, you are the exception and there are many others out there who are caught in a monotonous pattern where one day is the same as the next. For some that pattern feels comfortable. For some, it feels safe and secure. Some are just used to it and have stopped wishing for more. A few will quietly admit that it’s downright boring and disappointing.
So what do you do about it? This is the exciting part – everything! You go back to what you used to do when you were first in the thrilling throes of falling in love. Don’t panic, I’m not telling you to squeeze into the tiny sexy red lingerie that looked gorgeous on you were when in your 20’s and has a slightly different look now. (Although in my opinion, women get sexier as they mature so if you can pull it off, then go for it!). But if you’re not up for that, there’s some much easier things you can do and the benefits can be just as rewarding, if not more so.
Start by closing your eyes and remembering 3 things about your lover that first attracted you to them. How long has it been since you acknowledged those features or complimented them? Think about how you used to touch when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. How long has it been since you’ve displayed that sort of affection for no reason? Think about the things you used to do together and the places you used to go as a couple. When did you last spend quality time together like that? Remember how you used to communicate with each other verbally and non-verbally when you were still infatuated. Think about the words you used, your tone of voice and most importantly; your body language. How have you been communicating lately? Have you been genuinely present and interested or just going though the motions? Finally, remember the amazing feelings that used to be evoked when you looked into their eyes, when you were missing them or when you were giving and receiving love. When did you last feel like that?
Now that you have some insight into what’s changed or missing in your relationship, its time to make a decision. You can choose to be stubborn and wait for them to make the first move, or you can decide to be proactive. Do you want your relationship to last forever, grow stronger and get better? If so, then take responsibility for your part in it and get to work at rekindling the spark before it disappears completely.
How? By doing little things to make them happy like you used to when you were head over heels in love. Be more attentive and reinstate some of those little romantic gestures back into play. Resume the affectionate touches that are given for no reason. Communicate in a more caring and compassionate way. Take the initiative to be spontaneous and passionate. Let them know that you appreciate their love and want them to be with you forever. Look into their eyes and tell them you love them every single day. Be cheeky, be flirty, be daring, be wild. Do whatever it takes to make them feel happy and loved. Most of all, remember to make it playful and fun! Creating romance may certainly require some consideration and effort but it should never feel like hard work.
Love and romance have not died and will never die. Some of us just forget to make it a priority. Dismiss Valentine’s Day if you wish but don’t dismiss romance. Focus your energy on giving love over the next couple of months and just watch your relationship revitalise before your eyes. You never know, you might just enjoy it!