As you’ve probably noticed, we are all being bombarded with messages like don’t forget the flowers, boxes of candy, and of course, the diamonds (even chocolate diamonds!) because of Valentine’s day.
Most holidays can bring up a myriad of emotions but this one is especially ripe for unearthing hidden and not so hidden expectations.
You emotions can be all over the place from feelings of deep love and excitement to deep disappointment and loneliness.
So how can you deal with a holiday like this and actually enjoy yourself, whether you are in a “relationship” or not?
Here are 10 suggestions to make Valentine’s Day special–no matter what day it is…
1) Don’t Forget Kindness and Thoughtfulness
We all get in a rush sometimes and forget to be kind. We just want to get the things done that we have to get done and move along to the next thing to be done.
Whether you are currently in an intimate relationship or not–take a moment to be kind to the people in your life. Kindness certainly doesn’t have to mean “doing” for someone (but it can.)
It can mean just giving a smile, sending a kind, loving thought, or simply listening to a story that you may have heard many times before.
2) Don’t Forget Appreciation
So often we find ourselves dwelling on what irritates us about the people in our lives and we forget to appreciate the things about our relationships that are working. Appreciation only works when you want nothing in return. If there are “strings” along with your appreciation of another person, (like you want appreciation in return) it will seem like an empty, needy gesture. Appreciation has to be expressed from your heart and in such a way that is
Even if you want to be appreciated back (we all do), start it off by telling someone in your life what you appreciate about them today.
3) Listen Closely to What Your Partner Wants
Whether it’s to make plans for a Valentine’s day celebration or just listening to how your partner’s day went–leave your ego and your desire to help or “fix it” for him or her at the door and just listen.
–>Need help speaking your truth and listening? Go here to find out how to stop talking on eggshells…
We all get into habits that stifle communication–that shut off a true connection of the heart. To open up and bring more joy and ease into your relationship, take a moment to realize what you do to assume, to fix or to judge (even though you may not think you are doing those things) and just listen to understand your partner.
4) Listen Closely to What You Want
Listening closely to what you want can be even harder than learning to listen to your partner. So many people have learned along the way that it’s not safe to feel emotions–and they simply don’t know how to listen to what they want. You have to practice listening to the voice inside you so that you can be honest and authentic with the people in your life. You have to learn who you are and honor that by letting others know who the real “you” is.
5) If It’s an Intimate Relationship, Don’t Forget Time Alone
In our busy lives, we often forget to recharge by spending some time alone. Whether it’s taking a walk outside by
yourself and enjoying nature or it’s taking 20 minutes to meditate or tune in and calm your thoughts–we’ve found that we are much better people and treat each other more lovingly if we take time for ourselves.
6) Don’t Forget to Breathe
It may seem kind of silly to remind you to not forget to breathe, but so many of us actually live in the land of anxious, shallow breathing. Belly breathing can relax you, help you to clear your mind and keep you in the present moment.
What’s that got to do with creating great relationships? When we are relaxed, we listen better to others and we don’t react quite so quickly from old patterns. We are able to access a fresh point of view when we breathe that can promote more understand and closer connections.
7) Don’t Forget the “Show”
What’s the “show”? The show is what we do to show the other person that he/she is special in our lives. It can be a greeting card, a present or creating a special night or weekend away. It can be elaborate or it can be simple–whatever the two of you prefer. The main thing is that you “show” the other person how special they are to you.
8) Don’t Forget Discernment
The media likes to use hype and if you buy into what the mass media promotes as “the way Valentine’s day should be,” then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment after the big day comes and goes.
Remember, it’s not about the money you spend, where (or if) you bought that special diamond necklace, or where you went for dinner. It’s about the love that’s underneath all of that.
9) Don’t Forget to Be Present and Be Real
If you’re like most people, you’re usually either mentally thinking about what you have to do or are going to do in the future or thinking about what happened to you in the past. The present moments fly by without you really participating in them.
To be present and real means to be fully focusing on what’s going on right here and right now. Great relationships are built on that idea and whether it’s Valentine’s day or not, it’s a terrific practice to get into.
10) Don’t Forget to Think Long-Term Love and Not Just Short-Term “Wow”
Whether it’s a dating situation or long-term committed relationship or marriage, when you are thinking about a celebration of your love or of your relationship, keep in mind what would create and feed long-term love instead of going for the “wow” factor.
To know the difference, you have to keep showing each other how special you are to each other in every day–and not just this day because it’s a day of “love and romance.”
The real juice in keeping a relationship that is alive and growing is in what you do and say in every moment to each other.
At any time during the year, we invite you to make conscious decisions about your life and not just let “life” happen to you.
Our best to you on Valentine’s day and every other day.