In two weeks, it’s St. Valentine’s Day — a holiday celebrating romantic love. Given what I write about, this should be my wheelhouse. I should be excitedly touting the beauty of romantic gestures, sex-themed gifts, and marital bliss. And I have. You can find those posts here:
But I’ve also written about my own view of Valentine’s Day:
What I really want:
What men want:
And my belief that we can make this holiday carry more weight than it should:
Some of you are like me: You have a billion things going on in your life, and the thought of stopping all that for something extra-special for a holiday designated by other people seems like another to-do you don’t need on your list. Besides, you frankly couldn’t tell anyone just who St. Valentine was anyway or what that cupid baby has to do with anything. (Seriously, little arrow-toting dude, put on some clothes.)
So here’s a question: Do you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is it in the marriage contract somewhere? Does the fact that you are a couple mean you that must do something for this event? Would you be remiss if you breezed through February 14 not giving flowers or candy to your beloved and not even wearing the color red?
On your spouse.
If this day is important to him or her, reconfigure that to-do list and make Valentine’s Day a priority.
But don’t assume. Because in an interesting conversation with some wives lately, I discovered that most of us didn’t care for a big to-do for Valentine’s Day. We wanted subtler gestures of romance — a quiet evening at home, a single flower, a greeting card, an extended time of physical intimacy, a whispered, “I love you. Happy Valentine’s.”
My husband and I tend to trade greeting cards and a long kiss … and that’s it — what constitutes the entire Valentine’s celebration in my marriage. Which both of us are happy with. We personally prefer to go out for a date on a night on which the restaurants aren’t so crowded or to exchange gifts on a day personally significant to us, like our anniversary.
But if I were a flowers, candy, or jewelry person, my husband should oblige, considering and cherishing the wife he married. Likewise, if my husband considered a proper Valentine’s celebration involved extra-sexy sex, I should oblige, considering and honoring the man I married. It’s simply biblical love to seek the other’s good and to show kindness.
I could write another post about what you can do for Valentine’s Day, but I’ve already written a bunch and it’s all a waste anyway if you don’t know what your own spouse desires and enjoys. So have a conversation and see what they think about this holiday.
While you’re at it, maybe talk about other holidays too. My husband and I evaluated our Christmas experience and decided to make some changes next year, and we’ll be talking soon about how to spend our anniversary, making sure our expectations are reasonably met.
If your spouse does want a bigger to-do, I have all of those resources up there you can consult for gift and activity ideas. Plenty of other marriage websites have ideas as well. And I’m sure your local retailer would love to walk you through some possibilities.
But you might be surprised to find out that you don’t have to do quite as much. Many couples are content to take it easy on this holiday of love and find small ways to celebrate.
That said, never ignore an opportunity in your marriage, whatever the day, to express love to your mate. Make that an ongoing goal.