Depending on your experience hearing the phrase, A “Happy Valentines day”, may bring on a myriad of different emotions. If you are married, you likely celebrated this holiday before you said I do. Chances are you even looked forward to it. You and your spouse to be, likely spent time thinking up fun creative ways to show love and devotion, you appreciated it because you saw the effort and felt loved.
Since being married I’m sure things have changed, some for the good; you can actually have sex now and go away for the weekend, and the love you are celebrating is deeper and you are more known. Possibly some for the bad; Expectations dashed due to lack luster efforts and forgetfulness leaving one or both spouses feeling less than loved. I’m aware of the fact some look forward to A “Happy” Valentine’s Day only to be let down.
Even if the thought of it brings you anxiety or dread, if you are married both you and your spouse should want to make the best of a holiday where we celebrate love, plain and simple.
Here are some tips to help make yours, truly, A “Happy” Valentines Day.
5 Marriage tips for A “Happy” Valentines Day
1.Communicate your expectations well before the holiday
While seemingly simple, if you are sitting there waiting for your spouse to bring home flowers, make the dinner reservation, buy you the jewelry, have sex etc. If it hasn’t been mentioned in a way you can confirm your desires were understood, as well as, they haven’t done it before or not in years, I hate to break it to you, it’s probably not going to happen. Don’t play games and say things like “well, they know” or “they should know”. On the flip side of this, ask what A “Happy” Valentines Day looks like for them. Communicate your desire to be surprised, or not surprised, make your voice heard in a loving way! Your spouse should have the insider scoop to your heart and desires.
2. Celebrate all year long
If you are not regularly celebrating your love throughout the year, both physically and emotionally, chances are Valentine’s Day will disappoint you. When so much hope and expectation is put on yourself and your spouse, to show all your love to one another a few days out of the year, you are asking to be overwhelmed. Even if you can’t get away for a vacation alone or regular dinners out, celebrating your love all year has more to do with consistent thoughtfulness and occasional grand gestures, proving your marriage is your priority. There will be Valentines Days you will not be able to make as big as you’d like, when you are intentional all year long it takes a lot of pressure off.
3. Don’t Compare your marriage and Valentines traditions
Movies, social media and even sometimes our friends can make us start to compare ourselves and spouses. This is a recipe for disappointment and disaster.
Come Valentine’s day if you find yourself comparing the sweet efforts your spouse put in to make a Happy Valentines day for you against the seemingly grandiose or “better” gestures of those in your friends circle or on social media feed, turn and run the other direction back into each others arms with a heart of gratitude.
Don’t measure the amount of love you are receiving by material things, activities or society’s standards and definition of love.
4. Be open to doing something unconventional
In the more than 20 years we have been celebrating Valentine’s Day, we have done many different things. What was romantic when we were first dating has changed. Be open, don’t get stuck in the mindset it has to be dinner out at a particular place, or a certain kind of gift or candy, to have a Happy Valentines Day.
This year on Valentine’s Day my hubby and I will likely visit a few craft breweries since it is something we both enjoy, to some it may seem far from romantic, but to us it is. We will also likely make a nice steak dinner at home, splurge on a nice bottle of wine and watch a romantic movie. We may or may not do the dinner at home on the day, just some where near it.
While tradition is important, sometimes being open with what day you celebrate can make all the difference.
5. Valentine’s Day is not just for one
Are you thinking only about your happiness and desire to have a Happy Valentines Day? If so, you have completely missed the point. Love is best enjoyed when, freely given.
Surprise your spouse and say you want to watch a movie they want to see, wether it’s a gushy Hallmark channel original, or an action packed thriller. Let them pick the restaurant, the activity, even if it’s terrifying or boring to you. Show them what would make you happy is for them to truly have a “Happy” Valentines day.
Does this sound like something you are willing to do? If the answer is no, you might need a heart check. When you stop worrying about your happiness and focus on your spouse’s, you might be surprised with the results.
Do your efforts feel one sided? When you aren’t hungry or tired, communicate with your spouse about it, in love. (you can read here how communicating when “hangry” is a bad idea)
What does the Bible say about love?
1 Corinthians 13 (NLT) known as the love chapter in the Bible:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
These are all actions we can do to show love to our spouse, the Bible also beautifully talks of the physical love God created for us to experience as husband and wife. In Song of Solomon, if you have never read it out loud with your spouse I highly suggest it. It’s pretty steamy, here is how it starts in Chapter 1:
Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine. How pleasing is your fragrance; your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils. No wonder all the young women love you! Take me with you; come, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedroom.
Looking to Valentines Day to be something you haven’t cultivated clearly already in your marriage might bring disappointment. Basing the success of it on what those around you find successful might leave you empty. Only thinking of yourself on a day which celebrates love could leave you unfulfilled.
The important thing to having A “Happy” Valentines Day is celebrating your love, there are years where certain things are out of our hands but being intentional and keeping these 5 tips in mind and practicing them will likely put your marriage way ahead of the curve!
You can read other posts I have on Marriage here