/, love, marriage, marriage counseling/CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE EVERY DAY

It’s Valentine’s week and couples are absorbed in making plans and dinner reservations, shopping for jewelry and flowers, her favorite chocolates, his favorite lingerie. Deciding how you will celebrate Valentine’s Day can be challenging and fun. I’d like to challenge you about how you celebrate your love every day, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Do you make your partner feel special and important every day? Do you thank them and show appreciation for all they do to make your life better? Do you tell them how much they mean to you and how much richer your life is because of them? If you don’t, you should. Here are some ways that you can celebrate your love every day.

  • Bring home dinner and his/her favorite beverage: This is for couples where one partner does the majority of the cooking. It’s a special treat to have a night off from the kitchen.  The other partner can also offer to cook dinner to give the cook a night off.
  • Take them out for a special date: This should be done at least once a month. Arrange a babysitter if you have kids, tell your partner how to dress and that you’re taking them out for the afternoon or evening. There might be a play, a concert or sporting event that your partner has mentioned. Pay attention and surprise them. It doesn’t have to be an expensive date if you’re on a strict budget, but it’s a great idea to splurge once in awhile, just to show your partner how special they are to you. Even a coffee date or a drink together at a local restaurant shows you’re thinking of them.
  • Gifts out of season and for no particular reason: This is one of the easiest and most fun ways to celebrate your love for your partner. We all love to get gifts. Again, it’s not the price but the thought and intention behind the gift that matters.  These randomly given gifts show your partner that you’re thinking of them when you’re apart, and that you’ve made an effort to show your love. It can be something inconsequential like a candy bar, but if it’s your partner’s favorite candy bar, you’ve just done something loving and thoughtful for them.
  • Random messages:  Leave a note, send a text. Just a voicemail to say I love you and I’m thinking of you. Don’t overdo this one because it can be a distraction during work hours.  Make your messages sweet and flirty to remind your partner that you’re happy they’re coming home to you. You can even tease a little about what they might expect when they get home. You can keep it sexy but be mindful of privacy concerns in public.
  • Sincere compliments: A sincerely given compliment is a wonderful way to show love. Be specific and be authentic and you can really make your partner’s day.  If you think she looks particularly pretty one day, or he looks great in that shirt, don’t hold back from saying so. Try to avoid always giving superficial comments, but dig a little deeper and tell your loved one what they mean to you. What it is about them that you love the most. Be truthful and celebrate your love.
  • Your undivided attention: It’s been said that the majority of people listen with the intention to reply, not to understand. Giving your partner the respect of your undivided attention, really listening to them, trying to take in and understand them is a wonderful gift. This is a way to show love and celebrate each other. You might be surprised at what you find out about your partner when you really listen and attend to them.

This is only a short list. I know if you’re creative and think about it, you can come up with a hundred or more ways to celebrate your love together. Make your Valentine’s Day wonderful, and keep that feeling going every day of the year.

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