Well, here it comes again. That day when all is forgotten, except love. And presents. Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year when even the most romantically challenged individuals come out of hiding and go to the extreme, giving gifts of chocolate and putting on cheesy romantic movies.
In this article, I want to dive deeper into this topic and bring the love in your relationships out even more. I want to talk about ways to make this Valentine’s Day special, but not only this day. Each day. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But the ball’s in your court – it’s up to you to not drop it.
Relationships are a blessing from God, meant to last and flourish. Fighting, silent treatments, trust issues, selfishness; well, these are from the devil. Valentine’s Day just happens to be the day where we all try to put these struggles behind us and just make the best of the day. But there’s a way to extend this holiday.
Look, I don’t want to steal away the power of this world-renowned holiday. But I do want your relationship to be good each day while continually improving. My wife and I have been married 21 years now, and even though we’ve had considerable struggles, our relationship is improving each day. This is the gift that keeps giving.
Instead of going all out trying to buy the gift with the most flash and highest price tag, why not make it even more special by giving each other gifts of love that will make every day more enjoyable. What would that be like?
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Prime your partner before the big day
When it comes to people, we all want things. But there are some things that we simply can’t go without. If any of these are lacking, we’ll go to extremes to get it or we’ll not live well. What tops this list is love and fellowship. Being lonely is very hard on the soul.
We need to have someone that we can share our wins and losses with. Someone who can laugh with us and cry with us. Sadly, there are many couples living together who don’t spend any time together. The weekdays are reserved for work with after-work social media and sports games on TV and weekends are the time where we catch up on our favorite hobbies and pass-times.
At the time of this writing, there’s still a couple weeks until Valentine’s Day. What if you started making some changes today? What if you put some of your things aside and started giving your partner some attention?
If you walked up to your partner out of nowhere and gave them a long, soft kiss followed by a big hug and an “I love you,” would they look at you like you were drunk; would they check you for head injuries?
This is the simplest thing we can do in our relationships, yet so few do this. These simple words and this gesture of affection is part of what makes up the backbone of the relationship, but after the dating and honeymoon phase wears off, so does this behavior. Then, the relationship grows weak.
Start doing this again. Be sure to spend some time being affectionate together. This could be before work or after or before going to sleep, if you are adventurous maybe all three. Make the love of your life know that you love them and that they’re important to you. Show them that you’re attracted to them. Ask about their day and pay attention. Don’t make it about you. Try to make your interactions with them about them, and when they ask about you, talk about you. Put them first.
If you mess up, don’t be hard on yourself. Tell yourself you will do better and work to do better for your spouse. Do this each day and your relationship will take a turn onto a new path where all that has died comes to life again, especially romance and intimacy. Do this now until Valentine’s Day, and you’ll see that this Valentine’s will be the best. The day will then be about love; not some half-hearted attempt to do your duty and pay your holiday dues.
Give a gift from the heart
Oh, but do give a gift. A simple “I love you” won’t cut it. Romance and affection are great, but gifts are to be expected on this day. Gifts don’t have to cost money, but they certainly can. There are no excuses to not give a gift if your partner is the type who likes gifts.Related: Marriage Resources proven to help when you need it most.
The best gifts are the ones that give a memory; a memory that brings a smile any time of the year when thought about. What does your partner really like? Remember, the day is about romance and love. What brings a sparkle to their eye?
This comes down to truly knowing your partner. Do you know their favorite things in life? What do they like to eat? What do they like to watch? What do they like to wear? What gives them a feeling of satisfaction in the relationship?
Some people like gifts, some like changed behavior. Some prefer to go out to a special place while others want to stay home alone and have a night of pure intimate bliss. What really turns on your partner?
If a thoughtless or meaningless item simply ends up in a shoe box in the closet, it’s wasted money and wasted effort. By knowing who your partner is and what they truly enjoy, you can be sure that something relating to that thing will be a winner.
If you really don’t know what your partner likes, put the phone down and spend some time starting right now in conversation with them getting to know them. A gift from the heart will be one where your heart is seen in it. On that day, even if you don’t know what to give, give the selfless version of yourself. Put the ball in their court. Make yourself available to anything they would like to do, not as a rag doll, but as an equally interested individual and partner.
Make this Valentine’s Day your new relationship standard
Imagine waking up on Valentine’s Day morning and being presented with an act of kindness; maybe breakfast in bed, or a coffee with the morning chores already done. Then, as the day progresses, you actually have interesting conversations with your partner and enjoy your meals together. Finally, in the evening, instead of going your separate ways into social-media-ville, you spend time talking and dreaming about the future together while ignoring any negative realities. Now imagine this is the norm for your relationship.
Whether in year one or year twenty-one, the relationship requires certain elements to survive and be enjoyable. It requires attention. It’s not a take-take environment, nor is it only a give-give environment. But when you focus on giving as often as possible, the receiving party will also want to do the same. Relationships are two-way streets where we each give to the other what we have that will help them enjoy the relationship and succeed.
We want to encourage them and stand beside them with what they’re dealing with. We want to see them win and we want to share in their joy. After all, what happens to your partner happens to you, right?
Look at the way you both act on Valentine’s Day, that is if you put on your best self, and then apply that behavior each day. The relationship should never be about keeping score. Forget the wrongs and the rights. Stay in the present and work out the future through good actions and choices.
Nobody has ever found out how good a relationship can get; they always run out of time. God didn’t put a ceiling on love, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never master the relationship. There’s always one more thing you can do or say or give that will make that fire burn even brighter. But it requires forgetting the past, not tripping up and getting stuck on the little stuff, and, sharing a common goal of continual improvement.
Set this as your standard this Valentine’s Day and you’ll have a hard time outdoing yourself next year.
Treat your partner like your best friend
If I could say one more thing about enhancing the relationship, I would encourage you to become besties with your partner. What do best friends do? They share delicate and intimate information; they don’t keep secrets; they make themselves available at all times with undivided attention; they stand up for one another; they are the strength for the other’s weaknesses; they do what the other wants, even when it’s not their favorite thing.
A best friend knows what you like. They know what you don’t like. They almost don’t even need to be with you to know what you’re thinking. The intimate relationship between you and your partner can be the same. It involves putting in the time and interacting with each other. Affection does more than simply say’s “I’ve got love on the mind.” It say’s, “I’m attracted to you; I want to be close to you; I’m accepting of you; You’re enough for me; our relationship is alive and well”; and, of course, “I want you.”
God is the Creator of all, including intimate relationships. You might not follow God, but I can assure you that He can bring your relationship to a whole new level. My wife and I have done our relationship with and without God. We would both attest that when we seek His direction for our relationship through studying Him and the bible together as a couple, our relationship flourishes every time.
What if you and your partner agreed to go on a journey together this Valentine’s Day to make God the foundation of your relationship? Do you think it’s possible that the Creator of all that exists can give you the relationship of your dreams; one that is fulfilling and enjoyable and unending? I can tell you that He can and will if you reach out to Him. He’s known as the Healer for a reason.
Valentine’s Day is a day for love. It’s a time where a couple forgets all the wrongs and focuses on meeting the needs of the other. I encourage you to do that on this Valentine’s, but more importantly, to make it a new way of engaging with each other.
Get to know your partner. Find out what they truly like and dislike. This makes the whole relationship process much easier; especially, on Valentine’s Day and when choosing their gifts. The gift of ongoing love and support mixed with selflessness is sure to please both in the relationship.
Also, if you really want to know and see how good your relationship can get, start praying together to God about your relationship and reading the bible together. Trust Him to help you. Watch sermons online about Godly relationships, a good place to start for that is Marriage Today. Knowledge is key. Knowing God will give you an advantage like none other. Forming your relationship on the foundation of the Lord Jesus will make this Valentine’s Day one to remember!
To get started, check out this video from Jimmy Evans with your partner;
Take care and God bless!