Heart-shaped candies. Greeting cards. Stuffed animals. Jewelry. Expensive dinners. Red, pink and white roses.
No one can miss the fact that Valentine's Day is upon us. In America, our retail stores and restaurants makes certain that no one forgets this holiday. However, the focus on purchasing gifts and cards and going out to eat takes away from the deeper expression of love that should be part of the celebration. And these basic sentiments of Valentine's Day really should be expressed every day of the year, not just on February 14th. If you are newly in love, you likely express our feelings both verbally and physically often and shower the object of your affection with flowers and love-laced poems, cards and gifts on a regular basis. If you are in a long-term relationship, however, you might more forget to say "I love you" or to show your spouse or significant other on a regular basis that he or she is appreciated and adored.
Those in this latter category should see Valentine's Day as a great reminder to express their love and to show their appreciation outwardly. If you are stuck in a relationship rut, Valentine's Day can serve as the beginning of a new "love and appreciation" campaign that last not just for 24 hours but all year long ? in fact, all relationship long. Instead of making February 14th a Hallmark holiday ?- one that simply involves the purchasing of a card and a gift -- you can make it the first day that you commit to revving up the romance in your life and showing the one you love how you really.
For those who would like to begin having Valentine's Day every day?or at least more often than once a year?and would like to do so in a personally meaningful way, here are five things you can do to increase the romance, feeling and meaning in your relationship: 1. On Valentine's Day, or on any occasion or holiday when you want to give our partner a card or gift, try bypassing the Hallmark and candy displays and instead heading to the stationary aisle in the store. Purchase some nice paper and a special pen. Then go home and write a love poem or a letter that really says how you feel about your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, or partner. Put this on his or her pillow to find and read before getting into bed, on the bathroom to come across in the morning or on a plate to read before dinner. You can even hide a love note in a briefcase or in a suitcase.
There are lots of places to hide love notes, and the recipient will always be pleasantly surprised to find it and will feel especially loved and appreciated. 2. Instead of sitting in some crowded restaurant ? they are always overcommitted with reservations on Valentine's Day, this year try having a Valentine's meal at home. It doesn't even have to be more than a pizza or some take out Chinese, but create a special atmosphere for the dinner itself.
Put on soft music, light candles. Set the table with a white table cloth and your best dishes. Put rose petals around the room or on the table. Place pictures of the two of you nearby so you can recount the wonderful times you've had together.
Don't wait for Valentine's Day to do this. Do it at least once a month to revive your relationship, or make one night of the week your romantic dinner night. 3. Instead of giving your significant other chocolates or gifts or even a special dessert, give a huge serving of gratitude and appreciation.
Take time to shower the other person verbally with all the wonderful things you love about him or her. Express your gratitude for his or her special traits or characteristics. Describe the behaviors that you really love or appreciate. Or, if you feel uncomfortable saying these things aloud, make a list of them and present them in a beautiful box wrapped up like a gift. If you are comfortable, you can seat yourselves opposite each other, hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes while taking turns saying, "Something I appreciate about you is?" and filling in the blank. 4.
If you are looking for romance, create a romantic space. It's easy, especially after the initial romance of a relationship has faded, to forget how nice it is to be wooed. Go to the trouble of lighting candles, playing soft music, making sure the kids are in bed and asleep, using aromatherapy oils or fragrant flowers to scent the room. Even if your relationship new or still in the exciting romantic stage, this effort will go a long way toward making your significant other feel special, appreciated and desired. 5.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, commit to celebrating Valentine's Day more than once a year. Plan to have a night or day for romance, love and appreciation at least once a month. It's easy to get too busy to remember to show your partner in life how you feel about him or her or to plan a special evening together. And the best gift of all might simply be your undivided attention and listening ear.
Nina Amir, an acclaimed journalist, motivational speaker and Kabbalistic conscious creation coach, currently is writing Setting a Place for God, A Woman's Guide to Creating Sacred Space and Inviting the Divine to Dwell Within It. For information on Amir's books, teleseminars and classes, or to book a speaking engagement, E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website at http://www.purespiritcreations.com or call 408-353-1943.