Love is in the air! Greeting cards, chocolates, and roses fill every aisle at the grocery store. Your favorite local restaurant is booked solid on the 14th. Couples everywhere are celebrating their undying love for one another — for one day only.
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching. I personally enjoy Valentine’s Day — my wife and I usually get dressed up for our date (usually dinner, shopping, and a movie), and my kids get excited to pick out the box of valentines they distribute to their classmates (usually Batman, Spider-Man, and Elsa/Anna-themed). While I don’t buy into the “Hallmark Holiday” conspiracy theory, this year, I couldn’t help but think, how many couples save their expression of love for each other only for Valentine’s Day?
You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’
I’m not sure where it all started, but after you got married, did any seasoned veterans approach you and your spouse (like they did to me) and ask:
1. How is the married life?
2. If you indicated that things were good, did they follow it up with something along the lines of, “Oh you just wait until the honeymoon feeling wears off!”?
Why is that? It’s almost as if the general consensus of marriage is that it has to be miserable. I’m not downplaying the fact that challenges do arise in marriage — in fact, quite the opposite. I just can’t help but to think, why is marriage generally perceived to be a dreadful experience?
That way of thinking leads to husband and wife becoming glorified roommates, and I’m certain that I don’t have to explain how damaging that can be to a marriage.
So how do you hold onto the magic?
Never Stop Pursuing Each Other
We’ve always heard the expression, “Marriage is hard work.” That is true, but we cannot forget about the reward for that hard work. Marriage is hard work and so rewarding. This is where cherishing your spouse really comes into play.
Regardless of how busy we are, we all have opportunities to connect with our spouse in deeply profound ways. The excuse of schedule limitations restricting you from spending quality time (frequently) with your spouse indicates that your spouse has moved to a lower spot on your list of priorities. How much time are you spending on your phone or watching a show to “unwind” at the end of the day? Every minute that we are able to spend with our spouse should be considered precious and sacred.
A simple solution to this is — and we repeat ourselves an extraordinary amount throughout our website about this — schedule frequent date nights. Again, they don’t have to be extravagant. Find out what you both love to do and connect with each other.
Also, surprise each other! Spontaneous acts of kindness, gift giving, and other expressions of love show your spouse that they are your priority, and that they are always on your mind. I like to leave sticky notes with little love notes on them throughout the house before I leave for work. My wife finds them at some point during the day and loves them!
She will send me texts throughout the day along the lines of, “I’m proud of you and I love you!,” and I can’t express to you just how strong that makes me feel.
Continually pursuing each other is not as complicated as people think, it just requires a healthy dose of effort and forming positive, love-expressing habits.
So… Don’t Save it All for Valentine’s Day
Should we still celebrate Valentine’s Day with our spouse? Absolutely — go all out! Have fun with it. Just remember, your expressions of love for one another should not be limited to one day of celebration. To keep with the theme, when you and your spouse celebrate Valentine’s Day, it should be a special day, but only because you have continually expressed your love for each other in profound ways throughout the year.
Learn what really fills each other’s love tanks. Husbands, buy your wife flowers just because you were thinking of her. Wives, write a note about how much your husband means to you, and tell him you’re proud of him (we need to hear that more than you’ll ever know). Never stop pursuing each other, and don’t save it all for Valentine’s Day.