Valentine’s Day is the time of year that swirls with hearts, roses and declarations of love. It’s that romantic night out where you can look lovingly into each other’s eyes. That celebration when you give and receive gifts, showing your commitment to each other. That intimate moment you share, to make each other feel special.
Or, at least, that’s what can happen if you and your partner decide to make a special effort for the Day of Romantic Love. Your relationship may not need an annual reminder of why you’re together. Or, you may put your all into that one special day. But what about the rest of the year? If Valentine’s Day is more than a gesture – if it’s about celebrating all that’s good in your relationship – then why contain that feeling within just one day? Why not spread the love across the year?
Here are three Valentine’ Day behaviours that we believe can help to nurture your relationship across the entire year.
On Valentine’s Day you are there for each other. You may dress up, go out, spend the evening talking and really listening to what your partner is saying. The soft lighting and warm atmosphere can of course help things along, but the day offers an opportunity to connect, share, laugh and enjoy each other. If that only happens once a year, and you feel that communication may not be your strong point the rest of the time, then make a special effort to be there for your partner. Even 10 minutes a day, when you put your smartphone aside and catch up with their news, can go a long way to sustaining the core of your relationship.
Show some thought
They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts. So, chocolates and flowers may be the obvious choice for Valentine’s Day, but if you put some extra thought into it your partner will feel even more special. That goes for the rest of the year. This is not just about buying gifts, but the thought you put into sending text messages, to cooking a favourite meal, or even the choice of venue for a night out. Thoughtlessness can be a blow to intimacy, as your partner may not feel valued. Think things through to show your partner you really care.
Be respectful of each other
For any relationship to work, there needs to be ‘together time’ (intimacy) and ‘alone time’ (autonomy). If that balance isn’t right then it can cause problems in your relationship. Similarly, if one of you is extravert and the other introvert, the way you interact with life may have a different volume and pace. A partnership is not about expecting the other to guess your every thought and be like you in every way. A partnership can have complimentary aspects. Respecting your differences – and allowing space for your partner to be an individual as well as one half of a couple – is crucial for creating harmony in your relationship.
If your relationship isn’t as harmonious as you’d like it to be, or if you need some support in being there for each other – especially around how you communicate – then couples counselling can help to guide you through. Call 020 8673 4545 to speak to our team, who can refer you to the right therapist for you.