“If you don’t clean your house when you know company is coming when will you clean it?” I can just hear my mother telling me that when I commented that I was contemplating not cleaning before company came. You wouldn’t be able to tell I cleaned the house a 1/2 hour after our guests would arrive so why bother? You know I’m finding a lot of married couples attitude about Valentines Day is very similar to that sentiment.
“It’s a stupid Hallmark holiday to sell cards.”
“I don’t have a clue what she wants and if I did I can’t afford it.”
“I can’t afford a babysitter and dinner…”
“He’s not in to all that sentimental stuff.”
“He probably doesn’t even realize that Valentines day is just a few weeks away.”
“It’s a week night what are we going to do?”
While one of those comments may be true (or partially true) in your life they are not good excuses to not enjoy Valentines Day if you would like to. Remember you two are on the same team and you are playing a game called life. Your spouse cannot read your mind but I guarantee he/she will read your attitude when you start pouting or getting crabby. They will know something is wrong but they may not know what. Do yourself (& your spouse) a favor take 15 minutes to sit down and talk about what you would like for Valentines Day THIS WEEK. Why this week because most of us can’t do things spontaneously and you will probably need some times to plan.
The purpose of this 15 minutes is not schedule everything for the next month it is to let your spouse know what you would like for Valentines Day and maybe a few suggestions of how that might look. Then you need to ask your spouse what they would like. Now if you haven’t pre-warned them of the topic they may need some time to think about this. That’s fair. If so, pick a time right now to come back and hear their thoughts. The conversation might start something like this, “So Valentines Day is coming up in about 3 weeks. We’re always so busy but I’d really like to figure out some time that you and I could do something, just the two of us. It wouldn‘t have to be right on Valentines Day. And it doesn’t have to be fancy maybe coffee at ____________shop and a walk around the park at night when it’s so quiet.” Think ahead of time what would mean something to you and have at least one idea of how that might happen. HOWEVER, remember you are only one member of a “team.” Your spouse might have completely different ideas of what they would enjoy. In that case you will need to work out a compromise that works for both of you.
Do I really care that you celebrate Valentines Day? No, not for the sake of Valentines Day and bragging rights at the office. I DO care that you take time to purposefully invest in your relationship. To celebrate your strengths and to build on them for the future. It’s not about doing something so you can tell your friends you did. It’s about showing your spouse that they are worth spending some time thinking about, planning a time together and then actually doing it!” What better time than when it’s easy to pick up a greeting card, send an e-mail, or pick up some candy that is already prepared for you to say the three most important words in a relationship. “I love you!”
So if you are going to take the challenge let us know. If you have a favorite time from the past share that with us too. It might give someone a fresh idea of how to celebrate with their spouse. Nothing is too simple and honestly it’s only too elaborate if you can’t really afford it.