Why Valentine’s Day Matters and How to Make the Most of It
Google Valentine’s Day and you will be struck by a wealth of Valentine’s articles, advice, and discussion not really focused on couples at all.
Instead, the headlines read this way:
“Valentine’s Day: Just another Way to Prolong Holiday Spending”
“How to Love Valentine’s Day When You’re Not in Love”
“Celebrate Your Family’s Heart this Valentine’s Day”
” Avoiding the Pressure of Valentine’s Day”
And maybe some of those writers are right.
Perhaps the whole day is a commercialized mess that begins before New Year decor leaves the shelves.
Those headlines aren’t wrong. You should definitely celebrate yourself. Of course, you should shower the kids and other important people in your life with love. And you surely shouldn’t drive yourself into depression with valentine expectations and pressure.
But couples are the reason for the hearts and flowers season. And celebrations can be a very good thing for your relationship.
Consider the following ways Valentine’s Day matters for any loving couple and how to make the most of it:
Valentine’s Day reminds you that finding a loving mate is really good fortune
Many partners find themselves in couples counseling realizing they’ve forgotten how fortunate they are to have found each other. While taking each other for granted to some degree denotes a secure sense of belonging, be careful not to drift into relationship neglect.
Why not celebrate the holiday as a reminder that love is a gift not everyone enjoys.
How to make the most of such good fortune and the team you and your partner have created?
Make a point of highlighting the joys of togetherness. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day in an escape room or team up against a few other couples for a night of board games before indulging in more intimate unity. Enjoy your unique brand of teamwork.
Valentine’s Day reminds you that connection beats perfection
Comparison and thoughts of greener pastures can ruin a good thing if you don’t take time to consider what’s worth praising and preserving in your relationship.
Valentine’s Day, approached with sincere gratitude and appreciation, could help stem a downward slide toward criticism in your relationship. Use the syrupy sweetness of the holiday as a sort of relationship check.
What is positive about your mate? Write it down and share it with him or her. Then take things a step further and actively heap praise on each other in a public way. Maybe you’ve just fallen out of the habit of bragging about your love and how many great qualities there are in your partner.
Valentine’s Day is time set aside for the time you say you don’t have
“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well, January.” – Comedian Jim Gaffigan
People need time together. We don’t actually like to be lonely or isolated or withdrawn. We don’t really want to drift apart, put up walls, or relegate relationships to the back burner.
There are a million blog posts that tell us how to avoid all of those scenarios. And there’s one holiday that offers up 24 hours for you and your lover to combat the misplaced priorities that come between you.
You may find that couples counseling might be in order. That’s okay, Valentine’s Day won’t fix everything but it gives you time to look up, pay attention, and bring back some loving feelings.
Make the most of the holiday by simply slowing down and turning toward each other. A partner that dims the lights, puts away the phone, and snuggles in for a good long talk is hard to resist. From there you can build.
Valentine’s Day creates space for reflection, intention, and conscious redirection
Finally, Valentine’s Day matters because once upon a time you told each other that your life together mattered. Moving forward together is the heart of a committed relationship. Cherish your memories. Decide to work at your union. Adjust and negotiate your combined future by putting each other first.
One more Valentine’s quote:
Psychologist Albert Ellis said,“The art of love…is largely the art of persistence.”
He’s right. When something matters you work at it. And you reward yourselves for that work.
Relish that dinner and delight in each other’s company. You earned the time. Consider the exchange of gifts and flowers small trophies for a partner with wooing and winning.
About the author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and Life Coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with individuals, couples and business partners helping them to resolve conflict, create positive mindsets and build great relationships.