Think Outside the Chocolate Filled Box for Valentine’s Day
Every year in February TV commercials, advertisements and stores all turn pink and red, are filled with hearts and the pressures on to buy the best gift for your Valentine. There are a lot of different theories and ideas about how Valentine’s Day originated but one this is certain, it has taken on a new meaning in today’s day and age. Honestly, it’s not a surprise that so many people dread February 14th every year.
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s day in its simplest form is about love.
For those who enjoy the holiday or want to show love to someone it can be tricky to do so in a way that is meaningful when our culture defines Valentine’s Day a success if you spend a lot of money. If Valentine’s Day is truly about showing someone how much you love them, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Expressing your love in a way that is both genuine and meaningful is a successful Valentine’s Day in my book and Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to think outside of the chocolate filled box.
FOCUS ON THE PERSON, NOT STUFF
The Valentine’s Day industry doesn’t know “the best way to show your love”, despite the MANY ads that will try to convince you otherwise. The best way to make someone feel loved is to show them you recognize THEIR wants and needs.
Use what they want, need and like as a compass to gift giving
Keep in mind, a gift doesn’t have to be something you buy. A gift can be time spent together, it can be unprompted physical affection, relieving them of a few chores around the house or leaving them a sweet note. What’s important is the gift speaks to who they are and what’s important to them.
COMMUNICATE LOVE IN THEIR LANGUAGE
There are a lot of ways to find out what would speak love the loudest to your Valentine. One way is to figure out their love language. Gary Chapman, the author of the book The 5 Love Languages, defines a love language as “the way people speak and understand emotional love”. Unfortunately, sometimes the way we try to speak love (our love language) is not how they understand love (their love language).
When love languages are different it can lead to feeling unloved, unseen and unimportant. In any relationship knowing how to show love you’re your partner in a way they understand is critical to the overall happiness of the relationship. You can decide which love language your Valentine speaks by paying attention to how they show you love.
There are 5 Love Languages and endless Valentine’s Day ideas for each of them, but here are a few ideas:
- A long back/foot rub
- Spontaneous hugs and kisses
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
- Write a note with a list of things you love about them
- Scatter notes around the house
- Get a bunch of balloons and write something you love about them on each one
- Take initiative and plan a date night for just the two of you
- Surprise them with an activity they love for you both to do together
- Go out to dinner and keep your phone in the car and give them your undivided attention
- Organize a quiet night at home for just the two of you
ACTS OF SERVICE
- Make a nice dinner and do all the cleanup
- Clean the house
- Give them a ‘night off’ by taking care of the kids and the house while they have time to themselves
- The book, movie or game they’ve been talking about
- Something from their favorite store that they’ve had their eye on
- Something they can use as part of a beloved hobby
EXPENSIVE DOESN’T EQUAL LOVE
If you want to shower your Valentine with gifts keep in mind: Expensive isn’t always better. You know the saying “It’s the thought that counts”? Well, it’s true.
Rather than going out and wasting a ton of money on something they don’t really want, find something that has meaning, significance and value to them.
The amount of money you spend isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that you put time and effort into finding a gift that means something to them and shows them you care about who they are.
STEP AWAY FROM THE PINK AND RED ISLES
Many of the typical Valentine’s Day gifts are painfully impersonal. The gifts in the ‘Valentine’s Day’ isles are NOT the best or most thoughtful way to show your Valentine how much you truly love them.
Don’t buy something just for the sake of having bought something.
Find something that speaks to who they are, what they love and your relationship together (which will not be found in the Valentine’s Day isles).
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO FIND A MEANINGFUL GIFT:
- Find something that would remind them of a fun memory or an exciting trip you took together
- Have an inside joke? Buy a gift that only the two of you would find funny
- Surprise them with a gift that goes with something they are interested in or something they like to do in their free time.
- Think about what they do when they feel stressed or need to take care of themselves. Is there a gift they could use when those times come?
DON’T STOP AT VALENTINE’S DAY
Valentine’s Day can come with a lot of pressure to “get it right” but it doesn’t have to. I can almost guarantee if you try daily to show the person you love how much you appreciate and admire them; Valentine’s Day will have much less significance. It sounds incredibly corny but make every day about how much you love your partner. If they feel loved, appreciated, seen, admired, important and cared for all year long then they won’t need a grand performance on Valentine’s Day. Trust me.
YOUR PARTNER DOESN’T NEED A DAY OF LOVE, THEY NEED A LIFETIME OF LOVE
— by Jayne Sensenig