Early into my marriage, Valentine's Day was a big deal for me.
I bought into the whole notion that the bigger the pomp, the more evidence of the depth of my husband's love for me.
Ehh... not now.
Fortunately 20 years of reality has made Hallmark-created holidays like V-Day much less relevant for me. Because showing your partner you love them - should not be cornered into one day a year.
I don't need or want Paul to take me out to dinner for Valentine's Day, or to get me flowers that will die, or buy me a over-priced card I will eventually throw away. I would rather feel loved in small simple ways 345 days a year... and take V-Day off.
By the way - this takes a lot of work. It's easier to do a bang up job on V-Day, anniversaries, birthdays and other holidays than to offer a small, but steady stream of love and respect all year long.
ALSO - and this is a very important also - you need to know your partner's love language. Because what makes me feel loved, may not make Paul feel loved. Uhm. Let me restate that. What makes me feel loved does not (not may not) does not make Paul feel loved... and vis versa.
I bought a book once called the Five Love Languages... interesting read. It really can be adapted to any relationship - parents, friends, whatever. Paul is the gift of doing... meaning when I DO chores around the house - he feels loved. I am all about words of praise. I like him to tell me he loves me, tell me he loves me, and tell me he loves me.
Oh, and tells me I am beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and fantastic. A couple times a day is all I need - one when I head out the door, the other when I come back home. That's all I need - then I'm good.
For example, when Paul mows the lawn, that is his way of telling me he loves me. So... I try really hard to think that. I stand looking out the back window as he is mowing the lawn and I tell myself over and over... WOW. Every step he takes, and every blade of grass that is getting its top whacked off... is just another flood o' love.
And I am sure when I run up and hug him when he gets home from work and I give him a bunch of kisses and tell him I love him... he is imagining me cleaning the kitchen, or putting in a new toilet, or tiling the bathroom floor and WOW. Does HE feel the love or WHAT!?
So - this creates a bit of a problem for us. See... I don't do chores... and Paul, well... he doesn't talk.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am happy to start many chores! I love starting projects... I start many and I do it often. And Paul talks about stuff - we talk a lot about the kids, and work, and parents.
So - I have had to learn to complete projects and he learned TALK about his feelings for me.
I try to make a conscious effort to tell Paul I love him the way Paul wants me to tell him I love him. I took my car in to get the oil changed. THAT spoke to him. He was terribly romantic after that. So he responded by lots of hugging and kissing and such. Hey! Whatev. If I just need to take the car in for a lube - I can do that for some words of praise.
And now he makes a conscious effort to tell me he loves me the way I like to hear it. I get spontaneous text messages asking me how I am doing and he is thinking of me... I'll get an email, a phone call at work or my chat pops up. And he tells me nice things when we are together.
One of my most favorite things that Paul and I do together...
Hold on there kids... this is totally G-rated...
...is lying in bed together and watching The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic.