Nowadays, everything seems so rushed. Partners can’t wait to find their true love, get married and have kids. Afterwards, they often get so caught up in all those parental responsibilities that they forget about their romantic relationships. Expressions of love become an ordinary habit, long, intimate conversations are reduced to parental negotiations and romantic dates are reserved for special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. Although Valentine’s Day has become a highly commercialised event that brings a lot of stress and tension, it can actually reveal true values of marriage and love to those who know how to recognise them.
Words: Brigitte Evans
1. Appreciation and Gratitude
Forget about all the fuss over Valentine’s Day. You and your partner should see behind the veil of commercialism and social expectations and discover that the very purpose of this day of romance is showing appreciation and gratitude. This particular day should be no more special than any other day. It’s just another opportunity for you and your loved one to show appreciation for each other and gratitude for the blessings you have. Marriage is about togetherness, gratefulness and love that shouldn’t be limited to a single day. Take this opportunity to remind yourself that every day of your marriage is yet another moment to show your partner that you’re grateful for having them in your life and that you appreciate everything they’ve done to fill your life with love and tenderness.
2. It’s Always Time for Romance
Some people rush through their relationships and before they know it, romance has begun to fade away, leaving them with hope for a different, more mature love that marriage brings. They give up on romance and youthful courtship with a slight sigh for the past times. And every once in a while, for Valentine’s Days, birthdays and anniversaries, they try to fire up their romantic flame, not realising that they shouldn’t have let it go out in the first place. You and your partner should never give up on romance in your marriage. Whether it’s a light kiss, a gentle hug, regular dates or passionate sex (ideally all of the mentioned), you should fight for your romance rather than watching it fade away with a longing look.
3. Step by Step Towards the Future
Modern couples always have certain plans for their future, be it Valentine’s Day dates, vacations or business aspirations. They all keep looking towards the future, striving for some distant goal, and then another one, and another one. And if you keep focusing on the future, you will miss the very journey towards it. Instead, you should take one step at a time and embrace a slower pace for your lifestyle. Of course, certain future plans, such as starting your own company or becoming expat retirees and moving to high-end retirement homes require some long-term planning. However, each of your plans should entail a series of realistic steps that will enable you to prepare for the future while also being able to cherish the present.
4. Being Present in the Moment
Slow love is key to happiness and fulfilled marriage. You and your partner should learn how to be present in the moment and cherish all those little things, such as drinking your first coffee together in the morning, taking a relaxing stroll along a river or going on a simple Valentine’s date. Stop trying to find happiness and love in the future and learn to recognise it because it’s all around you. Enjoy a gentle touch on the hand without wondering whether it will lead you to bed. Feel the tenderness of your partner’s hug without thinking about your meeting. Spend time with your partner without checking your emails and social media profiles. Give yourself to your partner in the present moment and you’ll realise that there’s no reason to look for happiness because you already have it.
5. From Communication to Understanding and Acceptance
Communication is one of the pillars of happy marriage. If you’re not able to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, you will never be able to understand and accept each other for who you are. A lot of people try to organise perfect dates for Valentine’s Day without discussing their plans with their spouses. Of course, it’s about the element of surprise, but what happens when they both realise that they had completely different expectations? They sit in silence wondering if they even know each other after all those years. Yes, it might be one date out of many, but it’s also may be one instance out of many that demonstrates a gap in communication. Open, honest communication and active listening are the only way to overcome any obstacles that may arise in your marriage.
Behind all the fuss, commercialism and pressure, Valentine’s Day hides real values of love and marriage and all you need to do is look behind the veil.