Valentine’s Day stirs up the concept of romance, but what, exactly is it and how do we create it?
Webster’s defines romance as “a tendency of mind toward the wonderful and mysterious, something belonging rather to fiction than to everyday life.” But, does it really have to be more like fiction? And, do we really only want one day dedicated to it?
When we keep doing things the exact same way, relationships become predictable, routine, and sometimes disenchanting. Stagnancy sets in and we start taking each other for granted. Conscious, everyday romance can turn that situation around.
Let this Valentine’s Day ignite your romantic creativity. Think beyond the flowers or the chocolate themselves, to the message they represent. What do we really want, after all? We want to feel cherished and loved. We want to know we matter, that we are important, and are appreciated. We want to feel safe in love. If you can communicate any or all of these, you will hit the romantic nail on the head. Here are some possibilities:
Share memories of the past. When you share your favorite memories of times spent with your loved one, or of special things they have done, you let them know they matter to you. Write some of your favorite stories down. Pull out some of your favorite pictures. Let your sweetheart know that you cherish, and remember, the times you have shared together.
Plot your future plans. Plan an unexpected getaway even if only for a day. Dream about your “someday plans.” Create a “bucket list” together. Something to look forward to is not only fun, but it communicates “I look forward to being with you…”
Share the present moment. Turn off the TV, put the phone on airplane mode, hold hands, look into each other’s eyes, have a heartfelt conversation, meditate together, and/or read to each other. Sharing the present moment is how new special memories are made.
Spend time in nature. Recreation is re-creation of your connection to each other. Go whale watching. Watch the sunrise or set. Go stargazing. Take a hike. Bask in the beauty of nature as a reawakening of love.
Create something together or for each other. Build a sandcastle. Do an art piece together. Plant a garden. Plant a tree and imagine what your lives together will be like when the tree is huge. Build a snowman. Restore an old house. Write a song. Shared creativity and accomplishment are purely gratifying.
Be grateful. Let your partner know everything you are thankful for. Let him or her know that you notice and appreciate that they make the coffee every morning or how much care they put into the children’s education, or their service to humanity. Gratitude is the fuel of healthy relationships.
Communicate what you love about your partner to your partner. When I have couples turn to each other and tell each other what they love and appreciate in the other, there is a beautiful softening that happens. We focus on what we love in the beginning of a relationship, but somehow forget to continue communicating it as the relationship progresses. Make this a conscious habit and your relationship will be renewed!
Put in a little extra time to the normal, making it the abnormal. I once made a heart-beet casserole, carefully slicing the beets and cutting every slice into the shape of a heart. Thus a “normal” meal became an offering of love.
Touch without a sexual agenda. Never underestimate the power of holding hands, a loving hand on the shoulder, a gentle caress of the face, a hug or a kiss for no reason.
Be intimate. Your sensuality with each other is what makes you lovers rather than roommates or simply friends.
Bring a loving consciousness to your relationship and new romantic love habits will form. These habits can make “happily ever after” a matter of real-life rather than fiction and extend far beyond Valentine’s day.