It’s February and we all know what that means…
Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap. Ask most people how they feel about it and they’ll groan and say they hate it, or that it’s a let down, or it’s a Hallmark holiday designed to manipulate the consumer.
Yet in spite of this, most couples celebrate Valentine’s Day each year. Any many women still fantasize about their men giving them the picture perfect, movie-worthy evening. So instead of bashing Valentines Day, let’s just operate under the notion that most of you are going to indeed be celebrating it this year.
The question then becomes how can you turn it from a nuisance into a special day of connection for you and your loved one? What is the formula for a happy partner? How do we get it right?
It seems like a given that this holiday is geared toward women. I do realize that there are a few men who are self-proclaimed romantics and live to surprise their sweeties with unexpected flowers, dinners, hot bubble baths and breakfast in bed. But not every guy has that natural Romeo instinct to make his woman swoon with a single rose and a wink.
What I too often see in my practice, is that as of February 1st the women start experiencing PTSD symptoms in fear that, “he’s going to blow it again.” While the guys have to fight the urge to say “this is a crock of st*t” and instead, opt for making dinner reservations somewhere expensive so they won’t be in the proverbial dog house.
I do believe there is a better way however, to create a more satisfying and ultimately meaningful Valentine’s Day that might take your relationship to the next level.
Consider taking the advice of Psychologist Gary Chapman who wrote the 5 Love Languages. He says that every person has a primary way they experience love and a secondary one. Some of us may have a couple Primary Love lanagues. Chapman says you either feel loved by receiving, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts or Words of Affirmation.
So here’s my recipe for a great Valentine’s Day. Spend some time figuring out what your primary and secondary love languages are and also what your partner’s are. Then, and here’s the important part - do something for your beloved that is in alignment with what speaks LOVE to them.
For example, if your gal or guy’s primary love language is Gifts, then cooking dinner or taking a romantic picnic isn’t going to light them up. Better to opt for a Cashmere scarf or a diamond necklace. But if their primary love language is Acts of Service, you will hit a home run when you clean the house and cook them their favorite meal. Nothing says I love you like scrubbing a toilet for your partner who prizes Acts of Service above all else. If your partner prizes Quality Time and Words of Affirmation, maybe write them a love letter and reiterate all the ways that they light you up inside. Or if physical touch is their love language, set some time aside to snuggle and kiss, make lots of eye contact, and remind them that you love them. Above all else, just remember that the most important aspect of this approach is to do what would feel like a statement of love for them…not what speaks love to you. We are all different and experience love in different ways.
While it’s always important that we prioritize our needs and our partners needs equally in our day to day live, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to put that person 100% first and show them you love them.
In the words of author H. Jackson Brown Jr, “Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own.” Make that your Valentine’s Day goal and I guarantee you that it will be the best one ever.
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PAULA SHAW, CADC, DCEP is an author, Energy Psychology specialist, therapist, speaker, Reiki Master and Grief Counselor. For more than 20 years, Paula has been passionate about empowering people who are dealing with profound loss, so they can reap something truly beautiful from their pain. She also helps clients who are going through major life transitions or seeking freedom from self-destructive addictions. She has degrees in Education and Communications from Long Beach State University, as well as graduate counseling credentials from Loyola Marymount University. She is one of the founding members of the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology and currently serves on its board of directors. Paula is the author of Chakras, the Magnificent Seven (2002), as well as "Grief...When Will This Pain Ever End?" Finding Your Way out of the Pit of Despair After Profound Loss.
Former Blog Archive
Thank you for reading Paula's Blog. Because our site moved in June, we were unable to transfer all of our blog posts over. You can however, read the rest of them by visiting our old blog site. HERE