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6 steps to rock Valentine’s Day

valentines-dayOk guys, it’s coming…Valentine’s Day!  Are you ready?  Do you ever have the feeling of, “We just HAD Valentine’s Day!…like 12 month’s ago!”  Do you ever feel pressure like you HAVE to live up to certain expectations?  Expected gifts, dinners, or activities?  That pressure comes from The Man.  I’m not sure who The Man is, but I think he works for Zales.  I admit that at times Valentine’s Day can feel like more of a responsibility than a joy.

Even though sometimes I dread aspects of it, when I get the right perspective, I ALWAYS love it.  You know why?  It’s another special date with my Baby!  Even if I’m being corralled into certain expectations, I always love when we get to spend meaningful time together.  So to help you with this, I have 6 tips to not just survive, but THRIVE during Valentine’s Day!

  1. Do SOMETHING:  This may sound silly, but it’s important to make sure you are doing SOMETHING to celebrate the day.  The last thing you want is to disappoint your wife by not doing ANYTHING!  It doesn’t mean things have to be fancy or expensive, but just make sure you’ve planned something.
  2. 10492391_10153079122079328_2286394721021814369_nIt’s ok to flex what day you celebrate: Have you ever tried to find a babysitter on Valentine’s Day?  Have you ever gone out to a nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day?  These can be more stressful than they’re worth.  A nice way to combat this is to pick a substitute day to celebrate.  For this to work though, you need to really commit to the substitute date.  It may sound silly, but try to ignore the real day completely and treat the other one as if the whole day is actually Valentine’s Day.  Julia and I celebrated last weekend.  We went downtown and stayed at the Ritz for a night!  The restaurant we ate at was nice and relaxing, but they said they had 600 reservations already for the ACTUAL Valentine’s Day!  I’m glad we went early.
  3. Stay at home:  If you don’t want to deal with sitters or crowded restaurants, an At Home Valentine’s Day may be best.  Put the kids to bed early.  Cook something nice or simply order take-out and eat by candlelight.  Watch a romantic movie or plan your own at-home activities.  Check out my post from 2 weeks ago if you want more “at-home” ideas.
  4. Give a gift…IF YOU WANT TO:  Don’t buy chocolates or jewelry or flowers because you think you’re supposed to.  Buy a gift if you WANT to.  This may take knowing your wife and if that’s a big deal for her.  Whatever you do, don’t buy something trite just because you think you have to.  If you get a gift, make it something meaningful that she will like.
  5. Share responsibility:  A couple years into our marriage, Julia and I realized that Valentine’s Day and our Anniversary were creating stress.  I felt like I had to plan something special EVERY TIME and Julia WANTED to plan something special, but we both had trouble doing so not knowing what the other person was planning on.  So we started sharing responsibility.  One year, I will plan what we do for Valentine’s Day and she will plan what we do for our Anniversary.  The next year we switch.  It is such a relief for each of us to know what’s expected and to not feel like either of us ALWAYS has to do it all.
  6. Play offense not defense: Don’t make your goal to NOT disappoint your wife from whatever expectations she may have.  Make your goal to WOW her.

With all this being said, THE most important thing is to put thought into it.  No matter what you do, if you’ve put thought into how you can love your wife, it’s going to be good and she will appreciate it.  So if you haven’t started thinking yet guys…get on it!

Sometimes you just need to spend time together

One way people receive love is through quality time.  (See earlier post for thoughts on love languages)  This basically means spending time together that is meaningful.  Talking, sharing an experience, or doing something fun together are all ways to show this.

IMG_1708This is one of Julia’s main love languages so I try to make sure I’m meeting this need as much as I can.  I try to schedule dates out ahead of time a couple times a month.  We try to eat together as a family whenever possible.  We always make sure we have a chance to get away just us for some sort of trip at least once a year.  And no matter how busy we get, it is always a priority to make sure we have some evenings each week with nothing planned…so we can be at home together.

If you need help coming up with some ideas to incorporate this into your life…here are some to get you started…

  • Going on a date
  • Having meals together as a family and talking about your day
  • Talking with your wife after the kids are in bed
  • Going on a family vacation
  • Going on a trip as a couple
  • Going out to eat
  • Reading a book out loud with your wife or family
  • Playing a game or sport together
  • Going shopping for something together

If this is one of the ways your wife receives love, make sure you are working this into your life on a regular basis.