Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is a wonderful reminder to those of us in relationships that we should take time to focus on the person who is most important to us. As a therapist in San Francisco who specializes in relationships, I can tell you that it’s quite common for people to struggle in their relationships, even, and maybe even especially if, they’ve been in it for a long time.
It’s very easy to take your significant other for granted. Valentine’s Day can be a gentle reminder to focus on your love or it can feel like a chore because you feel pressure to do something you might not organically feel like doing.
If your marriage or relationship could use a little boost, why not take the time this Valentine’s Day to put a little more focus on your relationship? Taking the initiative to do a few small gestures of love can go a long way in spicing up something that might have gone a little stale. Continue reading for some tips on putting your relationship front and center.
Say I Love You – This goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway because so many couples forget to say these three little words on a regular basis. It’s easy to forget to say them when life gets busy and hectic, but hearing those three little words really does light up the pleasure part of the brain (which keeps us coming back for more). Say it, write it, post a sticky note in your significant other’s lunch with the words or write it in lipstick on the mirror. However you need to communicate the words “I Love You”, do. You’ll feel better and your love will too. And, when you say it, you’ll hear it said back to you and that feels wonderful.
Give Your All – When couples have been together for a while the push and pull in the relationship can get a little irritating. Back when you started dating it was all fun and romance but after a few kids, a couple moves and a job change or two, it’s not about the fun anymore. Put the fun back in your relationship. If your SO loves to paint but hasn’t bothered to pursue the hobby in a long time, you could offer to take a class with them or get a new set of paints and an easel for them to use again. The point is to do what makes them happy, not you. You’d be amazed at how many couples forget that. Just ask the wife who got a circular saw for Valentine’s Day.
Don’t Hold a Grudge – If your husband upsets you point it out, gently. When he apologizes or otherwise makes amends, let him. Don’t hold a grudge and don’t throw the transgression back in his face. People make mistakes, but you’ll both be happier if you leave the mistakes in the past. If it’s something you can’t forgive like infidelity you may want to seek professional therapy to help you determine if the relationship can be, or should be, saved.
Little Things – Do the little things for your love. You’d be amazed at how sexy it is to see your partner emptying the dishwasher or doing that last load of laundry that you just couldn’t bring yourself to finish. Helping with day to day chores is a wonderful way to bring a couple together, and it lets the other one know you want to be a part of the team.