Beyond Valentine’s Day


—We met 24 years ago in January, then a few days before Valentine’s Day 23 years ago, we married. We celebrated surrounded by grandparents married over 50 years and parents married for 30, and blissfully assumed we would join the ranks of happily long-time married people.

Fast forward 23 years and we’re not so sure.

We can point fingers at each for how and why we got here—we’d both be right and we’d both be wrong. I read some of the articles that came across my Facebook feed: How To Tell If He’s The One, How To Know If You Should Leave, 10 Things You MUST Do For A Healthy Relationship. There are many valuable nuggets of truth to be found out there. But one thing I can tell you for sure: If you are only celebrating your relationship one (or two) days a year, you could be headed for trouble.

Valentine’s Day is upon us again. For me, that usually means an Anniversary/Valentine’s dinner and gift. I’ve never felt a need to make a Big Deal out of Valentine’s Day. Doing the expected stereotypical fancy dinner or expensive gift doesn’t make me feel loved. Maybe that’s a reflection of my Love Language. But as the years have gone by, given its proximity to my anniversary, I’ve been doing some reflecting.

One thing stands out to me: Good relationships should be celebrated and Valentine’s Day should be celebrated in some fashion. Whatever fits your relationship, your personalities and where you are in your journey: cute, fun, gimmicky, reflective, serious, sensual, sexual. Whatever fits the two of you the best at that point in your relationship. Have fun with your Valentine’s Day, but celebrate each other and what you mean to each other—whatever that is.

Just Don’t Leave It All For One Day

If you have a good relationship, celebrate it. Celebrate it regularly.

 It gets easy to go through the motions with your relationship. Work, parenting, activities and life get in the way. It gets easy to keep moving along. Before you know it, it’s been forever since you’ve done something special with your partner on this journey called life. Remember to take a moment to appreciate the person walking beside you. What do they do for you? What is his or her love language? Are you speaking that language, when possible?  Is he or she speaking yours? Set aside time to honor and recognize that.

Honoring and recognizing the positives of your relationship and the person you share your life with doesn’t have to mean an expensive night on the town or gift. It can be simple. An evening cuddled up on the couch in your PJs after the kids have gone to bed. A lunch date squeezed into a busy week. A love note left on a pillow. A Sunday afternoon stroll through the park.

Something for just each other is important. Time for you to connect and appreciate each other as the people that got this whole thing started is important. 

Don’t Leave Celebrating your Relationship to Just Valentine’s Day and your Anniversary

Those are great days to celebrate, and you should. But make sure those aren’t the only days where you look at each other and remember how and why you got to where you are now, and who you are to each other now, in this moment in time.

It may not prevent you from being where I am now. You may still wake up one day wondering if you had done this, or not done that, would you be closer? Would you be happier? Would you still be together?

But you have nothing to lose by investing in your relationship every day, in addition to Valentine’s Day. Bad relationships will self-destruct on their own. But for those of you who know you are with the right person in a healthy, loving relationship—take a moment to recognize that and communicate it to your partner on a regular basis. 

Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day

The person you love and your relationship deserve more than one day to be celebrated.

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Once Upon A Time, in another life, Kristin graduated from the University of Michigan with a plan to teach high school math. But then, life happened when she wasn’t looking…. She married an Army guy and 23 years, 3 kids, a few dogs, 7 homes, and 2 continents later she’s now a single mom living here in Colorado Springs. Along the way she volunteered for the Army, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and several schools; managed volunteer organizations, coached judo, trained to be a whitewater rafting guide, biked down Pike’s Peak and even managed to teach some high schoolers a little math before forging new trails writing, teaching and financial planning. She never knows what’s coming around the bend, but she’s learned to handle whatever life (and the Army!), throws at her with a smile and a laugh. She’s pretty sure you can get through anything with those, even if you have to fake it occasionally!!