Valentine's Day

No pressure but Valentine’s Day is almost here! 

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Valentine’s Day is a chance to express your love to your spouse. But it also brings stress and a flood of expectations with it. The whole thing can feel like a Hallmark holiday designed to make you spend money to create the ideal romantic evening which generally sets a couple up for disaster. 

We are bombarded with the ideal romantic day that includes gifts, candy, flowers, and fancy dinners that end in a night of romance to remember. Now there is nothing wrong with any of those things unless your reality doesn’t meet your expectations When we get stuck thinking that romance is all about roses and bubble baths, it starts feeling like something we’ll never achieve. Often, we just give up. But when we remember Valentine’s Day is simply doing something special or unexpected for our spouse, then who knows what might happen. So what can couples do to make this Valentine’s Day meaningful? 

Why not start by simply asking each other what is important to you about Valentine’s Day and then try to honor what it means to your spouse. Be realistic about the day. What is your budget? What about child care? Does it have to be on the 14th? Recognize your obstacles but don’t let them overtake you. 

Valentine’s Day is not about expensive reservations and gifts. It’s an intentional celebration that you have found the one your soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:4). Doing something highly thoughtful can actually be simple and within your reach. Be creative and maybe out of the ordinary. Love is a verb so whatever you choose to do remember that your goal is to show that you would choose each other all over again. Celebrate that you are in this thing together and enjoy the day. 

Make the day special but remember that it is the everyday acts of love that mean the most. Looking for intentional ways to help and to bless each other turns out to be pretty romantic. You can make every day Valentine’s Day by simply: 

* Saying thank you for the everyday things 
* Sending a text that says I’m thinking of you right now 
* Holding hands 
* Complimenting your spouse on your favorite physical feature or most appreciated character trait 
* Doing a chore that usually falls to your spouse - just because 
* Asking what would feel like a blessing to your spouse and remembering to do that often and without expectations 

Here are some ideas for a creative date: 

Dinner and a movie at home 
Choose an old romantic movie and cook a dinner together that reflects the movie theme. For example: 
* Roman Holiday with a big plate of pasta 
* Casablanca with Moroccan or Mediterranean 
* Gone with the Wind with southern favorites 
* You’ve Got Mail with New York pizza or deli food 
* The Princess Bride with a royal feast 
* Blazing Saddles with pork and beans (that’s just wrong!) 

A Second First Date 
Recreate your first date and see how many details you can recall. 

A Scavenger Hunt 
Make up you own clues and challenges that end up at a fun destination (wherever that might be for you). 

Stay at home 
* Have a bonfire in the backyard complete with s’mores and cuddle by the fire 
* Work a puzzle together 
* Have your favorite food delivered 
* Spend the day in PJs on the couch 
* Just don’t do chores! 

Do something you’ve never done before 
* Try a new restaurant with food you wouldn’t normally choose 
* Try a comedy club or an escape room 
* Go see some of the places that tourists tend to visit but you’ve probably never been to 
* Just don’t do the same old thing 

Get active 
Go for a hike, a bike ride, or just take a walk together 

Enjoy the day and each other. 
-Jim and Carolyn

Silvina Erwin