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Love is in the Air

Ahhh, Valentine's Day… What does this day mean to you?


Relationships form the foundation of love, and each relationship is unique. How do we express our love to those who share our lives? Is it once a year, with flowers, candy, and dinner on this special day? Celebrating the day is special, sure, but what about the other 364 days of the year?


Celebrating the day can also include reflection on our relationships and how we can improve them. If you reflect on it, honestly, and think it's broken or needs attention, what is your next step? How do you fix broken love?

 

Here are a few ways that have worked for my relationship.

 

See each other through a 90% loving lens.


 My husband Darren and I have been together for over 30 years. Our marriage is not perfect; we each have our faults, but despite our 10% annoyances, we have committed to doing what we can to see each other through a 90% loving lens. My commitment to my marriage was to take ruthless care of myself so that I would come to the marriage "full" no matter what was happening. We are constantly communicating. The 90%s and the 10%s. You cannot sweep your relationship problems under the carpet. We wake up together EVERY morning, pour tea and coffee, and check out how we are doing. We talked it out in the worst of times and in the best of times.

 

We focus on each other's 90%s. Truly. Seeing each other through a lens of love, patience, and compassion has allowed us to be kind and loving towards each other. It is so easy to see the 10%s! I could list ten things that bug me about Darren and him about me. But I could also list another 90 things that I love about him. And he could do the same for me. And I tell him often, so often, how much I love and appreciate him.


Make time.


Like most couples, we are a busy couple. If we do not carve out time on our calendar, weeks can go by, and we will not have made any time for our marriage. So we literally take out our calendars and plug in our dates early in the month. That way, it is a priority. We call it "check in" to see how we feel. Even if it is a quick lunch, a walk, a drink, and an appetizer somewhere, we schedule it in. Marriage is work, and it deserves our time.

 

But share time.


My husband and I do not share every interest together. It is important for us to have some separate activities. Why do we need to spend every second together? I know some men like shopping but the men in my family do not! Why would you drag your husband shopping if it doesn't interest him? I see those men at Walmart, trust me. Leaving them at home allows them to have "him" time.

 

You may be thinking… really? That's it? Those are just examples of small steps we have taken that have worked amazingly for us. We also incorporate things like:

·       Device-free time and zones. Put those cell phones away!!

·       Departing and greeting hugs

·       Playing games or puzzling together

·       Daily walking/exercising time together, even for 15 minutes.


As you can see, it doesn't take much effort, just commitment. And, most of all, take care of you. Then, take care of those you love. In that order.


Happy Valentines Day

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