Fireworks on Valentine’s Day

Our hearts melt when we hear of two married centenarians who die days apart.  A real-life fairy tale, right?  One in a million.  But did you know that, with each passing year, you can make your relationship more romantic, more caring, and more special, too? If you plan on being in love for the rest of your life, that means euphoria awaits your final embrace.  What a way to go.

So, let this Valentine’s Day mark the moment your relationship explodes into sparkles and fireworks: a celebration that ignites more magnificent each minute until the day you die.

Just don’t listen to the naysayers who say love goes south after the courting period.  Author Paul Friedman says, “We have heard so many variations of ‘it’s different after you’re married.’  And yes, it is supposed to be different—different better!  The better you know your best friend and lover, the more you are supposed to use your intimate knowledge to be nicer in ways no one else in the world can match, because no one knows the little secrets about your spouse like you” (p.  33).

If your Valentine loves massage, barbecue-rubbed steaks, and the scent of cherries, cater to his or her fancies.  Also, say only things that’ll boost your Valentine’s confidence or spirits.  “You look handsome in your new coat,” or, “You make wise decisions,” or, “You have the sweetest smile.”

Style your hair, dress in his or her favorite outfit of yours, and place your heart front and center.  Try to be like you were on your first dates.  “No matter who you are, you tried to be romantic and sexy, and no matter who you are, your efforts were appreciated” (p.  28).

Wasn’t this how you acted when you first courted your Valentine?  “You were patient, kind, and attentive.  You were sweet, funny, considerate, noble, and appreciative; right? You were oh-so-polite, always smiling, constantly complimenting each other, and you easily laughed at each other’s jokes, even when they were not all that funny.  You dressed to impress, washed behind your ears, and bent over backward to do special little things for each other.  You bought flowers for each other, made cookies, maybe called or texted each other all the time” (p.  28).  That should be your behavior every day—for the rest of your married life.  Your behavior should be built on always testing new ideas for taking your love over the top.

Yes, take your love over the top especially on Valentine’s Day.  You could buy heart-shaped helium balloons, a heart-shaped cake, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and a heart-shaped ring.  Just make your romance magical.  But don’t neglect to sprinkle on the love dust every passing moment.

And always treat your Valentine well, even when he or she is moody.  “Do you recall when you courted your pre-spouse and they were in a bad mood or had a bad day? You did all you could to ease their suffering, right? That is correct marital behavior, not just correct behavior for courting!” (p.  30).  If your Valentine is not acting kindly, cater to his or her comforts.  Keep smiling and saying sweet words.  “You control yourself all the time.  You behave well for any person who is important to you, like your boss or a customer, and you now need to include your spouse in the category of those for whom you control yourself” (p.  30).

But never let your relationship slide.  Once you let the negative enter, the promise of euphoria on your final embrace fades.  So, don’t let the following be your fate:  “Instead of treating each other like royalty forever, as you promised, you fell into habits of behavior you would never dare use on anyone else.  What happened to the flowers? What happened to the smiles and sexy looks? What happened to compliments, sweet phone messages, careful grooming, supportive chats, little gifts, funny stories, gentle smooches, loving looks, special dinners, and unasked for shoulder rubs?” (p.  31).  Those are acts of real-life fairy tales.  Enjoy giving such selfless acts on Valentine’s Day and every day thereafter.  Those acts build the burst of love we all wish to part with the day we die.

Friedman, Paul, & The Marriage Foundation.  (Revised 2012).  Breaking the Cycle.  PDF.