Dr. Val FarmerDr.Val
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

Valentine's Day Not The Best Day To Show Romance

February 10, 2002

Unromantics, this is your week to look bad. Our culture tells us to get excited about romantic love and to celebrate the chemistry that brought us together with our loved one. Bur, the best time to do romance is the other 364 days of the year when it isn’t expected and will mean more. However, if you don’t show up on Valentine’s Day with something special, it will be duly noted in a hidden recess of your loved one’s heart as evidence of unrequited love - a very painful thought indeed.

If so, here are some ideas that will save you the trouble of peeking in women’s magazines at the magazine rack to supplement your meager gifts of expression and lack of imagination.

The luster of romance. Like it or not Mr. or Mrs. Unromantic, your spouse is probably an incurable romantic. By some mysterious law of nature, the unromantics and romantics seem to pair up. At the risk of being politically incorrect, I would guess that women desire romance in their life more then men, though I’ve seen many times where the male is the frustrated romantic in a relationship.

Most romantics don’t think it is romance if it is their idea. This is something they hope you discover on your own. If your romantic partner has to coach you on how to do it, it takes the fun out of it.

Short course on romance. Romance blossoms in the rich soil of the unexpected. Romance is spontaneous, unpredictable. Romance is unhurried. It is fun. It is a fun way of showing love.

A one word definition of romance is "surprise." Not just any surprise, but a surprising way to show your loved one that you cherish and value his or her presence in your life.

It is the unexpected thoughtfulness, the surprising gesture of love, the perfect gift, a love note left to be found, a bouquet of wildflowers, a prearranged babysitter and a surprise night out. It is an overnight trip for just the two of you. It is the thoughtfulness that goes into the surprise that makes it even better.

It is playfulness in the kitchen and in the bedroom. It is letting your loved one know that he or she is attractive and desired. It is a mood and atmosphere of love, the care in which the stage is set, the extra effort for the perfect touch.

It is sexuality cloaked in mystery. It is male and female discovering each other anew. It is the unexpected moment of being cherished by one who loves you.

Everyday love. One caution. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Without the everyday experience of being loved and cherished, gestures of romance will not be appreciated - they may even be resented. Short-circuit the storms of conflict that destroy the electricity of your love. Let the warmth of your love replace the chill of indifference. Love is the expression of attitudes and behavior in which the well-being of our loved one is first and foremost in our minds. Our happiness is not complete without his or her happiness. This loving consideration is expressed in many ways - in the constancy of daily actions.

The big things are the little things. The lift and loveliness of life comes with daily doses of kindness, consideration, courtesy, thoughtfulness, affection and appreciation.

What is love? It is greeting your loved one in a special way. It is showing your gladness to be reunited again. It is offering a helping hand. It is giving personalized attention. It is being patient with imperfection. It is remembering special occasions - like Valentine’s Day. It is communicating with an affectionate touch or a knowing glance.

It is listening with an understanding and caring heart. It is giving comfort in time of need. It is sharing innermost feelings and expressing one’s love. It is heartfelt recognition and admiration for what your loved one does and who he or she is.

It is the desire to please and knowing how to please. It is acknowledging the gifts and love that are so freely given to you. It is putting your loved one first above all else and all others.

Love takes work. Don’t settle for a marriage that seems like old bread or cold gravy. Get out of the mire of mundane matters. Get rid of the sour notes that jar the harmony of the magnificent and majestic music you can make together.

A loving relationship doesn’t happen without thinking, listening, planning and giving of one’s time. To get additional yield from your relationship, start with the rich soil of love, expose it to the sunshine of attention, add timely showers of appreciation, cultivate with cooperation, pick out the weeds of selfishness and indifference and then fertilize with romance.

Your loved one will know of your love, radiate its effects and return it willingly and gladly. Romance is addictive. Plan a few romantic surprises and you’ll be hooked. Don’t forget Valentine’s Day. That is a good day to start. If it ends there, you flunked your lesson on romance.